Military Tuition Assistance (TA) provides financial support for active duty, National Guard, and Reserve personnel. Colleges that qualify for these programs range from traditional, 4-year academic institutions to vocational/technical and online schools. TA can fund up to 100% of college tuition and fees as long as the cost does not exceed $250 per semester credit hour ($166 per quarter credit hour) and does not exceed $4,500 over a fiscal year running from October 1st through September 30th.
Each military branch has its own program, with additional requirements and enrollment restrictions, so be sure to visit your local branch office or a virtual education center to learn more. The following colleges offer some of the best bang-for-your-buck options for helping military members with financing their educations.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||Tuition (in-state) 2017-2018*||Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits|
|The College of St. Rose||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Albany, NY||$31,612||Waives application fee, awards credit for military training, tuition discounts, military student scholarships|
|University of Florida||4-year, Public||Gainesville, FL||$6,381||Credit for military training, in-state tuition without residency, military student scholarships, DOD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) tuition assistance|
|CUNY College of Staten Island||4-Year, Public||Staten Island, NY||$7,090||Waives application fee, awards credit for military training, in-state tuition without residency, military student scholarships|
|New Castle School of Trades||2-Year, Private for-profit||New Castle, PA||$19,410||DOD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Tuition Assistance, awards credit for military training|
|Quinebaug Valley Community College||2-Year, Public||Danielson, CT||$4,306||In-State tuition without residency, awards credit for military training, tuition discounts to military students, military student scholarships|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
The schools listed above offer programs that fit Military Tuition Assistance program guidelines, as well as offering either supplemental tuition assistance services specific to military personnel or tuition discounts to reduce the total cost of attendance. Below are more detailed descriptions of these colleges.
The College of St. Rose
The College of St. Rose offers a comprehensive tuition assistance package, including waived application costs and awarded credits for military education and training (thus reducing the overall cost of enrollment). The College of St. Rose is rated as the #1 Military Friendly private non-doctoral university in the U.S. based on financial assistance. This liberal arts college boasts a small student to teacher ratio, fostering a tightly-knit, community-based learning experience.
University of Florida
The University of Florida is currently ranked in the top ten Military Friendly Tier 1 research institutions, and provides programs in Agricultural and Life Sciences (encompassing 21 undergraduate majors), Construction and Planning (focused on sustainable energy), and Engineering (oriented towards multidisciplinary problem-solving). This school hosts a nationally recognized Emerging Pathogen Institute and is home to an expansive ocean research program oriented towards coastal preservation and economic support of coastal economies. To support active duty military personnel the University of Florida offers accelerated courses and allows students to return following their deployment without fees or academic penalties.
CUNY College of Staten Island
While the City University of New York (CUNY) College of Staten Island (CSI) does not currently offer tuition discounts to military personnel, the school demonstrates a commitment to serving the military community through application fee waivers. Ranked as the #1 Military Friendly large public school in the United States, CUNY CSI offers associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences.
New Castle School of Trades
This college focuses on tradesmanship by giving students state-of-the-art equipment and extensive educational programs that include automotive technology, construction trades, and wind and solar technology maintenance. Rated in the top ten Military Friendly non-traditional schools in the nation, NCST supports military personnel through credits offered for military training and a lack of penalties for deployed military students. This school supplements its curriculum with off-site trips to professional locations and guest lectures from industry experts. NCST also provides professional development advising and hosts career fairs focused on employer interviews for graduating students.
Quinebaug Valley Community College
Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) provides mentoring programs for new active duty military students. This school offers associate degree programs in allied health, business, communications, computer science, technology studies, and many other fields. QVCC also has certificate programs specific to professional work requirements for various career tracks, including (but not limited to) administrative medical office skills, advanced accounting, machine technology, phlebotomy, and web design.