If you’re looking to use the Coast Guard’s tuition assistance, TA, benefits to further your education, you should be aware of the new updates to the TA program. Recently, the Coast Guard announced that tuition assistance would cover 100 percent of tuition costs, up to $4,000 per year. This is an increase from the previous limit of 75 percent of the tuition costs.
Looking to use these benefits? There are a couple of important steps you should take to get started using tuition assistance:
1. Talk to your unit’s education services officer, or ESO
Your unit’s ESO will assist you in downloading your joint Services Transcript, or you can access it by visiting the JST website.
The transcript shows you which courses the American Council of Education recommends you get credit for based upon your military experience. Colleges use this transcript in order to provide you with a degree plan. A degree plan is basically a pathway to your degree and outlines what classes you need to take.
2. Upload your degree plan
Members must submit a degree plan after taking no more than six credits with tuition assistance. The good news is this is really easy to do. You can submit your degree plan electronically at the E-TA website, after you have created your Navy Knowledge Online account, and have successfully logged onto the “My Education Portal” within the E-TA website.
3. Fill out the application for using TA
Once you are ready to start using TA, utilize the step-by-step guide to establish your Navy Knowledge Online account, which you need to access the E-TA system.
Your ESO will help throughout the entire process, and will ensure your forms are submitted upon completion.
It is important to remember that all Coast Guard members need approval from their commanding officer in order to use these benefits. Talk to your ESO about the approval process, and submit a request through your chain of command. Details for command approval and other requirements can be found in ALCOAST 405/15.
For more information on Coast Guard educational benefits, talk to your local ESO or visit the Coast Guard Institute website.