Air Force Reverses Cuts to Tuition Assistance

Pamphlets regarding educational benefits are displayed
Pamphlets regarding educational benefits are displayed as part of the 2018 Fairchild Air Force Base Education Fair at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, on Oct. 18, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

The Air Force has announced that it will increase military tuition assistance (MilTA) funding for fiscal 2021 just two short months after cutting the amount airmen could receive.

Effective immediately, the maximum MilTA that airmen and space professionals can receive has been increased to $4,500 per fiscal year.

In a reversal of a two-month-old reduction in the popular education benefit program, funding has been restored to the previous year's levels. Air Force and Space Force members are now eligible to receive as much as $4,500 per fiscal year, up from a reduced $3,750.

Members can receive reimbursement from the service for up to $250 per semester hour or $166.66 per quarter-hour for attending college-level classes while on duty.

Classes must be approved by the chain of command, and all participating members must meet certain requirements to receive reimbursement.

See: Details on Air Force Tuition Assistance

In a statement, Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, said, "We are excited our members are taking advantage of their time under COVID-19 to improve themselves and pursue education. The Department of the Air Force was able to reprioritize funding to encourage our service members to maximize their development through these educational benefits."

The Air Force Credentialing Opportunities Online (AF COOL) preparatory course funding for fiscal 2021 was also returned to its previous funding levels.

The additional funding comes as the service recognized an increased usage of tuition assistance that began at the start of COVID-19 and has continued into the current fiscal year.

Every branch of the military, including the Reserve and National Guard, are eligible for some form of tuition assistance; the rules may differ for each branch. Check out specific details for all branches.

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