Sailors planning to take summer or fall college courses using Tuition Assistance (TA) or Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) should begin to submit their application requests.

Sailors can submit their command-approved TA/NCPACE applications as early as 120 days in advance, but no later than 14 days prior to the term start date of the course.

“Submitting applications early allows sufficient time to resolve any issues,” said Navy College Program Counselor Desmond Pierre-Louis. “That way, funding authorizations can happen in a timely manner.”

Service members are required to obtain approval for TA/NCPACE funding before the official start of a course. There is no risk in applying early, but there are eligibility requirements that Sailors must meet before they can submit a request and funding can be authorized.

“Sailors must have a minimum of two years of military service before becoming eligible to use TA or NCPACE funding,” said Pierre-Louis. “After that, and with approval from their command, they can do the required online training and speak directly with a counselor to define their education goals.”

Sailors planning to attend college classes are required to complete two training courses prior to using TA/NCPACE for the first time. The training products are accessible in MyNavy Education or through the Navy College Program mobile app. The specific steps a Sailor has to take to request TA/NCPACE funding are located on the Navy College Program website.

After the command-approved TA/NCPACE application is authorized by the Navy College Virtual Education Center (NCVEC), an authorization voucher is generated. Once printed and signed, the Sailor can then forward the voucher to the academic institution for payment. Sailors can also save and digitally sign the authorization voucher prior to sending to their school electronically.

With recent efforts by the Navy to demonstrate the importance of education to the overall warfighting strategy, such as creating the Naval Community College and giving more weight to education in FITREPs, it is the perfect time for Sailors to attain their higher-education goals.

“Sailors continue to embrace lifelong learning as they strive to improve themselves,” said Voluntary Education Program Deputy Director Lt. Cmdr. Adam Walski. “This helps foster the culture of learning that we strive for within the Navy to maintain our advantage around the world.”

One of the rewards of higher-level learning is that it is mutually beneficial for the Sailor and the Navy as a whole.

“A Sailor utilizing the program takes control of their future, whether in pursuit of a certificate or degree, and it provides advantages towards promotion,” said Walski. “What cannot be overlooked is the influence this now empowered Sailor brings back to the command.”

For additional information on the Navy College Program, visit to start the education process and complete required training. Normal business hours for the NCVEC are Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and Friday, 7 a.m.-12p.m. Eastern Standard Time toll free 1-877-838-1659.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCVEC is continuing to provide customer service support to the fleet. For a list of contact options, including scheduling appointments for counseling or requesting a counselor call back, visit the Navy College Program website at

For OCONUS Navy College Office (NCO) information, visit