Marine tuition assistance is a program that provides financial assistance to United States Marines. It may pay all or part of a Marine’s tuition and fees, and it can be used for education sought when the Marine is off duty. The assistance program is available to active duty Marines and covers off-duty voluntary studies that lead to a high school diploma, certificate, or college degree.
A marine may have 100 percent of his tuition paid through the Marine tuition assistance program, as well as any course enrollment, computer and laboratory fees the college or university may charge. However, the program rules do specify a maximum amount it will provide per semester hour and a maximum amount it will grant to one person per year. If there is a balance left after the tuition assistance program has made its contribution, the Marine is responsible for paying it or obtaining another source of funding.
Marines can use tuition assistance to pay for education at many types of schools and through a variety of formats. Tuition assistance can be used to pay tuition for vocational-technical schools, high school, or undergraduate or graduate study. This tuition assistance program will even pay for independent study and courses offered via distance learning programs. In order to be eligible for the program, however, the Marine must select a school or program that is accredited by an organization recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Sometimes enrollment in a degree- or certificate-granting program requires the serviceman to take prerequisite courses. The Marine tuition assistance program may pay for a maximum of nine semester hours of prerequisite courses. In order to obtain this assistance, the Marine has to present a letter from the school that lists the mandatory courses. The education officer will then decide whether or not to grant the prerequisite course funding.
There are some restrictions on who can obtain Marine tuition assistance funds and how they can be used. Besides being an active duty Marine, the serviceman has to be free of criminal convictions and cannot be in confinement or on leave because of a legal proceeding. He must also agree to two years of active duty service once he has completed his studies. The Marine tuition assistance program does not pay for books, continuing education credits or courses that are considered preparatory or developmental.