VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Air Force wide, Active Duty and Reserve Airmen are entitled to Tuition Assistance, a government funded program that helps Airmen pay for college classes.
Currently, the Air Force pays for tuition, up to $250 per credit hour or up to $4,500 annually in off duty courses with accredited schools.
“Tuition assistance is a great way for active duty members to further their education without dipping into their GI Bill benefits,” said Matthew Gostomski, an education technician at Vandenberg’s Education Center.
TA funds one degree per education level with no more than 124 semester hours for a bachelor’s degree and 42 semester hours for a master’s degree.
Before applying, students must attend a TA class at the Education Center and create an educational goal and e-degree plan in the Air Force Virtual Education Center. After the class is taken, TA can be requested in AFVEC for each course and submitted within 45 days and no later than 7 days before the term start date.
“I haven’t had any of my classes turned down,” said Staff Sgt. Peter Hernandez, a Vandenberg firefighter currently enrolled in TA at Columbia Southern University.
Those enrolled in classes must maintain a 2.0 GPA (3.0 for graduate level courses) in order to remain eligible for TA, which makes it important to make sure you are ready to take on the classes.
“If you’re not fully prepared to take on college classes, don’t,” said Hernandez. “Don’t waste it. If you can’t reach a C average for the course, you will owe the money for the course.”
Classes that are failed and reimbursed can be applied for once more through AFVEC.
“I was able to achieve my goal and get my Community College of the Air Force Associates degree without having to pay for it,” said Hernandez. “I can now use it to further my education. I am currently enrolled to obtain my bachelor’s degree in fire administration.”
For more information on TA, you can contact the Education Center at (805)-605-5904.
TA classes are offered at the education center every Wednesday at 9 a.m.