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PHOTO CAPTION:  Defense Department graphic by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kayla Jo Finley/Released

September 17, 2013
By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kayla Jo Finley, Defense Media Activity

Earning an education while serving on active duty is no secret nor is it new.  Most service members can say they have been told at least once during their careers to earn a degree while active.  Some are even told to take advantage of tuition assistance before they were enlisted.  Yet, there are still service members that choose not to use TA.

In addition to the G.I. Bill, TA allows service members to earn a college degree with almost no fees for the service member.  Even if you are planning on using your G.I. benefits when you get out, you can use your TA and get an early start on your degree.  A college degree not only enhances opportunities post-military, it also enhances opportunities during your military career.

Many factors play a role in service members not using their TA.  Some may feel they are too busy with their job, have a family or have other commitments that may consume a lot of their free time.  The best part about the TA system is that no matter how busy your schedule may be, if you want to earn a degree you can find time to do so.  Even if you only have time for one class, it is still one step closer to earning your degree.

Whether you plan on staying in the service or getting out, it is never too late to start your degree.  All branches provide offices and online sources to guide you through the TA process.  Here are some links to help get you started:


Marines – Visit your base college office for more information or go to to register.


Air Force

Coast Guard