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Navy Increases Annual Tuition Assistance Caps

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The Navy has increased tuition assistance benefits, allowing qualified Sailors to now use up to 18 semester credit hours annually, up from the previously allowed 12. Along with this expanded credit cap comes a list of new eligibility requirements that tighten up who can use Navy Tuition Assistance (TA) and when.

The Navy has increased tuition assistance benefits, allowing qualified Sailors to now use up to 18 semester credit hours annually, up from the previously allowed 12.

It’s an expansion of the benefit that Sailors have long asked for and goes into effect on Oct. 1, according to NAVADMIN 214/21 released Sept. 28.

Along with this expanded credit cap comes a list of new eligibility requirements that tighten up who can use Navy Tuition Assistance (TA) and when.

“We are committed to ensuring fully qualified Sailors can take advantage of this increased educational opportunity in a manner that reinforces our commitment to professionalism, warfighting, and retention,” wrote Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr., the chief of naval personnel in the message.

“Operational readiness remains our top priority.  As always, commanding officers may establish benchmark qualifications for Sailors and officers under their command, and manage off-duty education pursuit, based on current or anticipated operational commitments.”

Though the credit limit has been increased, Sailors can only use TA to fund two courses each quarter of the fiscal year.

Both enlisted Sailors and officers must have individual trait marks of 3.0 or greater on their most recent observed evaluation or fitness report, and can have no non-judicial punishment or courts martial in the past twelve months, an increase of six months from previous policy.

Minimum time in service also increases from two to three years. There will be no “grandfather” clause for this rule, meaning Sailors who started using TA or NCPACE at two years of service must now wait until reaching the three-year service mark before being eligible again.

Active duty enlisted Sailors under 16 years of service and reservists on active duty orders must have 12 months or more remaining on their current enlistment or extension as of the course start date. Reservists on one-year orders will no longer be eligible for TA.

The 12 month policy is intended to foster continued service in the Navy, while recognizing the long-term career investment of Sailors approaching retirement eligibility.

Officers, with the exception of limited duty and chief warrant officers, become eligible upon promotion to O-3 with at least three years in service.

Complete details on the new policies can be found in NAVADMIN 214/21.

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