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Civilian tuition assistance increases to $1M, expands eligibility

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- The Air Force has received an additional $400,000, for a total of $1 million, for its 2017 civilian tuition assistance program, and all permanent, full-time appropriated fund employees, including those in wage-grade positions, are now eligible to participate.

Employees are required to have a current acceptable performance appraisal on file and are eligible whether or not they occupy a centrally managed position.

New for 2017, the standard TA rates have increased to 75 percent of the cost of tuition, not to exceed $250 per semester hour versus $187.50. The new fiscal year limit increases by $1,000 in 2017, up to a maximum of $4,500.

“Air Force civilian post-secondary tuition assistance is intended to support civilians in their continued self-development, including coursework at the associate, bachelor and master levels,” said Mark Schinzel, an Air Force Personnel Center human resources specialist.

Starting in January, TA for all civilians will be administratively managed through the Air Force Automated Education Management System, except for members in the Palace Acquire formal training program. These interns will be added once the software is updated. Until January, civilians are asked to use the current paper SF 182, Request, Authorization, Agreement and Certification for Training Form, while applying the new rules.

“We want our people to use tuition assistance for courses that contribute to occupational and institutional competencies, special-interest needs and readiness by supporting the current and anticipated needs of the Air Force,” Schinzel said.

Additional changes for CTAP include TA allowed for one course at any given time. Course start and finish dates cannot overlap. TA is available for courses offered by a fully accredited academic institution but cannot be used for courses leading to a second degree of the same level already attained, such as a second bachelor or master’s degree; nor is TA available for doctorate-level course work.

Stay informed on the most current civilian tuition assistance information on the Civilian Force Development page on myPers. Click the Force Development link on the far left from the civilian employee landing page; CTAP can be found under the “General” heading.

For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to the myPers website. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following the instructions on the Air Force Retirees Services website.

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