Online tuition assistance to be available soon

Melanie Salazar

Applying for tuition assistance will soon get easier for active duty college students.
Beginning Oct. 1, students will no longer have to have to visit the education office to apply for tuition assistance, as the process will become available online.
The same site students use to check the status of their Community College of the Air Force degree and search other Air Force degree programs, can now be used to apply for tuition assistance.
The new system, available on the Air Force Virtual Education Center at www.my.af.mil, will allow students to apply for tuition assistance with the schools listed in the Cannon Education Center catalog.
They can also apply for courses that have the same term start dates, as well as fees provided in the Air Force Approved Fee list.
The application itself will be the same one students have filled out in the past. Approval is also done completely online with the new program, and should take two businsess days.
Though students can still visit the education office for their higher education needs, Base Education and Training Services Officer Gerry Juchniewicz said the new online TA program makes the application process more convenient.
“The main advantage is if people are deployed or TDY, they don’t have to fax documents back and forth,” Ms. Juchniewicz said. “It streamlines the process so students can enroll for college online and then turn right around and apply for tuition assistance. If you plan ahead, you can do it from the comfort of your home.”
Students without a home computer can apply for tution assistance online at the education office in room 2090 of building 600.
While the implementation of the new online TA program can keep people from physically having to visit the education office, new students are still required to meet with a counselor before applying.
In 2004, the Air Force awarded $140 million in tuition assistance for almost 100,000 Airmen, according to the TA brochure. For those who qualify, the program pays 100 percent of their college tuition up to $250 per semester hour and $4,500 per fiscal year.
More than 26,000 students received a degree in 2004 with the help of tuition assistance, one of the most common reasons for enlisting and re-enlisting, according to the brochure.
Base Training and Educaiton Services will soon be emailing more information about the change to students and will also be dropping off brochures to all squadrons.
Their office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 784-4184.