A new policy was released recently by the Department of the Army in regards to new eligibility requirements for the Federal Tuition Assistance program. The policy is set to take effect on 01 January 2014. These changes apply to all Soldiers using FTA regardless of component. The changes are listed below:
o Soldiers will NOT be eligible until successfully completing 1 year of service following graduation of Advanced
Individual Training (AIT)
o If any portion of the undergraduate degree was funded by FTA, the Soldier can NOT use FTA for a 2nd, Higher Level
Degree (Post Bachelor's) until they have 10 years of service. THIS DOES NOT EFFECT SOLDIERS IF FTA DID NOT FUND
ANY PORTION OF UNDERGRADUATE WORK.
o FTA will only pay for up to 16 semester hours (SH) per Fiscal year at a rate of $250/SH
o FTA will only pay for up to 130 SH for a Bachelor's Degree
o FTA will only pay for up to 39 SH for a Master's Degree
o FTA can NOT be used to pay for First Professional Degrees (PHD, MD, JD)
o Soldiers MUST pass the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test), meet Height/Weight standards and not have a adverse action
flag in order to be eligible to receive FTA.
o The Army will honor FTA requests for payment for Soldiers with approved FTA requests prior to 31 December 2013
whose eligibility will be affected by these policy changes (those currently in classes and those whose class might not have
started yet). However, no further FTA-funded enrollments will be authorized until you meet the new eligibility
o The policy changes listed above will remain in effect until further notice.
The new policy is designed to maximize the use of FTA for all Soldiers in a constrained budget environment
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the New Policy:
The Education Services Office received an email from GoArmyEd with the following bullet comments:
Soldiers who are currently actively pursuing a graduate degree, but who do not have ten years of service based on their BASD or PEBD may continue to receive Federal TA for graduate classes through the end of FY14, 30 September 2014. Beginning FY15, all Soldiers will be subject to the ten year service requirement for graduate TA if TA paid for a portion of the undergraduate degree.
Soldiers stationed OCONUS may continue to use TA for host nation language courses even if they have not yet met the one year service requirement for TA use. No other courses may be taken until the one year service requirement is met.
Prior service, regardless of Service, will be used to establish the one year eligibility date for Army TA. TA used while a member of another branch of Service does not have any impact on the use of Army TA.
Eligibility for Federal TA will be based on one year of service from the completion of Initial Entry Training (IET). For enlisted Soldiers and most Warrant Officers this consists of Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT). For commissioned officers this is their Basic Officer Leaders Course (BOLC).
The "FY'14 FTA FAQ" from GoArmyEd is posted below and provides additional guidance. Please reference this material before calling the Education Office in Raleigh as most questions can be answered on this page.