LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Changes to the application process and some of the guidelines for the Air Force tuition assistance program go into effect with classes that begin after Oct. 1. These changes will require supervisors to bear more responsibility for their Airmen filing for TA.
“Supervisors will have in-depth control and will now be held accountable,” said Joan Landers, 56th Force Support Squadron Education Services chief. “We’re going to hold them responsible for their Airmen’s eligibility.”
The redefined role of the supervisor is to “work with their Airmen to ensure their educational goals are achievable without impacting the mission,” according to the Air Force Virtual Education Center’s Q&A. Supervisors will be kept up-to-date on their Airmen’s progress through email.
Airmen must have their supervisor review any unfavorable information files, their status on a control roster, and a referral enlisted or officer performance review and then approve the TA application. Supervisors cannot approve an application if the applicant has not passed their physical training test. For foreign language courses, only those that are part of a degree or the approved shortage list will be made available, and Airmen can not go for multiple degrees of the same level under TA.
Once their TA has been approved through a process similar to LeaveWeb, Airmen can select each of their courses efficiently with the signature of their supervisor. As different as the process may be, education services does not want their students to feel overwhelmed.
“We don’t want to scare them,” Landers said. “Education is important, and it is very important to me.”
One aspect remaining the same for TA is how much assistance is available. For every fiscal year Airmen can receive up to $4,500 with a maximum of $250 each semester hour.
To prepare Airmen for the new TA rules, emails and tutorials will be made readily available through AFVEC.