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Veteran Benefits

Each military service branch and component has their own criteria for Tuition Assistance eligibility, military service obligation, application process and restrictions. For more information, review your military service website for details on your eligibility and the process for requesting tuition assistance Should you have specific financial aid questions, visit our professionals within the UAFS Financial Aid Office.


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The Air Force currently pays 100 percent of tuition, up to $250 per semester hour and $166 quarter-hour ($4,500 annually), in off-duty courses with accredited schools that have signed the Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding in pursuit of approved degree programs. 

There are two programs available to eligible servicemembers to fund off-duty education: Tuition Assistance (TA) and Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE). Both programs pay up to 100 percent (within a fiscal year/career caps and limits) of tuition charged by educational institutions for course enrollments.  

While you’re on active duty, 100 percent of your tuition is covered at accredited institutions, up to $225 per college credit and/or $4,500 per year. The Tuition Assistance Program is available at any duty station, and participating can even help you earn bonus points toward promotion. To continue receiving these benefits, Marines must maintain a C average while enrolled.

The Coast Guard Tuition Assistance Program is designed to assist Coast Guard personnel in broadening academic or technical backgrounds by providing funding for off-duty independent education.

The National Guard Tuition Waiver is specific to paying only tuition and mandatory fees. Application to the FAFSA and Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is required.  Pell and all scholarships and waivers will be applied to tuition and mandatory fees first. NGTW can be used along with the GI Bill® and can potentially be used to cover any remaining charges depending on the specific veteran's benefits the students use.

UAFS students receiving Veterans Affairs educational benefits under Chapters 33, 30, 31, 35, or 1606 and who are attending school at least three-fourths time are eligible to apply for work-study. Students are paid at the higher of the federal minimum wage or the state/local minimum wage. Student-veterans can apply by filling out VA Form 22-8691 and submitting it to the UAFS veteran certifying official. 

How to apply for Military Tuition Assistance

Military Tuition Assistance is exclusive to currently serving members of the Armed Forces. If your Expiration - Term of Service (ETS) date falls during the academic semester you will not get tuition assistance for that semester. 

  1. Speak with your education officer, career counselor, or benefits incentive specialists to ensure you are eligible for Tuition Assistance. 
  2. Gain approval from your commander to attend classes at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith before applying for admissions. (Note: Commanders approve TA!)
  3. See your base Education Services Officer (ESO) before enrolling for classes at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith.
  4. Follow the military service branch and component-specific instructions on how to request Tuition Assistance for your course(s). Take note of the TA application instructions/deadlines specific to your branch.
  5. Submit your approved TA request in pdf format to the UAFS Veteran School Certifying Official,
  6. The School Certifying Official will process your approved TA request and posts the TA credit to your student account. If you have questions regarding TA posting to your student account, please contact Heather Chance at 479-788-7091. 

General Information about Military Tuition Assistance

  • Military Tuition Assistance is requested on a course-by-course basis, and each course must be part of an approved degree program.
  • Military Tuition Assistance is limited on the total number of hours for undergraduate degrees (lifetime limit) depending on your branch/component. It also cannot be used for a lateral degree (you cannot use TA to earn a 2nd bachelor’s degree).
  • Military Tuition Assistance can be reimbursed for up to 100% of the course cost, not to exceed $250 per credit hour; up to $4500 per fiscal year applies for Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines. Coast Guard, not to exceed $250 per credit hour; up to $3750 per fiscal year. (Fiscal year resets on October 1).
  • Military Tuition Assistance may NOT cover all course fees.
  • Military Tuition Assistance can be used in conjunction with the GI Bill®, but with some restrictions; contact an Educational Service Officer (ESO) or counselor within the Military Service for guidance.
  • Military Tuition Assistance requests should be completed before the start of the semester. Each branch/component has its own deadline.
  • Military Tuition Assistance is a tuition reimbursement program; you will not receive an up-front payment. Payments are made directly to the university and may come late in the semester.
  • Military Tuition Assistance is not a guaranteed benefit, and funding is limited. It is paid on a first come first serve basis. Students must apply within their branch of service before the start of the school term.

Additional information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.