Online process simplifies tuition assistance

Nov 16, 2005

11/16/2005 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Airmen are only a few mouse clicks away from financial support for their college education, thanks to the tuition assistance feature on the Air Force’s virtual education center.

Online since early 2003, the center helps active-duty, Guard and reserve Airmen pursue their off-duty education from a computer.

“It’s a continual process to make [the site] a one-stop shop for an Airman’s educational needs,” said Kendall McAree, the Air Force’s education systems manager at the Pentagon. “We’re very excited to be able to now make tuition assistance available online.”

Air Force tuition assistance is a quality of life program that provides tuition assistance and fees for college courses taken by active duty Airmen during off-duty hours. It’s capped at $250 per semester hour -- $166 per quarter hour -- and is one of the most frequent reasons Airmen give for enlisting and reenlisting in the Air Force, according to the Web site.

Now that all application paperwork is online, Mrs. McAree hopes more Airmen will take advantage of the program.

“Airmen can now access the information anywhere at any time, whether they are at home or deployed somewhere,” she said. “With the online signature, all the paperwork can be routed through the appropriate channels faster and more efficiently.”

That means Airmen do not visit an education center, which is good, “because some Airmen are in places where there are no education centers,” she said.

Mrs. McAree said the new online capability also frees up education center workers, who spent a lot of time doing the paperwork involved with tuition assistance. Now they can devote more time to face-to-face counseling and assisting customers, she said.

Along with tuition assistance, Airmen can use the Web site to check their Community College of the Air Force progress, request transcript and civilian course conversion tables, distance learning information, DANTES and CLEP test results and more.

The Air Force Virtual Education Center link is available through the Air Force Portal at 

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