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Pay & Personnel News Updates from our Branches

FY22 Tuition Assistance Policy Announced

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ALCOAST 359/21

R 302054Z SEP 21
FM COMCOGARD FORCECOM NORFOLK VA
TO ALCOAST
BT
UNCLAS
ALCOAST 359/21
SSIC 1500
SUBJ:  FY22 COAST GUARD TUITION ASSISTANCE (TA) POLICY
A. Reserve Duty Status and Participation Manual, COMDTINST M1001.2
(series)
B. Voluntary Education Programs, DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1322.25D
C. COMCOGARD FORCECOM NORFOLK VA 290941 SEP 20/ACN 112/20
D. COMCOGARD FORCECOM NORFOLK VA 111830Z MAR 21/ACN 028/21
E. Performance, Training, and Education Manual, COMDTINST M1500.10
(series)
1. Pending the FY22 allocation of funding, this ACN announces the
FY22 TA policy, effective 01 Oct 2021.
2. Policies and eligibility criteria:
   a. Tuition Assistance (TA) is authorized for Active 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 $3750.00 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:
(Copy and Paste URL Below into Browser)

http://www.forcecom.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/FORCECOM-UNITS/ETQC/

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:
(Copy and Paste URL Below into Browser)

https://studentaid.ed.gov

(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:
(Copy and Paste URL Below into Browser)

www.dodmou.com

   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:
(Copy and Paste URL Below into Browser)

https://jst.doded.mil

   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 MyCG Ed 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 lists the academic
institution, member's 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 ESOs
prior to approving the TA application. Degree or certificate plans
can typically be found on the member's student portal page. See the
ETQC portal page for specific instructions on uploading degree 
plans:
(Copy and Paste URL Below into Browser)

https://cg.portal.uscg.mil/units/forcecom/ETQC/

   m. Reservists utilizing TA must upload their most recent point
statement to the MyCG Ed portal, prior to submitting their TA
application. Point statements will be used by ETQC to verify
compliance with participation standards for the current and
previous anniversary year.
   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, 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 ETQC-SMB-RO@uscg.mil.
   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 (E). Commands are reminded to
refrain from editing the MOU template posted on 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 shall 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 (E) 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 (E),
which will be released within the next year.
8. POC: YNC Michelle Bradt, ETQC, (757) 756-5304 or email at:
ETQC-SMB-TAG@uscg.mil.
9. Released by RDML M. W. Raymond, Commander, Force Readiness
Command (FC-C).
10. Internet release is authorized.