There are two programs available to eligible Servicemembers to fund off-duty education: Tuition Assistance (TA) and Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE). Both programs pay up to 100% (within fiscal year/career caps and limits) of tuition charged by educational institutions for course enrollments. While all eligible Sailors can participate in the TA program, the objective of NCPACE is to provide personnel assigned to sea duty type 2 and 4 Unit Identification Codes (UICs) with educational opportunities comparable to those available to shore duty personnel.
NCPACE offers participating Sailors high quality learning opportunities and experiences through Distance Learning (DL) courses from post-secondary institutions accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education. NCPACE courses require no ongoing Internet connectivity to complete (some courses require a one-time download at the beginning of the course and an upload at the completion).
The next section explains Tuition Assistance/NCPACE.
What is TA/NCPACE?
Tuition Assistance (TA) and the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) are the Navy's primary financial assistance programs for voluntary education. They provide funding to eligible active-duty Sailors for tuition costs of courses taken in an off-duty status at a college, university, or vocational/technical institution, whose regional or national accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Navy tuition assistance pays for both classroom and independent study/distance learning courses. Associate, bachelor's, and master's level courses must be offered in semester hours or quarter hours (NAVADMIN 105/10). Certificate programs can be administered in semester hours, quarter hours or clock hours and must be on the list of programs approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (NAVADMIN 219/16). Credit earned must be documented on the institution's transcript.
NCPACE provides independent study/distance learning courses that are stand-alone and do not require ongoing Internet access.
Tuition Assistance (TA)/NCPACE Steps
The following steps focus on how to submit and receive approval of your TA/NCPACE application. These steps should be completed in order.
Command Approval Requirements
Active-duty enlisted Sailors and Officers, including Naval Reservists, must have a minimum of two years of military service before becoming eligible to use TA or NCPACE funding.
Command Approval of your TA/NCPACE application is required before your application is forwarded to Navy College Program for funding authorization. Your command approver must be your CO or By Direction Authority. When completing your TA/NCPACE application in MyNavy Education, enter the designated command approver’s email and ensure that your application is command approved electronically no later than 14 days before the term start date. Additionally, if you are submitting a request for NCPACE funding you will be required to enter the designated command proctor's contact information. Per NAVADMIN 243/17, the TA/NCPACE application must be command approved electronically between 120 and 14 days preceding the academic institution’s published term start date.
Your command approver will verify that you:
- have been onboard at least one year at your first permanent duty station or granted a waiver by the CO or OIC before using TA/NCPACE (NAVADMIN 190/14).
- are serving on active duty through the last day of the course term.
- have passed the most recent Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) or received a waiver.
- have passed the most recent advancement exam, if applicable, and are recommended for advancement or promotion.
- have not received a non-judicial punishment (NJP) within six months or are pending administrative separation.
- are not under instruction in initial skills training or in a duty under instruction (DUINS) training status.
A TA/NCPACE application is not funded until it is authorized by the NCVEC, at which time an authorization voucher will be generated. An email notification is sent to Sailors after command approval and again after NCVEC authorization.
Sailors using TA or NCPACE funding have specific responsibilities. It is your responsibility to report all course changes to the NCVEC or your local OCONUS Navy College Office to ensure your TA/NCPACE voucher is accurate. Additionally, you are expected to earn passing grades (C or higher for undergraduate and B or higher for graduate), and you must reimburse tuition assistance funds for any collectable grades. This section will help guide you through specific issues that may arise as you complete your courses.
Updated: January 6, 2020