You are living by the core values of the United States Air Force - Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. Your mission is to do your best in everything, whether it is on your military job or on the economy. That desire for excellence is what ties you to other Air Force active-duty members and veterans. A college education is yet another step in helping you to achieve those honorable goals. Both on-campus programs and online degrees are viable options to take you to where you want to go.
Fortunately, the Air Force is behind its service members with the support they need and deserve. A wealth of college programs and financial assistance is available to help military personnel and veterans earn college credits, college degrees and professional certificates.
Higher education resources include Voluntary Education (through the Department of Defense), which includes the Community College of the Air Force, Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, and other military education opportunities. Feel free to view education information about the other military branches as well. View our Air Force Tuition Assistance page for help with how to pay for college. And if you want to take a look at additional high-quality accredited colleges and universities, check out the Top Air Force Schools.
Military Tuition Assistance
As current or former military service members, you may qualify for one of several tuition reimbursement plans that pay up to 100% of your college tuition. Some plans also cover eligible spouses, sons or daughters and help alleviate the burden of paying for higher education.
The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF)
CCAF offers enlisted men and women an exclusive right to attend the only degree-granting higher education institution dedicated solely to them. As an enlisted airman or NCO, you will find that the CCAF is an excellent place to earn your 2-year associate's degree. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges.
Check out the CCAF website to view more information.
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC)
SOC address the unique situations that enlisted personnel encounter when attempting to earn a college diploma. It utilizes a network of over 1,900 colleges and universities. These schools are focused upon helping you achieve educational continuity during frequent transfers to new duty stations. SOC helps you and your family members to earn a traditional or online degree, with no penalty for relocating during a school term. There is also a great deal of flexibility in being able to take classes in off-duty hours either on or near the base - both in the U.S. or abroad, or through online degree programs.
View more information on SOC by visiting their website.
Student Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
This is another one of the great benefits of military service, if you are eligible. When you enlist, the Air Force will repay up to $10,000 of the student loans you already incurred from previous college-level coursework.
Find out more about the Loan Repayment Program by visiting the Air Force Website.
General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program
If you are the son, daughter or surviving spouse of an active duty, reserve, retired or deceased member of the Air Force, this program may help you pay for college. The Air Force Aid Society considers the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program to be the flagship of their education opportunities. It provides $2,000 to each eligible recipient for undergraduate studies. So far, over 74,679 grants have been awarded to select sons and daughters of current or former Air Force personnel. This highly valuable and successful program began in the fall of 1988 and has continued to this day, with the award amount having been raised to reflect the high costs of attending colleges and universities.
Awardees must use the funds to pay for tuition, fees, books or other direct educational expenses.
Learn more about how to apply for the AFAS Grant.
General George S. Brown Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP)
Spouses of active duty airmen or officers have not been forgotten in their quest to obtain a college education. The Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) provides a portion of tuition for eligible spouses who travel overseas with Air Force military members. Eligible spouses must plan to enroll in an accredited college or university after relocation to the Air Force member's new duty station.
Find out whether you or your spouse is eligible for this benefit at the Air Force Aid Society website.