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How Do I Apply for National Guard Tuition Assistance Benefits?

National Guard Tuition Assistance (TA) (also called Federal Tuition Assistance or FTA) can provide you with up to 100% of the cost of courses if you study when you are off duty. Tuition Assistance is available to both sections of the Guard, the Army National Guard (ARNG) and the Air National Guard (ANG).

To be eligible for National Guard Tuition Assistance you must meet the eligibility requirements for the program. For ARNG FTA you must either be an actively drilling soldier or you must agree to serve 4 years if you are a commissioned officer. To be FTA eligible you may not have any adverse flagging actions according to Army regulation 600-8-2 paragraph 1-12 and 1-15.You must also have less than 9 AWOL periods within 12 month prior to submitting your FTA Application. The course must be taken at an accredited institution. Your state may also offer additional educational incentives to National Guard members. Check with the Financial Aid Office at your institution for more information about state benefits for Guard members.

You can only receive FTA for one credential at each level of education including: a High School Diploma or GED, Certificate or License, Associate, Baccalaureate, Masters or first professional degree.

The FTA Application must be submitted online and cannot be submitted later than 30 days after the date the course begins. The State Education Services Officer (ESO) can further restrict this time frame so check with your ESO before signing up for classes to clearly understand all the deadlines and restrictions.

Part of the application process includes a “Degree Plan of Record” where you must explain your academic goals. The Degree Plan must be completed before you finish 9 hours of course work. However, the application will prompt you to do this and you should do it when you apply. Keep a copy of your Degree Plan on hand because you will have to resubmit an updated version of it every time you apply for FTA. The ESO must approve your application. After approval either you or the ESO will submit it to your school. You will be responsible for reporting any changes in your courses before the last day of the school’s late registration period.

For more information about the online application process go to the National Guard’s website and follow the prompts in their section on education found at:

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