Effective immediately, the Coast Guard Tuition Assistance program is now open to all active duty members, including E-7 and above, officers, and Reserve members on long-term active duty orders issued for over 180 days, for programs at all degree levels, until Sept. 30. Further changes to the tuition assistance program can be expected in the coming fiscal year, as the Coast Guard prioritizes increasingly limited training dollars to provide the greatest service-wide benefits.
To avoid exhausting available tuition assistance funds prior to the end of the fiscal year, the Coast Guard carefully considered how best to allocate this benefit throughout the workforce. A range of budget projections were developed based on traditional patterns of TA use. When TA was reinstituted in April 2013, the Coast Guard implemented management controls and more stringent eligibility criteria than in years past in order to ensure continuous availability of tuition assistance funds throughout the remainder of fiscal year 2013 on our junior professional development, focusing on E-6 and below personnel pursuing initial undergraduate degrees.
The Coast Guard achieved its objective of ensuring our junior enlisted workforce received preference for TA funds. We are pleased to announce that, based on our projections, there are enough funds to open TA to additional segments of the workforce through the end of September. As a result, TA eligibility for the remainder of fiscal year 2013 has been expanded to all active duty members, including E-7 and above, officers, and Reserve members on long-term active duty orders issued for over 180 days, for programs at all degree levels. There are no changes to civilian or reserve eligibility for TA at this time.
Given uncertainty over fiscal year 2014 funding levels, this increased availability may not exist in fiscal year 2014; personnel should plan accordingly when starting or continuing a degree program. We will keep the workforce updated on the fiscal year 2014 program as information becomes available. Final funding figures for fiscal year 2014 are contingent on the outcome of the fiscal year 2014 budget.
The Coast Guard Institute is now accepting and processing TA applications for all eligible personnel; contact your local ESO or visit the Coast Guard Institute website for more information.