15 August, 2007 - The Tuition Assistance Program is a key benefit many Sailors use to continue their education. However, some new regulations within the TA program will make sure that only those Sailors with the drive to succeed in the Navy can continue to receive these educational privileges.
With the new regulations in effect as of June 25, some new requirements have been set and some old ones will be more strictly enforced. There are now six requirements that must be met before a Sailor can use Tuition Assistance.
The first requirement is that the member must have passed his/her most recent advancement exam. The only exception for this is if the command gives approval for personnel who have been working outside of their rate. The second requirement is that the member must have passed their most recent physical readiness test or have a medical waiver which states that they were exempt. Another requirement is that the member has to have to been recommended for promotion or advancement. Personnel can not be awarded non-judicial or courts-martial punishment and a Sailor must not be under instruction in initial skills training or in a duty under instruction training status. The final requirement is that Sailors must be highly encouraged to complete all warfare and professional qualifications prior to requesting TA.
"I think this helps the Navy by letting them know that the people that they are paying to go to college and take classes are actually committed to the Navy," said Susan Wheless, a staff member at Navy College. "In the end, this is shown by the servicemember doing the things they need to do in order to get promoted."
There are commitments Sailors must adhere to while using TA. Officers will incur a minimum two-year service obligation commencing with their completion of the course taken using TA.
Enlisted personnel with less than 20 years service are required to have at least one year remaining on their current enlistment. Sailors can provide documentation from the command that states that there is intent to re-enlist/extend.
"The Navy has been one of the only branches that has continued to support servicemembers furthering their education," said Wheless.
For more information about the new TA regulations, contact the staff at Navy College at 573-4527 or visit the Navy College website at www.navycollege.navy.mil.