Military Tuition Assistance

The most common source of financial aid for military service members is military tuition assistance (MTA). MTA is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard for tuition expenses. MTA is a unique, distinct source of financial aid available to eligible service members. Each service has its criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application process, and restrictions. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services. 

When applying for financial aid (federal, state, local, private, or institutional), MTA is the first form of financial aid administered to the tuition expense. For example, MTA funds are applied to the service member’s tuition account before student loans or PELL grant funds.

The process for applying for military tuition assistance varies between the Services but comes down to the following basic process:

  1. Discuss with military supervisor; commander approval is often needed  
  2. Meet with an Education Services Officer or a military education counselor 
  3. Receive information on Military Tuition Assistance (eligibility, responsibility, restrictions)
  4. Apply for Tuition Assistance through the appropriate portal (account registration needed to use portal)
  5. Receive Tuition Assistance approval from appropriate Service representatives 
  6. Submit Tuition Assistance approval to Columbia College; register for approved courses

Military Tuition Assistance, per College policy, is refunded at a prorated rate for officially withdrawn MTA-funded course(s). An official withdrawal requires the student to submit a form to notify the College of their intent to no longer participate in course(s). An official withdrawal is available from the end of the drop period through the end of the sixth week of the session.  Specific session withdrawal dates can be found on the College’s Academic Calendar.

The refund schedule for an 8-week course is as follows:

  • A withdrawal in days 1-8 of the session results in a 100% refund of MTA
  • Day 33 of the session represents the 60% point and results in a 41% refund of MTA
  • Days 34-56 of the session result in a 0% refund of MTA



Tuition Assistance will not be billed until after the last day to drop each session has passed. Until your TA is applied to your student account it will show a balance. If you have not seen your TA applied to your student account after the third week of class, please contact the Center for Student Success at or by phone at (573) 875-7252 or 1-800-231-2391, ext. 7252.

Refund Policy

Last day Prorated amount (return %)
1-8 100
9 83
10 82
11 80
12 78
13 76
14 75
15 73
16 71
17 69
18 67
19 66
20 64
21 62
22 60
23 58
24 57
25 55
26 53
27 51
28 50
29 48
30 46
31 44
32 42
33 41 (more than 60% completed)
34-56 0

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

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