NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- For many Sailors, higher education was one of the major contributing factors in their decision to join the Navy. The opportunity to receive the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post-9/11 GI Bill gave aspiring service members the potential to fund the pursuit of a degree, and enhance their personal and professional life while broadening career opportunities, both during and after service.
What some may not have been aware of is the wealth of additional resources available to make taking college courses as accessible as possible, such as the Navy’s Tuition Assistance (TA) Progam.
“One of the reasons I joined the Navy is because I wanted a way to pay for the rest of my schooling,” said Damage Control Fireman Apprentice Steven Young, a Sailor assigned to the engineering department aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). “I learned about the TA program, and with us being in the yards and not getting deployed anytime soon, I thought now would be a great time to continue on with my education.”
TA is the Navy’s education financial assistance program, providing active duty Sailors funding for taking courses at accredited colleges, universities, or technical institutions. The benefits apply to courses taken on campus, as well as online courses.
The process for applying for TA is comprehensive, but straightforward. Sailors must inform their command, complete required training, and work with a counselor to establish an education plan.
“Before receiving TA, Sailors must log into https://myeducation.netc.navy.mil, complete the required virtual or over-the-phone training with a Navy counselor, then upload their degree plan,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gillian Czarnik, from Springfield, Massachusetts, and the education services officer assigned to George Washington. “If you failed a physical readiness test, an advancement exam or have been to non-judicial punishment in the last six months, you will not be eligible to receive tuition assistance. Sailors must acquire a special request chit and get it approved by their chain of command to receive TA.”
According to Czarnik, Sailors must submit their TA requests at least 14 days before their class start date.
“However, we would like for Sailors to have their TA application into us 30 days prior to their class start date,” said Czarnik. “That way, we have enough time to verify that everything is correct so that we can get you your class funding on time.”
Working on a degree while in the Navy is also an excellent way to plan for a future beyond it.
“I feel that getting a higher degree will help me be more qualified for finding a job after I get out of the Navy,” said Young. “After their careers, degrees will help Sailors find employment in the civilian sector. Having a degree along with the work experience Sailors get throughout their enlistment will make them a great candidate for any civilian career they want to pursue.”
When a person enlists and becomes a Sailor, they are making a decision to invest part of their life in the Navy. Thanks to programs like TA, your Naval career is also a prime opportunity to invest in yourself.
For more information about the TA program, visit the Navy College Program website at https://www.navycollege.navy.mil.
Join the conversation with GW online at www.facebook.com/USSGW and www.twitter.com/GW_CVN73. For more news from USS George Washington, visit www. Navy.mil/local/cvn73/.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.