by Brandice J. O'Brien
Tinker Public Affairs
1/25/2013 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Several elements of the Military Tuition Assistance benefits have changed and now give more responsibility to students. Students should view their Air Force Virtual Education Center record through the Air Force portal and ensure that all personal contact data is up-to-date. One of the recent additions to the AFVEC is the new Annual Military TA Benefits Training. Introduced in fall 2012, the changes are currently being enforced. If students choose not to comply, the consequences could be grave.
The change requires students to complete the online Annual Military TA Benefits Training making them aware of their personal responsibilities. One of which is, students are accountable for ensuring their grades are posted online at the Air Force Virtual Education Center within 60 days of the class end date. If grades are not posted by the deadline, students will be prevented from applying for tuition assistance and will face reimbursement of TA. Once an involuntary payroll deduction has been processed, the funds cannot be reinstated.
Tuition Assistance invoicing and reimbursement actions are handled through the Air Force Central Office at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. If grades are missing from the AFVEC, students will be notified by email and given ways to electronically respond within 30 days. Failure to complete all actions within 30 calendar days will result in an involuntary payroll deduction.
"Many students attempt to circumvent the electronic system process by contacting the Tinker Education Center, which no longer owns that part of the process," said Dr. Lola King, 72nd Force Support Squadron Education Services Officer. "The education services counselors will work with members by advising them on what they must do to have their grades posted into the system."
Once TA is approved, should a student decide not to take a course prior to the term start date it is important that they cancel their TA request by contacting the Education Services Center. Students should also contact their school to officially withdraw. Failure to drop or withdrawal will require reimbursement. Students are strongly encouraged to work with the Education Services Center and their school to determine avenues for successful completion prior to withdrawing from a course.
As a reminder, when students are applying for tuition assistance, they need to provide an evaluated degree plan. The degree plan is obtained from the school and will include the name of the school, student's name, title of degree, and all the courses needed to complete the degree. Once an approved degree plan is on file, students are encouraged to apply for tuition assistance as early as 60 days before the term start date, but no later than 10 days prior to the start of the term.
The tuition assistance program affords eligible Airmen with tuition up to $250 per semester hour or $166.67 a quarter hour with a $4,500 fiscal-year cap.