Military Tuition Assistance (TA) is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its members.
Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application processes and restrictions. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services.
Additionally active duty members may elect to use the GI Bill "top-up" in addition to their service provided TA to cover high cost courses.
TA is not a loan; it should be viewed as money you have earned just like your base pay. TA can be used in addition to other Federal Student Aid programs such as: Pell Grant, Federal Direct Student Loans, and Title IV Funding. Since TA is considered a first resource for educational assistance, students may not be eligible for the NYS TAP Award. Since it is not a loan, TA funds do not have to be paid back.