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Big change in Navy's Tuition Assistance Program

On July 22, the U.S. Navy changed its Tuition Assistance policy and the way active-duty sailors access money for college.

The Navy’s new TA policy now grants funding on a first-come first-serve basis, with money that is replenished every fiscal quarter instead of each fiscal year. In addition, first-term sailor cannot use TA until after their first year of service.

“Naval officials feel that it is crucial for new sailors to know their jobs and get settled first before pursuing additional education,” said Robert W. Blue, education services specialist, Joint Education Center, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Previously, sailors could use TA for either traditional college courses or vocational education; now, they can only use the program for traditional college degree programs.

Although sailors TA funds are now limited, there are other free educational options available, such as the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education – a program designed for sailors taking classes on ship, and College Level Examination Program Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support – a test based program that earns college credit.

“The Navy is encouraging its sailors to use NCPACE when on sea duty,” said Blue. “There is a classroom on the ship, so there is no excuse. This program is perfect for sea-duty sailors due to their fluctuating deployment schedule.”

In addition to the recent changes for the Navy’s TA program, TA requests must now be submitted using the Navy’s Web TA system online. This will help to centralize the associated documents for TA, said Blue.

For more information, call Camp Pendleton’s Joint Education Center at (760) 725-6660 or (760) 725-6414.

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