Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA)
West Chester University of Pennsylvania's policy for the return of unearned FTA funds .
The Air Force Tuition Assistance Program can be accessed through the AF Portal.
Sailors preparing for college can find valuable information through the Navy College Program Portal.
The United States Coast Guard Education Services Portal will provide information regarding Tuition Assistance and Grants, Joint Service Transcript, and Course Support and Testing.
You can access the Web TA login at Web TA
The Army FTA Program authorizes Tuition Assistance not to exceed 100% with a cap of $250.00 per semester hour and $4,500 for the Fiscal Year.
Tips for Applying
- Student Veterans initiate the TA process through their branch portal to get approval for use of these funds.
- Once approval has been received, Student Veterans must provide a copy of certification/approval letter to the WCU Bursar’s Office.
- The WCU Bursar’s Office is responsible for handling invoicing/collecting of TA monies.
- Email Jessica Ehst questions regarding invoicing/collecting of TA monies.
BACKGROUND: The Department of Defense (DoD) recently updated its instructions regarding the utilization of Tuition Assistance. In these updated instructions, DoD announced that they will no longer authorize Tuition Assistance for classes for which a member is also receiving benefits under:
- Montgomery GI Bill® – Selected Reserve program (chapter 1606 of title 10, United States Code)
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program (chapter 1607 of title 10, United States Code)
- Active Duty program (chapter 30 of title 38, United States Code)
- Post-9/11 GI Bill® program (chapter 33 of title 38, United States Code)
To implement this policy change, DoD required all schools participating in the Tuition Assistance program to sign updated memoranda of understanding stating that the schools will not certify the same class for both Tuition Assistance and chapter 1606 or 1607. As of September 4, 2014, all participating schools have signed such memoranda.
These limitations on the concurrent receipt of both Tuition Assistance and chapter 1606 or 1607 benefits have not yet been replicated in the DoD instructions regarding the administration of chapters 1606 and 1607. Therefore, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which administers the chapter 1606 and 1607 programs based on DoD’s instructions, is not technically prohibited from processing claims for 1606 or 1607 even though Tuition Assistance has already been used for the same classes. However, the practical effect of DoD’s changes to the Tuition Assistance instructions, and the newly signed memoranda, is that schools should no longer be providing VA with certifications for classes under chapter 1606 or 1607 if the member is also using Tuition Assistance to pay for all or part of the class.
WCU School Certifying Officials, Student Veteran Members, and Military MembersEmail Mrs. Morrison at the Greg and Sandra Weisenstein Veterans Center, or call (610)-436-2862 for questions regarding these changes.
- From this point forward, WCU School Certifying Officials should not certify any class to VA for benefits under chapter 1606 or 1607 if the member is receiving Tuition Assistance for the class. Since this is a point forward requirement, there is no need to take any action on current or past classes.
- If any future terms have already been certified for both Tuition Assistance and chapter
1606 or 1607, then the WCU School Certifying Official should decertify (terminate)
those terms for GI Bill® benefits.
- The member should be contacted and advised of the limitation on concurrent receipt and be given the opportunity to choose which benefit he or she would prefer to use.
- If the member chooses to continue to use Tuition Assistance, then no further action is required.
- If the member chooses to receive chapter 1606 or 1607, then the member needs to contact DoD to discontinue his or her use of Tuition Assistance. Once decertified for Tuition Assistance, the School Certifying Official should recertify these classes for chapter 1606 or 1607 benefits.
- In the future, if a school, through the actions of the WCU Tuition Assistance Administrator and the WCU School Certifying Official (whether those are two separate individuals or one person functioning in both capacities), does certify a class for both Tuition Assistance and chapter 1606 or 1607 benefits, then the school and the Service member may be subject to the following DoD actions:
- Censure and possible suspension from the Tuition Assistance program for violations of the memorandum of understanding.
- Debt collection on the Service member for the amount of Tuition Assistance paid.
- VA will not establish or collect any debts for the amounts paid under 1606 or 1607 due to concurrent receipt.
Am I Eligible for the Program?
- Are you a member in good standing in the Army National Guard?
- Are you actively drilling with your unit?
- Are you attending a course of instruction that is included in a vocational program, associate, baccalaureate, graduate or professional degree program offered by an accredited college, university, community college, technical college or trade school?
How Do I Apply for the Program?
- Learn more about your options from the PA National Guard
- This is an up-front program and applications must be submitted before classes begin.
- A separate application must be submitted for each semester/term.
How Do I Get My Tuition Assistance?
- Once approved the DA Form 2171 is returned to you via AKO e-mail for you to take to the business/financial aid office of the school you are attending.
- The school is then responsible for billing the Education Services Offices in Lansing
- The school is paid by USPFO. Lansing or the Education Office.
- If your tuition is paid through loans, grants ETC., by the time the school receives payment the school can reimburse you or apply the funds to a future semester.
- You must provide a copy of your grades to the Education office within 30 days of completion of courses. Future requests for FTA will be denied until you have provided grades for previous semesters/terms.
- You must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in order to continue receiving FTA.
- Failing grades may result in recoupment of FTA funds.
"GI Bill®” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.