Tuition Assistance (TA)

What is Military Tuition Assistance?

The Department of Defense (DOD) Tuition Assistance (TA) program provides financial assistance to service members for voluntary off-duty education programs in support of professional and personal self-development goals. TA is available for courses that are offered in the classroom or by distance learning as part of an approved academic degree or certificate program. The courses must be offered by schools that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and are signatories to the current DOD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (DOD MOU). Winthrop University is one of the signatories to that MOU.

Prospective service member students must receive approval from their Educational Services Officer (ESO), or their counselor within their military service, prior to enrollment.

General TA Guidelines:

  • Coursework can be classroom-based or distance learning

  • Student must be officially registered and earn a grade or credit for the course (no auditing)

  • Course must be part of an approved academic degree program

  • Funds apply to course tuition only; may not be used to pay for books, materials, institutional fees or retaking a course previously taken.

  • TA can be used in conjunction with all other federal VA educational benefits. ONLY students who are currently serving or have served are eligible for federal TA; dependents of veterans are NOT eligible. Students also using another federal VA educational benefit (e.g. Chapter 33 Post-9/11) must submit the Certification Request Form.

How TA Works at Winthrop University:

    All tuition assistance applications and approvals must be completed through the service member's unit or education center.

    • Our office recommends that all TA approvals be completed at least 10 days prior to the start of the term.

    • The student is responsible for submitting approved TA authorizations each term to

    • Student Financial Services (SFS) will start invoicing the DOD when 20 percent of the class is complete.

    • The VA benefits coordinator will report the student's final grade to the DOD.

    • After the DOD processes the invoice and sends payment to Winthrop, SFS will post the TA payment to the student's account.

Military Tuition Assistance (TA) Refund Policy and Procedure:

    • This policy applies only to students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA).  TA is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of TA funds originally awarded. To comply with DOD policy, Winthrop University will return any unearned TA funds on a prorated basis through at least 60 percent portion of the period for which the funds were provided. TA funds are earned proportionally during an enrollment period. Any unearned TA funds – based upon when a student stops attending - will be returned directly to the military service from which the funds were provided, not to the service member.

    • In instances when a service member stops attending due to a military service obligation, Winthrop University will work with the affected service member to identify solutions that will not result in a student debt for the returned TA funds in compliance with the DOD policy. 

    • To comply with DOD policy, Winthrop University will return any unearned TA funds up to 60 percent of the semester on a prorated basis. The amount of unearned TA funds returned is based on the date of withdrawal.  After 60 percent of the semester has passed, TA will not be evaluated for a return to the DOD. 

    • Once the withdrawal date has been determined, Winthrop will re-calculate the student’s TA eligibility based on the following formula: number of days completed divided by total number days of the course/term to determine the percent earned.