united states coast guard



R 291040 AUG 17
UNCLAS //N01560//
ACN 097/17
A. Performance, Training, and Education Manual, COMDTINST M1500.10
B.  Voluntary Education Programs, DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1322.25
1. This ALCOAST announces the FY18 Tuition Assistance policy, effective
01 Oct 2017.
2. Policies and eligibility criteria:
   A. The Coast Guard will fund tuition cost not to exceed $250.00 per
semester hour, or $166.67 per quarter hour or $16.67 per clock hour. The
annual cap for reimbursement of TA is $2250.00 (three courses) to ensure
funding remains available throughout FY18. Other Coast Guard sources for
funding or reimbursement for education expenses can be found on the
Education and Training Quota Management Command (ETQC) public-facing
UNITS/ETQC/Voluntary-Education/Active-Duty/. Only the CG Foundation and
Vander Putten education grants are administered by ETQC. Non-Coast Guard
(federal and state) sources for need-based or merit-based financial aid
can be found at (including Pell grants,
scholarships, and loans).
   B. A complete TA application (degree plan uploaded, command approved)
must be received by ETQC NO LESS than 14 days prior to the class start
date, not including the date of submission to ETQC nor the class start
date.  There are no exceptions or waivers to this policy.  If students
self-identify as being eligible for TA and begin a class without an
approved TA authorization from ETQC, the student is solely responsible
for all cost incurred for the course(s). This timeline is necessary to
ensure members receive an approved TA authorization prior to the start
of a course as required by Ref(B) to ensure schools are meeting the
intent of Presidential Executive Order 13607.
   C. Units are strongly encouraged to build sufficient timelines to ensure
applications are completed and command approved well in advance of the
class start date. Additionally, units are also strongly encouraged to
have at least one alternate ESO, designated in writing, to ensure no
single point of failure exists which could prevent the timely approval
of TA applications at the unit level.
   D. Reimbursement of TA will be required from the service member if the
student does not successfully complete the course(s). For the purpose of
reimbursement, a successful course completion is defined as a grade of a
C or higher for undergraduate courses, a B or higher for graduate
courses, and a pass for pass/fail grades.
   E. Schools authorized to receive TA funding must participate and have a
signed MOU with the DoD. The authorized school list can be found at the
following website:
   F. Tuition Assistance will not pay for any fees. Any other college
expense not listed as tuition is considered a fee (e.g. lab, graduation,
internet usage, etc.).
   G. Mandatory degree plans are required after the completion of the
second course or 6 semester hours using TA. If a degree plan has not
been received by ETQC after the second course, no further TA will be
authorized until the degree plan has been provided. In order to be
eligible for TA, members must have a degree plan, showing the member’s
name, approved by an ESO and uploaded into the myEducation portal after
the second course funded by TA. Courses not listed on the approved
degree plan will not be authorized TA by ETQC. See the ETQC web site for
specific instructions on uploading degree plans:
   H. Lifetime credit hour limits for TA are as follows: 130 semester hours
for undergraduate work, and 40 semester hours for graduate work. Once a
member has reached credit hour limits, TA will no longer be authorized
regardless if the member has obtained a degree or not.
   I. Federal student aid loans obtained by Coast Guard members for the
purpose of funding their education will not be considered as a
duplication of benefit and not subtracted when calculating the use of
   J.  The restrictions applied to foreign language courses in Art.
11.H.2.e of Ref(A) are removed. TA will be authorized for foreign
language courses as long as they are a requirement listed on the
student’s degree plan. Foreign language courses can also be used to fill
the requirements for general or free electives.
   K.  Deployable units engaging in the Afloat Education Program with an
Embarked Instructor are reminded to follow the guidelines outlined in
Art. 11.G of Ref(A). Commands are reminded to not edit the MOU template
posted on the ETQC’s website to meet their unique needs. Any deviation
should be vetted through ETQC for approval prior to starting the
3. The following policies remain in effect:
   A. TA is authorized for active duty military members eligible for TA.
Member must be on Active Duty or a Reservist on long-term orders greater
than 180 days. Back-to-back short-term orders adding up to more than 180
continuous days does not apply and TA will not be authorized.
   B. TA is only available for courses leading to the first associate,
bachelor, and masters degrees. TA is not authorized to members pursuing
an additional degree at the same or lower level regardless of how they
received their first degree (e.g.: if the applicant already has a
bachelors degree, TA shall not be authorized for an associates or
bachelors degree even if the degree was obtained at a service academy,
through the CG advanced education program, via grants or loans, VA
benefits, or paid for out of the member’s own pocket). TA is not
authorized for any degree above a Master’s degree, including Juris
Doctor (JD), doctoral degrees (PhD), similar terminal degrees, or
   C. COs, OICs or first O-6/GS-15 in the chain-of-command are expected to
ensure members meet the following eligibility criteria:   
      (1) Satisfactory progress toward completion of unit quals.
      (2) Satisfactory progress toward watch station quals.
      (3) Satisfactory proficiency of craft, and
      (4) Satisfactory conduct during the six months prior.
(Note): TA approval authority can be delegated to the local ESO but
shall not be delegated below GS-9 or E-7 paygrades.
4. All additional eligibility constraints and requirements listed in Ref
(A) not addressed in this ALCOAST still apply.
5. Members are strongly encouraged to seek ESO guidance for deciding
which college or university maximizes military training, credits-by-
exam, and provides the best value for tuition dollars. ESOs can also
help identify other sources of funding, if desired.
6. These changes will be reflected in the next revision of Ref (A),
which will be released within the next year.
7. For field level questions please refer to your local ESO. Questions
from unit ESOs should be directed to CWO4 Michael D. Watson (ETQC) at
(405)954-7233 or email at:
8. Released by RDML K. M. Smith, Commander, Force Readiness Command.
9. Internet release authorized.