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Tuition Assistance Top-Up

Does your college tuition cost more than what’s covered by the Department of Defense (DoD) Tuition Assistance (TA) program? Find out if you can get more money to help pay for school through the Tuition Assistance Top-Up program.

Am I eligible for Tuition Assistance Top-Up?

You may be eligible for Tuition Assistance Top-Up if you’re approved for federal TA and you meet both of these requirements.

Both of these must be true:

  • You qualify for Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) or Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, and
  • The cost of the course and fees is more than TA will cover

Who’s covered?

Veterans and service members

What benefits can I get?

You can get more tuition funding to cover the difference between the full cost of a college course and the amount covered under active-duty TA for up to 36 months.

If you’re using the Montgomery GI Bill

You’ll get the difference between the DoD payment and the total cost of the course.

This benefit will be reduced, or charged, one month of entitlement for each payment received that is equal to the full-time monthly GI Bill rate.

Note: The combined amount paid by DoD and Tuition Assistance Top-Up can never be more than the total cost of the course.
Review the rate tables

If you’re using the Post-9/11 GI Bill

We’ll pay back your school the difference between the DoD payment and the authorized (approved) maximum tuition and fees.

This benefit will be charged based on training time no matter how much money you’re paid back. Half-time training rates reduce your GI Bill benefit by a half-month for each month you’re enrolled.

Note: The Post-9/11 GI Bill will often cover the full cost of tuition and fees, with the same amount of entitlement charged no matter how much is covered by TA. Be sure to consider your options before deciding to use both of these programs for the same courses. If you use these benefits separately, you're more likely to maximize your educational benefit funding.

Will it affect my GI Bill benefits if I use Top-Up?

Yes. You’ll want to think carefully about your situation before applying for benefits through this program. You can talk with your education officer and use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to help you make your decision. If you’re going to take more courses after leaving the military, figure out if the GI Bill benefits you have left will cover your needs.

Use the GI Bill Comparison Tool

How do I get these benefits?

You’ll need to apply for education benefits.

Get more information

Read the Top-Up fact sheet (PDF)