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Air Force Tuition Assistance

By Ron Dicker

(LifeWire) - Air Force Tuition Assistance Basics:

The online college courses of active airmen may be subsidized in full by Air Force Tuition Assistance. Students must take their classes during off-duty hours at an accredited and approved distance-learning university or trade school. The aid is capped at $250 per semester credit hour, $166 per quarter credit hour and $4,500 per year. Air Force personnel are also encouraged to explore the income-based Pell Grant (for civilians and the military) and individual scholarships offered by each school. Veterans and other qualifiers can apply for the recently expanded G.I. Bill.

Qualifying for Air Force Tuition Assistance:

Those eligible for Air Force Tuition Assistance include active-duty Air Force personnel and Air Force reservists with more than 120 consecutive days of active duty. Air Force Reserve officers require at least 24 months of active duty. To receive the money, students must remain on active duty for the entire course. Officers must also agree to remain in the service for two years after the course concludes. The tuition assistance program does not apply to master's pursuits. The G.I. Bill requirements include at least 90 days of active service after Sept. 11, 2001.

Online Colleges Approved for Air Force Tuition Assistance:

Among the approved online colleges for Air Force Tuition Assistance are Allied Business Schools, Cleveland Institute of Electronics, Grantham University, Keiser University eCampus Online, National American University and Westwood College.

Applying for Air Force Tuition Assistance:

Airmen should visit www.my.af.mil and proceed with what the Air Force breaks down into six steps: choosing a reason why they are asking for tuition assistance, selecting a school from the list provided, entering the term dates, submitting the course information, logging in the registration fees (the Air Force will pay only those that are mandatory), and verifying the information. Personnel should consult their base education counselor with any questions or problems.

LifeWire, a part of The New York Times Company, provides original and syndicated online lifestyle content. Ron Dicker is a New York-based freelance writer who covered sports for The New York Times from 1996 to 2005.

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