united states coast guard

ALCOAST COMMANDANT NOTICE                                       CANCEL DATE  28 SEP 2021

R 290941 SEP 20
UNCLAS //N01500//
ACN 112/20
A. Reserve Policy Manual, COMDTINST M1001.28 (series)
B. Voluntary Education Programs, DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1322.25D
D. Performance, Training, and Education Manual, COMDTINST M1500.10C
1. Pending the FY21 allocation of funding, this ACN announces the FY21TA policy,
effective 01 Oct 2020.
2. Policies and eligibility criteria:
    a. Tuition Assistance (TA) is authorized for Active Duty military and Reserve
members affiliated with the Selected Reserve (SELRES). In accordance with REF (A),
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 authorized 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 website: 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. Associates to Master’s degree bridge programs are authorized. However, members who
earn a Master’s Degree via this type of programs are not authorized to pursue a Bachelor’s,
or any lower level academic degree using TA. Members are encouraged to seek ESO counseling
prior to enrolling in this type of program.
    g. Members who have an Associate, Bachelor, Master's or no degree, may use TA to pursue
two cultural immersion or language classes when assigned OCONUS.
    h. 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.).
    i. 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. Do not include the date of submission to ETQC or the class start date within the 14
day calculation. 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 (B) and in order to ensure schools are meeting the intent of
Presidential Executive Order 13607.
    j. 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:
    k. 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 visiting:
    l. 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 membes student portal page. See the
ETQC portal page for specific instructions on uploading degree plans:
    m. Reservists utilizing TA 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.
    n. 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 level.
    o. 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 (C). 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
    p. 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.
    q. 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.
    r. 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 (D). 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 SELRES.
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 (D) 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 (D), which will be released
within the next year.
8. Point of Contact: CWO Anthony D. Nash, ETQC, (757) 756-5338 or email at:
9. Released by G. Brignoni, Director, Force Readiness Command.
10. Internet release is authorized.