The Army Continuing Education System (ACES) through its many programs promotes lifelong learning opportunities and sharpens the competitive edge of the Army. ACES is committed to excellence in service, innovation, and deployability. For more information about Army education see Appendix B or the ACES website, www.armyeducation.army.mil.
Tuition Assistance Program
The Tuition Assistance (TA) Program provides financial assistance for voluntary off-duty education programs in support of a soldier’s professional and personal self-development goals. All soldiers (officers, warrant officers, enlisted) on active duty (including RC soldiers on active duty pursuant to Title 10 or Title 32, USC) may participate in the TA program. Before obtaining TA, soldiers must visit an education counselor to declare an educational goal and create an educational plan. The counselor will help explain TA procedures, requirement for TA reimbursements, and, if necessary, officer active duty service obligation (ADSO). Find out more at your installation education center or in AR 621-5, Army Continuing Education System.
Montgomery GI Bill
In some cases TA won’t cover all the approved charges for a course. Soldiers eligible for MGIB can use MGIB as Top-Up to Tuition Assistance to cover the remaining charges. Top-Up pays the remaining TA costs up to the maximum of the MGIB rate payable to eligible individuals who have been discharged from active duty. Top-Up covers only the tuition and fees approved for TA.
Soldiers eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIBAD), can use these benefits while in service after two continuous years of active duty. However, using “regular” MGIB in service may not be to every individual’s advantage. In most cases the amount eligible individuals can receive after discharge from active duty will be higher, even though the charge to their MGIB entitlement will be at the same rate. Using MGIB as Top-Up to Tuition Assistance may be more advantageous than using regular MGIB while in service. Soldiers should consult with an education counselor or with VA to make the best use of their MGIB benefits.
Regular MGIB pays tuition and approved fees for approved courses. This payment can’t exceed the amount that would be payable to individuals discharged from service, so it may not cover full tuition and fees for very expensive courses.
In July 2000, the Army announced a new education recruiting initiative entitled Army University Access Online (AUAO), now referred to as eArmyU. This program is entirely online, offering soldiers a streamlined portal approach to a wide variety of postsecondary degrees and technical certificates. All courses allow soldiers to study on their own schedule. Highly motivated soldiers can complete degree and certification requirements regardless of work schedules, family responsibilities, and deployments. eArmyU enables enlisted soldiers to complete degree requirements “anytime, anyplace they can take their laptop.” More information on eArmyU can be found at www.eArmyU.com.
EArmyU provides soldiers 100 % tuition assistance (TA), books, fees for online courses, and, at certain installations, a technology package that may include a laptop computer and other equipment. After completing 12 semester hours of continuous enrollment, the technology package becomes the property of the soldier. Added to the existing education programs and services available, this online program helps to ensure all soldiers have the opportunity to fulfill their personal and professional educational goals while also building the critical thinking and decision-making skills required to fully transform the Army. To be eligible for participation in the eArmyU program, soldiers must be regular active duty or active guard and reserve (AGR) enlisted soldiers with at least three years remaining on their enlistment. Soldiers may extend or reenlist to meet this requirement.
Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS)
The Army can provide official transcripts for eligible soldiers upon request by combining a soldier’s military education and job experience with descriptions and college credit recommendations developed by the American Council on Education (ACE). In addition to name and SSN, the transcript contains the following information:
- Current or highest enlisted rank.
- Military status (active or inactive).
- Additional skill identifiers (ASI) and skill qualification identifiers (SQI).
- Formal military courses.
- Military occupational specialties (MOS) held.
- Standardized test scores.
- Descriptions and credit recommendations developed by ACE.
- The website for AARTS is aarts.army.mil.