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Army Tuition Assistance

By Ron Dicker

(LifeWire) - Army Tuition Assistance Basics:

Just about all active-duty soldiers can receive up to $4,500 a year in tuition assistance for an online college accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-approved agency. The aid is capped at $250 per semester credit hour and $166 per quarter credit hour. The Army conducts most of its education administration through its GoArmyEd portal. All students must begin there to apply to schools, register for classes and take care of tuition assistance matters. Servicemen and women, including veterans and other qualifiers, can also explore income-based Pell grants, individual scholarships offered by each school and the recently expanded G.I. Bill.

Qualifying for Army Tuition Assistance:

Officers, warrant officers and enlisted personnel may be eligible, as are Army National Guard and Army Reserve on active duty with a few provisions: Reservists must have served 120 consecutive days of active duty and Reserve officers require at least 24 months of active duty. Students receiving tuition assistance 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. Soldiers need to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average to keep receiving aid. Soldiers must reimburse their tuition assistance if they earn a failing grade for other than military reasons. If a tuition-assistance request is rejected, the Army will inform soldiers of possible corrective measures. G.I. Bill requirements include at least 90 days of active service after Sept. 11, 2001.

Online Colleges Approved for Army Tuition Assistance:

While several distance-learning schools qualify, the following are among those offering degrees that can be done entirely through the web with eArmyU online classes: Baker College, Excelsior College, Penn State University World Campus, Saint Leo University Center for Online Learning and University of the Incarnate Word. A menu of all the institutions that provide up-front tuition assistance is located at GoArmyEd.com's "Schools and Programs," which can be found at the "Earn A Degree" link.

Applying for Army Tuition Assistance:

After soldiers get their log-ins and passwords at GoArmyEd.com, they must establish an educational goal. The Army recommends that soldiers click on to the GoArmyEd training course. Then soldiers should get the Tuition Assistance Statement of Understanding signed by their unit commander. An education counselor must validate a soldier's educational goal and activate the tuition assistance site in the GoArmyEd portal.

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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