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Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance benefits are a way for the military services to provide education benefits to service members on active duty. Tuition Assistance benefits are administered by each branch of service (each branch determines its own award amounts, eligibility, restrictions, and application process) and are typically earned based on service. Service-specific tuition assistance information and processes can be found at these links:

Applying for Tuition Assistance at Penn State

Start your Tuition Assistance request prior to the beginning of each semester. Each service has a specific requirement for the number of days prior to the semester that TA requests are due. If this is your first time using TA, your service may also require that you gain commander approval to use TA and complete training on the TA process and TA requirements. In general, you will need to do the following to initiate your tuition assistance request and to apply your tuition assistance funds to your Penn State tuition bill: 

  1. Gain commander’s/services approval to use TA.
  2. Complete your TA request online through your service-specific voluntary education portal
  3. Select Penn State as your academic institution (OPE-ID # 00332900)
  4. Ensure you identify the correct Penn State campus for your TA request
    • World Campus use “Penn State University (World Campus)” 
    • All other campuses use “Penn State University (All but World Campus)” 
  5. Submit your TA request to your service
    • Your service will notify you when they have approved your request.  If you have not received approval in a timely manner, call your Unit/Base Education Office to enquire on the TA request status
  6. Once your service approves your TA, send the approved TA authorization form to the appropriate Penn State Bursar Office:
    • For World Campus, the Tuition Assistance Authorization form may be uploaded on the Third Party Payment page.
    • All other campuses, the Tuition Assistance Authorization form may be mailed, faxed, or emailed to:

      Pennsylvania State University
      Office of the Bursar
      Student Financial Services
      Attn.: Military Funding
      109 Shields Building
      University Park, PA 16802
      Fax: (814) 865-6535
      Email: L-EXTERNALAWARDSTEAM@lists.psu.edu

      If you have questions, call the office at (814) 865-0463.  The email provided is only for sending TA Authorization forms.

TA Billing and Student Schedule Changes (drop or withdraw) 

Once the Tuition Authorization form is received by the Bursar Office, Penn State will adjust the student’s tuition bill to show the expected TA payment and the student will be responsible for the outstanding balance on the tuition bill. If the student drops or withdraws from any course where TA was used to pay for the course credit hours, the student must immediately notify the Bursar Office so they can notify the appropriate Armed Service TA manager, make adjustments to TA billed to that service, and adjust the student’s Penn State tuition account. Failure to do so may result in fees and registration holds.

In accordance with the DoD MOU, if tuition refunds are due from dropped or withdrawn courses, Penn State must reimburse the DoD for the servicemember’s unearned tuition assistance first, before the servicemember is refunded any remaining portion of the tuition from their student account. Depending on when a class is dropped, the student may either have a refund once the unearned TA is returned to the DoD or a debt resulting from the portion of the tuition that the university returned to the DoD as unearned TA. Students can view the tuition adjustment that results from dropping a class by accessing the Tuition Calendar in their LionPATH account under the “Enrollment” page.

If a course is dropped during the regular Drop/Add period of a regular session (1-7 days), 100% of the tuition will be refunded with tuition returned to the DoD for unearned TA and the balance to the student. If a course is dropped after the regular Drop/Add period but before the 60% class completion point (65 days), a pro-rata schedule will be used to calculate the percentage of unearned TA returned to the DoD based on the number of days the student was enrolled in the course during the semester and the total number of days in the semester. Beyond the 60% class completion point (66+ days), no tuition will be refunded to the DoD for unearned TA. The student will be responsible for any balance due after the return of unearned TA funds to DoD. 

If a student withdraws from all courses for the semester under Penn State’s Military Duty Withdrawal policy (AAPPM J-1), 100% of the tuition will be refunded and tuition will be returned to the DoD for TA and the balance to the student.

Penn State World Campus Military Grant-in-Aid Program

The World Campus’s Military Grant-in-Aid program makes it possible for service members and their spouses to save on undergraduate tuition, bringing the tuition rate closer to the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance cap. Eligibility criteria as follows:

  • Active duty, guard, and reserve for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their spouses (individual Ready Reserve and inactive National Guard are not eligible)
  • Applicable to all undergraduate programs and undergraduate courses offered by Penn State World Campus
  • You, or your spouse, must be serving in the military at some point during the semester in which you are registering
  • Service members and/or spouses electing to use their GI Bill® education benefits (any chapter) or any other Penn State Grant-in-Aid are not eligible

For the most current information on World Campus’s Military Grant-in-Aid program

Degree Plans

If you are a World Campus student and require a degree plan to support your TA request, the procedures to obtain one can be found on the World Campus Military Grant-in-Aid and Tuition Assistance page

TA Questions and Resolving Issues

Billing: If you have questions about TA billing or refunds, World Campus students contact the World Campus Bursar Office at 814-863-8300 and all other campus students contact the University Park Bursar Office at 814-865-0463.

Compliance:  If you would like to report a TA or DoD MOU compliance issue, please contact Penn State’s DoD MOU Compliance POC, Teri Spencer, at either tls37@psu.edu or (814) 863-5433.

All Other TA Questions/Issues:  If you have questions about the TA process at Penn State or have an issue with TA that you would like to resolve, please contact Penn State’s DoD MOU POC, Eugene McFeely, the senior director of Veterans Affairs and Services at either sdvas@psu.edu or (814) 865-5676.