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Marines Tuition Assistance

Marines Tuition Assistance provides 100 percent of tuition and class fees with a yearly cap and no lifetime limit. Find out who is eligible for Marine TA.

Marines Tuition Assistance (TA) is a military education benefit that helps active duty servicemembers work toward their educational goals by paying for tuition and fees while they serve their country. The Marine Corps encourages its personnel to use this benefit at any type of educational institution, including online schools and other distance learning options, as long as the school is accredited.

Marines Tuition Assistance can be confusing because servicemembers may encounter Navy information when researching Marines TA. The Commandant of the Marine Corps manages Marines Tuition Assistance with support from the Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Technology Center (NETPDTC), which manages the online TA management system called Navy Campus Management Information System.

Who Is Eligible for Marines Tuition Assistance?

Marines are eligible for Marines Tuition Assistance while on active duty. This includes enlisted members of the Reserves on continuous active duty and deployed/detached marines. If officers wish to use Marines TA, they must agree to a two-year active duty service obligation. In the event that an officer needs to leave the Corps before the completion of this obligation, he or she will need to repay the Marine Corps a pro-rated amount of the received Marines TA.

Marines may not be eligible for TA if they:

  • Have been convicted by U.S. courts or foreign courts
  • Have been punitively discharged
  • Are serving a sentence in any foreign prison

Marines TA: What Education Programs Are Covered?

Generally, Marines Tuition Assistance can be used to pay for:

  • Classes that lead to the completion of a high school diploma
  • Developmental courses for basic academic skills, as long as the classes are for credit
  • Independent study and online classes
  • Vocational and technical programs
  • Undergraduate and graduate degree programs

To qualify for TA funds all classes must be at accredited schools that are recognized by the Department of Education. Also, servicemembers can only take classes that are at an academic level higher than what they've already earned. For example, if a marine already has his or her bachelor's degree, TA would not pay for an associate's degree, but it would cover a master's degree program. Additionally, TA can be used for only one education goal at a time, meaning a marine could not take developmental college courses while working toward his or her high school diploma.

Lateral degrees (degrees at the same educational level) are not covered by TA. For example, a marine could not earn a master's degree in psychology and then later earn a master's degree in education. By Marines TA policy, a first professional degree, such as a juris doctor (JD) or law degree, is the academic equivalent of a master's degree, so only one is covered by TA. For example, a marine could not earn his or her JD and then expect Marines TA to pay for an MBA or Master of Business Administration degree.

Marines TA: How Much Is Alloted?

Marines TA pays for 100 percent of tuition and some fees up to $4,500 per fiscal year. Undergraduate courses allow a cap of $250 per semester hour or $166.67 per quarter hour, and graduate courses qualify for up to $350 per semester hour and $233.33 per quarter hour. There is no lifetime limit for Marines Tuition Assistance.

Only the fees that are required to enroll in the particular class will be covered by TA. Servicemembers must pay for institutional costs like application or graduation fees and books. Marines need to maintain a 2.0 GPA while using TA for undergraduate courses and a 3.0 GPA for graduate coursework. Marines TA will not pay for classes that end after a marine's service ends.

How to Request Marines Tuition Assistance

  1. Contact the Marine Corps Education Center for help choosing an academic goal, and applying to a school.
  2. Complete application form NETPDTC 1560/3, which must have the signature of the commanding officer.
  3. Return form to the Marine Corps Education Center and await processing and authorization. Marines new to TA are required to take an orientation class and are restricted to taking one class at a time until 12 semester hours are successfully complete.
  4. If approved, a voucher is provided to the servicemember to give to the school.
  5. Grades must be submitted to the Marine Corps after completion of class.
  6. To use Marines Tuition Assistance for more than a total of 12 semester hours, marines must have an official education plan (SOCMAR agreement degree plan) approved by a school official.

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