Tuition Assistance Boost for Army National Guard
Changes to the Army National Guard’s Tuition Assistance program (TAP) now allow Army Guard members immediate access to benefits after they complete basic and Advanced Individual Training (AIT).They will no longer have to meet a time in service benchmark before using the benefit for undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Also eliminated is the requirement to complete 10 years of service to use Tuition Assistance to pursue a master’s degree. Instead, TA can be applied to a graduate program once the next step of schooling is completed.
For enlisted Soldiers, the Advanced Leaders Course must be completed, while officers need to complete the Captains Career Course. Warrant officers must complete the Warrant Officers Advanced Course to be eligible.
“We’re going to let it ride and see what kind of feedback we’re getting from soldiers and how many are in that situation,” said Ken Hardy, Chief of the Army Guard’s Education Services Branch. “We’ve got to see how big of an issue it is first. If it’s really a big problem, we may look at writing a policy to allow it and, if it’s a small problem, at least allowing some exceptions to policy for these unique cases.”
Regardless if Tuition Assistance is used for an undergraduate or graduate degree, Soldiers are still limited to 16 credit hours per year, said Hardy. That credit hour limit may be expanded in the future.
“That’s our next thing we want to look at and see if we can change the 16 credit hour cap,” Hardy said.
These changes were made to ensure Soldiers have easier access to education opportunities and the benefits they’ve earned.
“It’s always good to have as much access to your benefits as you can possibly have with few restrictions,” said Hardy.