By John Aldrich
Associate Vice President, Military Relations at American Military University
When I was an education specialist for the Navy, I wrote a newspaper article praising the Armed Forces Military Tuition Assistance Program. At the time (1997) service members were able to receive 75% of their tuition needs paid for by Uncle Sam, and they were required to pay the other 25%. Imagine, someone paying for 75% of your tuition bill? One would think that service members would have been knocking down the door of the education center. If this were a university campus, the lines would be in the street. Sadly, this was not the case. Only about 10% of those on active duty used tuition assistance at the time.
Fast forward to today and the military tuition assistance program funds 100 % of tuition for eligible service members. That’s right…100%. Even at 100 % funding, only about 22% of eligible service members utilize the tuition assistance program today. Yes, service members are extremely busy with training and continuous deployments, but with the evolution of online programs, along with other educational platforms, education has never been more affordable or accessible to today’s service members.
Over the years, thousands of service members have taken advantage of the military tuition assistance program. Many completed their degrees and moved on to meaningful careers in civilian life, while others used tuition assistance to enhance their military careers or gain commissions.
The links below will take you to your respective services voluntary education program: In addition to the sites listed below, a great place to begin the New Year is with a visit to your local base education center. Your base education center can provide you with everything you need to get started, so start the New Year off right, quit sitting on the sidelines, and get in the game!
- Air Force Voluntary Education
- Army University Access Online
- Coast Guard Institute
- Marine Corps Voluntary Education
- Navy College Program
John is the Associate Vice President of Military Relations at American Military University (AMU). Prior to joining AMU, John served as an Education Services Specialist for Marine Corps Base Twenty-nine Palms California, Director of Career Services and Job Placement at the Technical College of the Lowcountry, Beaufort South Carolina, Education Services Specialist for Navy College Programs, Sicily, Italy, Academic Advisor for undecided students and student athletes at the University of Rhode Island, and John served as a Naval Hospital Corpsman, Fleet Marine Forces.
John earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Sciences and Services, and a Master of Science in College Student Personnel from the University of Rhode Island. John is married to Captain Dianne DeVoll Aldrich, USN (RET).