Army simplifies TA process for Soldiers

Sep 28, 2007

By Julia LeDoux
Staff writer

Getting help to pay for college is as simple as clicking a computer mouse for active duty Soldiers and members of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve who are on active duty status.

Army tuition assistance is now only available through the Web site, said Joyce Peterson, director of the Barden Education Center.

“There will be no paper based TA forms,” she explained. “Soldiers will have equal access to TA regardless of geographical location. Other benefits include shorter lines at the Army Education Center, shorter lines in the on-post school offices and less running around for Soldiers.”

The Web site is a virtual gateway for Soldiers to request tuition assistance anytime online for classroom, distance learning and eArmyU online college courses, Peterson said. It also provides a single location for colleges and universities to process credit-bearing enrollments, submit Soldier grades, and verify and prepare invoices for payment. The new site also affords centralized support and access for troubleshooting and information about Army TA processes and policies.

Soldiers who were previously enrolled in the eArmyU program and who have maintained the minimum standard Army TA grade point average of 2.0 automatically have access to GoArmyEd. Soldiers must be enrolled on the Web site in order to receive tuition assistance for classes that begin May 1 and beyond.

Under the new system, TA eligibility checks are automated. If assistance is approved, a Soldier’s request for enrollment is passed electronically to the school. If assistance is disapproved, the Soldier will be notified of what corrective actions must be taken.

Soldiers who attend a school with courses listed in GoArmyEd receive TA upfront. Those who attend a school that does not have any courses available on the Web site are required to request assistance before the start of class and to pay their tuition themselves. Authorized reimbursement will be paid through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service directly to the Soldier’s bank account following the receipt of a passing grade.

Soldiers who are not in eArmyU or those who did not receive an invitation to enroll through their Army Knowledge Online e-mail account, must request a GoArmyEd login by choosing the “new users” tab before requesting tuition assistance, explained Peterson. The tab will guide users through the process of setting up a GoArmyEd account. Peterson stressed that obtaining a GoArmyEd login and password does not obligate a Soldier to participate in eArmyU or any other college courses.

Soldiers are required to obtain their commander’s signature on a TA Statement of Understanding each year.  Sergeants first class and above may sign for themselves in place of their commander. The agreement must be recertified by the Soldier online each semester he is enrolled in school.

If a Soldier must withdraw from class for personal reasons, the withdrawal must be done online through the Web site and will be forwarded to the school. Withdrawals for personal reasons require the Soldier to repay TA, and will also be initiated through the Web site.

Soldiers who withdraw from class for military reasons may have their TA repayment waived.

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