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Is There a Credit Limit Associated with the Tuition Assistance Program?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I went to 3 years of college before I joined the Army. I turned down my Montgomery GI Bill so I could receive SLRP. I am currently using the Tuition Assistance (TA) Program to finish my degree. The Army does not have my transcripts because at the time of enlistment, I owed money to the school and could not get my transcripts. I was wondering if I get my transcripts recognized by the Army am I entitled to less TA because I have already received 3 years of college. I need to know if there is a credit limit associated with TA.

A: There isn’t a credit limit associated with TA per se, but TA can only be used for undergraduate work, so in your case, you would only have a year of TA left to use until you get your degree.

Under current regulation, Army Tuition Assistance can pay up to $250 per credit and up to a yearly maximum of $4,500. If your tuition costs more than what TA can pay, or you reach your yearly limit early in the school year, then you would have to pay what it couldn’t out of pocket.

When you declined the Montgomery GI Bill in writing at the time of your enlistment and opted for SLRP, you incurred a three year obligation to “pay” back your SLRP option. However, if you enlisted for six years (or extend your enlistment after your initial three years), you would be acquiring Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility.

After a total of six years of service, you would have 100% eligibility for 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill coverage that you could use for an advance degree. The Post 9/11 GI Bill at the 100% tier, is free to you just by serving your country for three years (beyond your SLRP obligation) on a Title 10 order, which includes active duty. Thirty-six months of eligibility at the 40% tier is available with as little as 90-days of service. All qualifying service has to be after September 10, 2001.

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