If you’re an active-duty service member getting money for school through the Tuition Assistance (TA) program (run by the Department of Defense) but are still left with costs at the end of the day, you may be able to get them taken care of through a program the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers called the Tuition Assistance Top-Up program.

How Does It Work?

First, you must qualify for either the Montgomery G.I. Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) or Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.

To check on Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits, click here.

To apply for either the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill or the Montgomery G.I. Bill Active Duty, click here.

Talk to Your Education Officer Before Applying

The Top-Up program will affect your G.I. Bill payments, so it’s important to have a plan in place before utilizing it — in case you want to use your G.I. Bill upon leaving the service, you’ll need to know how much of the benefit you have left to get you through to graduation, without going into your own pocket.

You can also use this tool to see what school offers what, based on your benefits.

Are There Other Education Assistance Programs?

Yes. Depending on whether you’re still in the service, a veteran, or retired, there are a number of other options, including the Yellow Ribbon Program and the $600 Buy-Up Program.

For a list of more, click here.

To get personal help with the process from an accredited representative, click here.