TA POLICIES, REGULATIONS AND GUIDELINES for FY 2021

This supplements and secures all Marine Corps Tuition Assistance policies as found in  the Marine Corps Order 1560.25, and the FY21 TA MARADMIN, uniting and thus, cancelling MARADMINs 639/11, 093/16, and 218/19.

1. TA is authorized only for Marines who meet the standards and eligibility criteria contained herein and in MARADMIN ???/21. Initial and continued usage of TA is at commanders’ discretion. Commanders shall ensure Marines meet all eligibility criteria:

(a) TA is authorized only for tuition charges and is authorized for up to 100 percent of tuition and fees including lab, technology, and distance learning fees, not to exceed $250 per semester hour, or $166.67 per quarter hour, or $16.67 per clock hour, for undergraduate and graduate courses, and $4,500 per individual per fiscal year. Marines are responsible for costs that exceed TA authorized funding limits, as well as all non-tuition fees including, but not limited to, costs associated with room, board, equipment, supplies, books/materials, exams, insurance, parking, transportation, admissions, registration, or fines.

(b) Marines shall be eligible for promotion per MCO P1400.31C and P1400.32D.

(c) Marines have no minimum time in service requirement for utilization of TA.  Additionally, Marines awaiting training status are eligible to participate in the program.

(d) Prior to TA approval, first-time applicants will complete:

(1) the Personal Financial Management (PFM) Program course J3OP-

      US1395-Personal Readiness Seminar (PRS), accomplished within 90

      days of arrival at the First Permanent Duty Station, on Joint   

      Knowledge Online (JKO), or by registering for any upcoming PRS

      class on any Marine Corps installation;

(2) the TA Orientation brief through the installation Voluntary Education   

      (VOLED) Center;

(3) at the discretion of the installation Education Services Officer (ESO),

      the “Higher Education Preparation” online training, found on JKO.

The installation VOLED Center shall document completion of these requirements to the Marine’s official TA account as found in the Navy College Management Information System (NCMIS), per MCO 1560.25. Completion of the PFM Program course shall be submitted to the Unit Education Officer prior to attending the TA Orientation brief.

(e) First-time TA applicants will receive authorized TA funding for only one course, unless documentation is provided that the Marine has completed an associate’s degree, or at least 60 academic semester credits (or quarter-credit equivalent), with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5, on a 4-point grading scale.

(f) Marines will not actively participate in more than two TA-funded classes simultaneously.  

(g) TA funds for approved involuntary withdrawal waivers and failed courses will count toward individual fiscal year ceilings, per reference (f).

(h) TA will be authorized for only one course in the next academic term in the event that

      (1) the undergraduate cumulative GPA falls between 2.0 and 2.5

      (2) a grade of “D” or “F” is received in any course during the previous term in

            which TA was used  

      (3) a voluntary or involuntary withdrawal occurred from any course during the

 previous term, per reference (f).

(i) Marines using TA will maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher after completing 15 semester hours (or quarter-hour equivalent), in undergraduate studies, or a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher after completing six semester hours (or equivalent), in graduate studies.  If the GPA for TA-funded courses falls below these minimum GPA limits, TA will not be authorized. 

(j)  Career and technical education certificate programs who wish to receive Tuition Assistance will:

     (1) be accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of

           Education

     (2) be approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs

     (3) have a signed DOD Memorandum of Understanding. 

All Marines are eligible to obtain one TA-funded certificate during active duty service.

(k) Marines who have completed an initial master’s degree through the Military Studies program at Command and Staff Marine Corps University, will be eligible for TA funding for courses toward a second master’s degree at the same TA rates contained herein. All current Marine Corps TA policies and criteria outlined herein and in MCO 1560.25 will be in effect, including all incurred time-in-service obligations. Command and Staff Marines shall present their Marine Corps University transcripts to the VOLED Center prior to receiving the TA Orientation brief and submission of TA applications.

(l) Marines who fail to successfully complete a course must reimburse received TA funds.  Successful course completion is defined for the purpose of reimbursement as a grade of “C” or higher for undergraduate courses, a “B” or higher for graduate courses, and a “pass” for “pass/fail” courses.  TA funds will be recouped from Marines for “D” and “F”/“fail” grades, unresolved “I”/Incomplete, or courses from which the Marine voluntarily withdrew, resulting in a “W” grade.  Recoupment for withdrawals related to duty, medical or emergency circumstances may be waived.  Waiver requirements and processes are contained in MCO 1560.25.  Recoupment for undergraduate grades of “D” or below and graduate grades of “C” or below will not be waived.

(m) Open issues in Marines’ TA accounts in NCMIS, including incomplete courses, reimbursement issues, and waivers, will be resolved, and posted to the Marine’s NCMIS TA account prior to command approval and authorization of any future TA requests.

(n) TA is not authorized for fees related to certifications, license exams, or credentials.

(o) Reserve Component officers on active duty orders/mobilization must have an End of Active Service (EAS) date of two years beyond the completion date of the requested class to receive TA funding, in addition to the requirements for officers in MCO 1560.25. Officers who end their active service and transition seamlessly to Active Reserve (AR) program may use service time in AR program toward the two-year time-in-service requirement.

(p) Enlisted Marines must have an EAS at least 60 days beyond the completion date of the course to receive TA funding.

(q) TA is not authorized for non-credit courses, training programs, or programs under continuing education or workforce development. 

(r) Marines assigned to Military Occupation School or residential Professional Military Education (i.e., Command and Staff college, Corporals Course, Sergeants Course, Career Course, etc.) shall not receive TA funding until they return to their regular or permanent duty, per reference (a).

(s) Marines attending vocational/technical certification programs with more than one class or module shall receive TA funding for a maximum of two classes or modules at a time.

(t) TA is not authorized for graduate studies beyond the master’s degree level.

2.  TA requests shall be submitted only within 60 days of the start date of the class.

3.  Marine Warrant Officers who have not completed a Baccalaureate degree of any kind, must have an EAS date at least 60 days beyond the end date of the course to receive TA funding. Warrant Officers who currently hold a Baccalaureate degree must have an EAS date at least 24 months beyond the end date of the TA-funded course.  

4.  Marines shall contact their base Voluntary Education and Career Centers to ensure full compliance with all current Marine Corps TA policies and criteria as outlined herein and in MCO 1560.25. TA authorization is contingent upon responsible stewardship of available funds by the installation’s ESO and education support personnel. The ESO retains the discretion to treat each TA application solely on the merits of the individual case. 

5.  Marines are encouraged to participate in all appropriate personal and professional readiness programs, including, but not limited to:

(a) United States Military Apprenticeship Program

(b) College Level Examination Program (CLEP)/Defense Activity for Non-

      Traditional Education Support Subject Standardized tests (DSST) credit-by-

      exam as appropriate

(c)  Marine Corps Credentialing Opportunities On-Line.