united states coast guard

ALCOAST COMMANDANT NOTICE                          CANCEL DATE  03 OCT 2020

R 041541 OCT 19
UNCLAS //N01500//
ACN 122/19
A. Performance, Training, and Education Manual, COMDTINST M1500.10 (series)
B. Reserve Policy Manual, COMDTINST M1001.28 (series)
C. Voluntary Education Programs, DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1322.25D
1. Pending the FY20 allocation of funding, this ACN announces the FY20 TA
policy, effective 01 Oct 2019. This policy expands TA to include members of
the SELRES (2.A.) and a first academic certificate (2.B.).
2. Policies and eligibility criteria:
    a. TA is authorized for Active Duty military and if funded in the FY20
Coast Guard appropriation, Reserve members affiliated with the Selected Reserve
(SELRES). In accordance with REF (B), members of SELRES must be drilling reservists
with satisfactory progress in the current anniversary year and have met the
participation standards for the previous anniversary year.
    b. TA is now available for courses leading to the first certificate,
Associate, Bachelor, and Master’s degree. TA is not authorized for members
pursuing additional degrees at the same or lower level regardless of how they
received their first degree (e.g.: if the applicant already has a Bachelor’s
degree, TA must not be authorized for an Associates or Bachelor’s 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), and similar
terminal degrees.
    c. The Coast Guard will fund tuition cost, not to exceed $250.00 per
semester hour, $166.67 per quarter hour, or $16.67 per clock hour. The annual
cap for reimbursement of TA is $2250.00 per member. Other Coast Guard sources
of funding and reimbursement programs for education expenses can be found on
the Education and Training Quota Management Command (ETQC) public-facing
Voluntary-Education/Active-Duty/. The CG Foundation Education Grant (CGFEG)
is the only grant 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).
    d. 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 TA.
    e. Members who have a Bachelor, Associate, or no degree, may use TA to
pursue their first certificate, at any academic level; however members who
currently hold a Master’s degree, or higher, are not authorized to use TA to
pursue a certificate. Earning a certificate does not preclude members from
using TA, as authorized, for degrees; however, members should be aware of
their lifetime credit hour limits. Certificates earned from completing course
requirements, as part of a degree program and indicated on a member’s degree
plan, does not count toward the first certificate.  
    f. TA is not authorized for any fees. Any other college expense not listed
as tuition is considered a fee (e.g. lab, graduation, internet usage, etc.).
    g. A complete TA application (degree plan uploaded, points for drilling
Reservist, 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 costs 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 (C) and in order to ensure schools are meeting the intent of
Presidential Executive Order 13607.
    h. 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:
    i. It is the member’s responsibility to establish a plan for successfully
completing their certificate or degree requirements. It is strongly encouraged
to engage your local Education Services Officer (ESO) to assist with this plan.
Additionally, members are encouraged to submit their Joint Service Transcript
to their Academic Institution. The Joint Service Transcript (JST) translates
your military experience into academic credits that have the potential to reduce
the number of credits required to complete your certificate or degree program.
A copy of your JST can be submitted electronically to your institution by
    j. Mandatory degree plans are required after the completion of a second
course or 6 semester hours using TA. Mandatory academic certificate plans are
required before enrolling in and attending the first course within a certificate
program funded with TA. If a degree plan has not been uploaded in the myEducation
portal after the second course or prior to the start of certificate program,
TA will not be authorized until this requirement is met. In order to be eligible
for TA, members must have a legible certificate or degree plan that is in a
PDF format and clearly list the academic institution, members printed name, and
degree or certificate level. The degree or certificate plan must also list all
courses required to complete the academic program. Courses not listed on an
approved degree or certificate plan are not eligible for TA and will not be
authorized by ETQC. All degree plans must be validated by ESO’s prior to
approving the TA application. Degree or certificate plans can typically be
found on the member’s student portal page. See the ETQC web site for specific
instructions on uploading degree plans:
    k. Reservists utilizing tuition assistance must upload their most recent
point statement to the myEducation portal, prior to submitting their TA
application. Point statements will be used by ETQC to verify compliance with
participation standards.
    l. Units are strongly encouraged to build sufficient timelines to ensure
applications are completed, degree or certificate plans are uploaded, and
member receives command approval 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
    m. After completion of a degree or certificate program, members shall
ensure an official copy of their college transcript is sent to ETQC, in
accordance with REF (D). Official transcripts must list the type of degree
and the date of degree/certificate and the date of completion/conferment.
Paper copies must be sent in a sealed envelope by the degree granting
academic institution to: USCG ETQC Registrar’s Office 300 E. Main Street, STE
1201, Norfolk, VA 23510 or transmitted securely to 
    n. 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.
    o. Lifetime credit hour limits for TA are as follows: 130 semester hours
for undergraduate work (or quarter/clock hours equivalent) 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 certificate.  CG members may only use TA to fund one vocational/technical
program that awards in clock hours.
    p. Deployable units engaging in the Afloat Education Program with an Embarked
Instructor are reminded to follow the guidelines outlined in Article 11.G of
REF (A). Commands are reminded to refrain from editing 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 course(s).
3. COs, OICs or first O-6/GS-15 in the chain-of-command are expected to screen
members using the Tuition Assistance Counseling Worksheet, Form ETQC-4147-2,
to ensure members meet the following eligibility criteria:
    a. Satisfactory progress toward completion of unit quals,
    b. Satisfactory progress toward watch station quals,
    c. Satisfactory proficiency of craft,
    d. Satisfactory conduct during the six months prior, and
    e. Satisfactory progress towards participation standards if member is
4. TA approval authority can be delegated to the local ESO but must not be
delegated below GS-9 or E-7 paygrades.
5. All additional eligibility constraints and requirements listed in REF (A)
not addressed in this ACN still apply.
6. Members are strongly encouraged to seek ESO guidance when 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.
7. These changes will be reflected in the next revision of REF (A), which
will be released within the next year.
8. Please refer to your local ESO for field level questions. Questions from
unit ESOs should be directed to CWO2 Anthony D. Nash (ETQC) at (757) 756-5337
or email at:
9. Released by RDML B. K. Penoyer, Commander, Force Readiness Command.
10. Internet release is authorized.