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Military Tuition Assistance
for Active Duty Military Members
Military Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) is a form of financial aid available through the Department of Defense to eligible Active Duty service members. In general, eligible active duty service members can receive FTA at a rate of $166.67 per quarter hour with an annual maximum of $4,500.
The benefit payment of $166.67 per credit hour will not cover the total cost of attendance at Southern Oregon University (SOU).
Before you can apply for FTA, you will need to visit your installation’s education office first. There, you’ll receive college counseling to assist you in developing an education plan. When considering an academic program, keep in mind SOU’s programmatic accreditation for many of our degrees. Up-to-date information about requirements for licensure or other conditions and requirements (beyond degree requirements) can be obtained from your college and/or major advisor to ensure that you are accessing the most current information for your chosen career field. Once you’ve selected a program and developed an education plan, you can submit your FTA request.
You can also visit the Department of Defense’s TA DECIDE, a dynamic information and comparison tool that is designed specifically to aid participants of the DoD’s Tuition Assistance (FTA) program in making informed choices on schools and education programs. Click here to be take to the TA DECIDE webpage.
On May 5, 2021, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum to the Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Education Services clarifying the approval of concurrent receipt for GI Bill® beneficiaries of the Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) and the Montgomery GI Bill®-Select Reserve Educational Benefit (MGIB-SR or Chapter 1606).
What does this mean to you? If you are enrolled in classes at half-time or greater, you can receive both FTA and Chapter 1606 benefits.
SOU, in accordance with the Department of Defense’s Tuition Assistance Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), does not: provide any commission, bonus, or any other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on securing enrollments, provide federal financial aid (including FTA funds) to any persons or entities engaged in any student recruiting, admission activities, or decisions regarding the awarding of student financial assistance.
Additionally, SOU does not permit high-pressure recruitment tactics such as making multiple unsolicited contacts (3 or more), including contacts by phone, email, and/or in-person, or engaging in same-day recruitment and registration for the purpose of securing servicemember enrollments.
In accordance with State and Federal laws, SOU is compliant with ORS 352.293 Rights of student ordered to active duty which allows servicemembers and Reservists to be readmitted back to a program if they are temporarily unable to attend class(es) or have to suspend their studies due to service requirements.
Military Tuition Assistance
Questions, Answers & Information
What is Army Tuition Assistance?
The Army’s tuition assistance platform, ArmyIgnitED, is available at https://www.armyignited.army.mil/student/public/welcome
When you have been admitted to SOU, please email Rokess@sou.edu to let us know that you have been admitted to SOU and plan to utilize Army Tuition Assistance.
If you have any issues or questions about Army TA, please contact your Education Counselor.
How to find out if you are eligible for Military Tuition Assistance?
Start by contacting your unit’s Educational Services Officer (ESO) or representative to receive approval.
Each military branch has its own TA application form and procedures. Visit your local installation education center, go online to a virtual education center or click on the following links for each service branch:
Questions to Ask your ESO
- What paperwork do I need to complete to find out if I’m eligible?
- What documents will I need to provide?
- What are the dates and timelines that apply?
Be sure to ask your EDO about TA DECIDE, a tool developed by the Department of Defence that gives interested service members access to information about the 2,600+ approved schools eligible for TA, such as average TA costs, course completion, graduation requirements, and estimated tuition and fee amounts.
Items the Military May Expect
The military may expect to receive the following from you, all of which is available to you via your InsideSOU.
- A copy of your student account showing the breakdown of your tuition and fees. If it is before the term and billing has not posted to your account yet then you will need to contact the Student Accounts Office or call 541-551-6600 and request a Tuition Estimate. Be sure to include your SOU ID number and state it is for Military Tuition Assistance.
- A copy of your SOU transcript. An unofficial copy can be obtained in your online account or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
- A copy of your current schedule.
- A copy of your DegreeWorks audit showing your degree requirements and progress towards your degree.
- Descriptions of the courses for which you are requesting TA benefits. This can be obtained from the Online Catalog.
What if you withdraw or drop a class?
If you are using Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) to pay for your education and drop or withdraw from a course prior to completing 60% of the course, the Department of Defense (DoD) requires that Southern Oregon University (SOU) return any unearned FTA funds to the department based on how much of the course you completed. You may also be responsible to pay a portion of the funds returned. It is possible that you could simultaneously owe a portion of your tuition to SOU and a portion to your military branch.
The following formula outlines how your earned FTA is determined:
The Percentage of FTA that qualifies as “earned” equals the days of the term/session completed prior to the dropped course(s), full withdrawal, or the last date of attendance/participation divided by the total number of days in the term/session.
*Please note: If you officially or unofficially withdraw from a course and had not completed at least 60% of the course, you may not be eligible for the total amount of FTA initially awarded. In cases where some or all of the FTA must be returned to the DoD, you will be responsible for the remaining balance due on your account that resulted from the FTA adjustment.
Tuition Assistance (TA) Top Up
Using Top-Up benefits may be an option if you plan to use tuition assistance (TA) to complete a degree program while on active duty, and don’t plan to continue your education after service. Top-up can also be helpful for just taking a few courses with TA while on active duty; then you can save most of your GI Bill benefits for after service to complete your education program.
To learn more about TA Top Up, visit https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/how-to-use-benefits/tuition-assistance-top-up/
What is the cost to attend SOU?
For estimated cost information for tuition, fees, books, supplies, living expenses, food, etc., please visit review the Cost of Attendance at SOU.
Where can I find more information about required disclosures at SOU?
Southern Oregon University is required by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, to disclose certain information to enrolled students, prospective students, parents, employees, and others. This information may also be disclosed in other ways by the University (email, mailings, publications, websites, etc.), but is also provided here for convenience. Information for SOU is provided below, including a listing of the disclosure, a brief description, applicable website addresses, and contact information for the university official (or department) who can respond to questions or information requests in their specific areas. Employees of the University are available with reasonable notice to assist enrolled and prospective students in obtaining consumer information on a full-time basis throughout normal working hours. The University can provide a paper copy of any of the information on the listed websites upon request.
What is the SOU Cohort Default Rate?
You can find more information on SOU’s Cohort Default Rate (CDR) at https://nsldsfap.ed.gov/cdr-searchable-database/school/search
Currently it is 1.6% for the most recent cohort 2019. This information is made publicly available on the SOU consumer information page as well.
Federal Financial Aid Questions
For questions about your federal financial aid or state aid options, including Federal loan assistance, Federal Grant Assistance, Assistance with the FAFSA, private student loan assistance, State funding assistance, etc. Please contact your Financial Aid Counselor. All service-members are encouraged to submit a FAFSA. Any financial aid loan offers can be declined by the students InsideSOU portal or by emailing your financial aid counselor either for the full amount or accepting a lesser amount. Before borrowing any type of student loan it is recommended that you meet with your financial aid counselor.
Funding/Academic/ Disability Resources/Career Connections Questions
Please contact the Dean of Students Office, email@example.com , for support seeking information on the TA program, Title IV funding, or VA education benefits and familiar with institutional services to Service members who are seeking information about academic counseling, financial aid counseling, job search support, or other student support services at the educational institution.