Tuition assistance expanded for sailors

Requests will be authorized up to a total expenditure cap of approx. $23 million for the second quarter

Tuition assistance expanded for sailors

Gil Williams, director of the Navy College Site, reviews college degree requirements with Airman Marti Gardea, from Delano, Calif., assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), at the Navy College. (Photo courtesy of

By Susan D. Henson

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) is temporarily expanding the availability of tuition assistance (TA) for Sailors beginning Dec. 17.

CPPD's Virtual Education Center (VEC) will start authorizing command-approved TA requests for classes that have a start date in the second quarter of FY-14, which ends March 31, according to Capt. John Newcomer, CPPD's commanding officer. 

"We strongly believe that Sailors who take the initiative to develop personally and professionally through Navy voluntary education programs are better equipped with strong analytical skills and the ability to make informed decisions that benefit their command and the Navy," he said.

TA requests for the FY-14 second quarter will be approved in the order they are received on a "first come, first served" basis for as long as TA funds are available, said Newcomer. TA requests will be authorized up to a total expenditure cap of approximately $23 million for the second quarter.

The second quarter of each fiscal year historically has the highest demand for TA funding, said Newcomer. 

Newcomer emphasized that Sailors are responsible to know the status of the TA request before they begin any class. "Sailors must ensure their TA requests are command approved, in the WebTA system, and authorized by the VEC before their class start date. If any of these three criteria aren't met, Sailors should contact the VEC or servicing Navy College Office regarding the status of their TA request before their class begins." 

The VEC is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Sailors can reach the VEC by phone at 1-877-838-1659 or 757-492-4684, or DSN at 492-4684. The VEC email address is 

TA is the Navy's educational financial assistance program available to both Navy officer and enlisted active duty personnel and Navy Reservists on continuous active duty. It funds tuition costs for courses taken in an off-duty status at a college, university or vocational/technical institution, whose regional or national accreditation is recognized by the Department of Education and has a signed Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding. 

CPPD is responsible for providing a wide range of personal and professional development courses and materials, including General Military Training, Navy instructor training, alcohol and drug awareness program training, suicide and sexual assault prevention, bystander intervention, and personal responsibility classes.

CPPD's required leadership training is delivered multiple times throughout a Sailor's career via command-delivered enlisted leadership training material and officer leadership courses in a schoolhouse setting. CPPD also administers the Navy's voluntary education program, which provides Sailors with the opportunity to earn college degrees. CPPD additionally manages the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program, which offers Sailors the opportunity to earn civilian apprenticeship certifications.