How to Use Navy TA to Pay for College Education Costs

The Navy Tuition Assistance Program (also referred to as “Navy College TA”) was created as an enlistment and retention incentive for Naval personnel, and it’s back and better than ever before.

Navy TA is a form of educational financial assistance, and basically the opposite of the Navy Student Loan Forgiveness Program (since it provides funds to pay for educational expenses before they’ve been accumulated).

Via the tuition assistance program, eligible Naval personnel receive free funds for tuition costs and related expenses for courses taken in an off-duty status at qualifying colleges, universities or vocational and technical educational institutions.

What are the Navy TA Rates for 2019?

The Navy TA program will pay for 100% of the tuition costs for courses required to complete a high school diploma, GED or other equivalency certificate, and up to 16 Semester Hours, 24 Quarter Hours or 240 Clock Hours for college level and other education programs.

If you qualify for the program, you’ll receive TA payments for tuition and fees, not to exceed the following limits in a single fiscal year:

  • $250.00 per semester hour
  • $166.67 per quarter hour
  • $16.67 per clock hour

Keep in mind that TA funds can only be used for up-front tuition and other qualifying fees charged by schools, colleges, universities or other educational institutions for course enrollments.

Using the rates listed above, the maximum amount of TA you can receive for this fiscal year is about $4,000.

Here’s the breakdown for how much you can get depending on your hour type:

  • $4,000.00 for semester hours
  • $4,000.08 for quarter hours
  • $4,000.80 for clock hours

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Who is Eligible for Navy TA?

Navy TA benefits are available to both Naval Officers and Enlisted active duty personnel, as well as some Naval Reservists who are on continuous active duty.

TA is also available for:

  • enlisted Naval Reservists ordered to active duty for at least 120 days
  • Naval Reserve Officers ordered to active duty for at least 2 years

To qualify for TA benefits, you must:

  • Be on active duty the entire length of the course they’re using TA to pay for
  • Attending an educational institution with regional, national or professional accreditation credentials recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Attend counseling sessions with a Navy College Office counselor or Virtual Education Center counselor
  • Provide grades for all courses they previously funded with TA benefits, and reimburse the Navy for all classes that they withdrew from or flunked (although withdrawals for involuntary reasons are sometimes permitted with command verification)
  • If an officer, agree to remain on active duty at least two years following the completion of all courses funded by TA benefits. This two year period is not tacked onto the officer’s remaining obligated service time, but runs in parallel with that, so it may not add any actual time to your service contract. Personnel who fail to complete the service obligation will be forced to repay TA funds distributed during the last two years of active duty.

Qualifying Educational Institutions

Navy TA benefits can only be used at educational institutions, schools, colleges and universities that are regionally or nationally accredited and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

To view a list of approved accrediting agencies (those who offer regional and national accreditation), please click here.

Alternatively, if you have a school in mind that you’d like to use TA to attend, contact their admissions office and ask if they qualify for the program.

Qualifying Educational Programs

Navy tuition assistance benefits can be used to pay for in-person classroom courses, college or university level degree program courses, vocational training courses, or for independent study, or distance learning and online courses, regardless of their length.

Courses covered by TA funds must be structured in Semester Hours, Quarter Hours or Clock Hours, however, and credit earned from these courses must appear on the transcript students receive from the educational institution they’re attending.

To be clear, almost any traditional in-person or online educational program will qualify for TA funds, as long as it’s being offered from a qualifying educational institution.

What Fees Qualify for TA?

Not all educational costs qualify for TA benefits.

In fact, TA funds can only be used to pay for the following fees and costs:

  • Tuition
  • Fees required for course enrollment, which must be published, mandatory and charged for enrollment in qualifying courses. These include fees like those for access to distance learning technology, lab fees, etc.
  • If courses funded by TA are cancelled, the amount of any non-reimbursable fees will become your responsibility, and you’ll have to reimburse it to either the school or the Navy (depending on whether or not it was already paid for)

Restrictions on TA Funding

Navy TA funds cannot be used to pay for any of the following costs:

  • Tuition after the drop-add period or late registration date has passed
  • Books, e-books, CD-ROMs, etc.
  • Flight training courses of any kind
  • School enrollment fees
  • Courses previously funded by TA, but not completed
  • Courses scheduled for more than one academic term at a time

TA is also restricted in each of the following ways:

  • TA is not available to Naval Reservists who aren’t on continuous active duty, enlisted Naval Reservists ordered to active duty for less than 120 days, or Naval Reservist Officers ordered to active duty for less than 2 years
  • TA is not available to those in a duty-under-instruction status, or an officer accession program that includes full-time instruction at a civilian educational institution
  • TA is not available to active duty personnel at their first permanent duty station for less than one year

How Do I Get & Use TA Funds?

The process for getting and using TA is relatively simple.

However, if you don’t complete the process in the right order, or if you don’t complete each step, then you might fail to qualify for TA funding, or worse yet, be forced to reimburse those funds later on.

Here’s the process you’ll need to follow to get and use TA benefits:

  • Contact your local Navy College Office or Virtual Education Center and receive educational counseling in person, virtually or by phone or email
  • During your educational counseling, talk to your academic advisor about which courses you will request TA funds to pay for (they need to agree on your choices or you won’t qualify for the funding)
  • Complete your TA Application in WebTA, including listing the courses you want to take, and the fees associated with those courses
  • Contact your educational institution to ensure that you’ve listed the correct amounts for tuition and fees
  • Only include fees directly required for course enrollment, and which are published, mandatory, charged for course enrollment and which do not exceed the stated caps ($250 per semester hour, $166.67 per quarter hour and $16.67 per clock hour)

Do I Have To Report Completed Courses?

Yes. After you’ve completed a course paid for with TA funds, you’ll need to report your grade to the Navy.

Grades can be reported via regular mail, email, or fax.

Here’s how to report your grades:

Reporting via Regular Mail

Get an official transcript from your educational institution, then mail the original copy to the following address:

Commanding Officer
NETPDTC TA Accounting N814
6490 Saufley Field Road
Pensacola, FL 32509-5241

Reporting via Email

Attach a scanned copy of your grades to an email and sent it to the appropriate contact below:

Coast Guard:

After sending the email, wait 7 days, then visit the Navy’s SMART website to verify that your grade has been processed.

Reporting via Fax

Fax a copy of your grade to:

(850) 473-6401, or (850) 473-6402, or (850) 473-6415, using the DSN prefix 753

What Happens If I Don’t Report My Grades?

If you don’t report your grades, both you and your command will get letters requesting your grade, or reimbursement to the Navy.

If you don’t respond to that letter, the amount of TA funds you received will be automatically withdrawn from your upcoming paychecks.

What If Get A Course Extension?

If you get a course extension, the Navy will give you up to 6 months to complete the course before requiring you to reimburse them for distributed funds.

As soon as you receive an extension from the school, make sure to contact NETPDTC N814 and let them know the following details:

  • Your name
  • Your daytime phone number
  • The name of the school where the TA was used
  • The term dates for the course fees being reimbursed
  • The course name and number
  • The extension date your school has offered you

Failing to inform NETPDTC N814 is likely to result in you being forced to reimburse the Navy for distributed funds.

What If I Have to Make Course Changes?

Sometimes you’ll need to make course changes after you’ve already applied to a course and been approved for TA funds, or even had those funds distributed on your behalf.

Here is advice for handling specific issues related to course changes:

What if I have to withdraw from the course right after enrollment?

  • If you’re still in the school’s add/drop period, then cancel the course in the official manner they require, then ask them to return your TA Voucher.
  • Provide your official cancellation paperwork to your Navy College Office or Virtual Education Center and request that they cancel the funds for this course. If you don’t do this, you’ll get letters asking for grades and reimbursement later on.
  • If the TA funds included non-reimbursable fees, you’ll need to pay whatever that amount is to the school if they weren’t already paid by the Navy, and if they have been, then you’ll need to reimburse the Navy for those related costs. If you didn’t properly withdraw from the course, then you can have the amount of your TA withdrawn from your pay

What if I have to withdraw from the course involuntarily?

  • If you have to withdraw from the course because of military duties, a military transfer, an emergency or hospitalization, then tell the school right away and officially withdraw from the course.
  • Ask your Command to write a letter to NETPDTC N814 (find the address below) confirming your reason for the withdrawal, and asking that you be relieved from paying back the TA funds distributed on your behalf.
  • If the TA funds included non-reimbursable fees, remember that you’ll owe that amount to the school, or the Navy, depending on whether or not TA had already been distributed on your behalf.

Here’s the address to use for the letter to NETPDTC N814:
Commanding Officer
NETPDTC TA Accounting N814
6490 Saufley Field Road
Pensacola, FL 32509-5241

What if I withdraw due to personal reasons?

  • You’ll have to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for whatever amount of TA funds were distributed on your behalf
  • See the reimbursement procedures below to find out how to do this

What if I receive a W, an F, a non-passing or incomplete grade?

  • You’ll have to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for whatever amount of TA funds were distributed on your behalf
  • See the reimbursement procedures below to find out how to do this

Reimbursing TA Funds

In certain instances, TA funds have to be reimbursed because the Navy thinks you’ve wasted them.

Here’s a list of the instances where you’ll need to reimburse the Navy:

  • Courses with failing grades (F)’s
  • Courses with non-passing grades (N)’s
  • Courses with incomplete grades (I)’s that last longer than 6 months
  • Courses with voluntary withdrawal grades (W)’s
  • Graduate level courses with (D) grades
  • Non-reimbursable fees for any courses that were cancelled

Reimbursement must be paid with a money order or cashier’s check made out to U.S. Treasurer, and mailed to the following address:

Commanding Officer
NETPDTC TA Accounting N814
6490 Saufley Field Road
Pensacola, FL 32509-5241

In the letter sending reimbursement to the address above, you should include a copy of your TA Authorization Voucher, or, if that’s not available, then include the following details:

  • Your name
  • Your daytime phone number
  • The name of the school where the TA was used
  • The term dates for the course fees being reimbursed
  • The course name and number

Where Can I Get More Information?

The best place to ask further questions would be to contact your local Navy College Office or Virtual Education Center.

Personnel there should be able to answer all of your questions, help you with your application, and make sure that you’re satisfying all of the associated requirements to avoid being hit with a reimbursement request.

If you want to find out about other military education benefits, be sure to view our Guide to Military Education Benefits.

In it, you’ll learn how to save thousands of dollars in education expenses with the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon Program, and Military Student Loan Repayment Programs.

Feel free to ask additional questions below in the comments section as well.

Disclaimer:Information obtained from Forget Student Loan Debt is for educational purposes only. You should consult a licensed financial professional before making any financial decisions. This site receives some compensation through affiliate relationships. This site is not endorsed or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.


Tim's experience struggling with crushing student loan debt led him to create the website Forget Student Loan Debt in 2011, where he offers advice, tips and tricks for paying off student loans as quickly and affordably as possible.