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Tuition assistance for veterans and military families

What military benefits are available and who’s eligible.

Tuition benefits for military and their families 

If you’re a service member or veteran, you may qualify for education benefits thanks to your service. If you’re a military spouse or dependent, these benefits may extend to you as well.  

There are many programs available from both the federal government and the State of Texas. Your eligibility and what you can use funds for will vary based on the program. Review each of the programs below before exploring other financial aid options. 

Military Tuition Assistance program

If you’re an active-duty service member or in the National Guard and Reserve Components, the Military Tuition Assistance program is for you. The program is offered directly from your service branch and covers the cost of tuition. 

Tuition assistance pays up to 100% of tuition expenses for semester hours costing $250 or less. This includes undergraduate, technical and vocational, graduate, and distance-learning programs. You can even apply the benefit towards independent studies.  

Who’s eligible for Military Tuition Assistance? 

The Military Tuition Assistance program is available to:  

  • Officers 
  • Warrant officers 
  • Active-duty service members 
  • Active members of the National Guard and Reserve Components 

You need to have enough time left in service to complete the courses you’re applying for.  

Cover tuition and other costs with the GI Bill

If the Military Tuition Assistance program doesn’t cover all your tuition or you’re no longer in the military, consider the GI Bill. The GI Bill is a federal education benefit offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). You can apply for the benefit if you’re an active-duty service member or veteran, a member of the National Guard or Reserves, or a qualified survivor or dependent.  

What can you use your GI Bill benefits for? While it may depend on your eligibility, you can put your benefits towards many types of education costs: 

Who’s eligible for GI Bill programs? 

The GI Bill breaks up eligibility and benefits into two programs: the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill. For most, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is the better option. Some students will prefer the Montgomery GI Bill. Your eligibility and benefits will depend on which GI Bill program you choose.


Resource: The VA also provides a GI Bill Comparison Tool to compare your GI Bill benefits at approved schools and employers.

Get tuition exemptions at Texas schools

The Hazlewood Act gives qualified veterans, spouses, and dependent children up to 150 hours of free tuition at public universities and colleges in Texas. The tuition exemption includes most fee charges, but does not include living expenses, books, or supplies. Since most four-year degrees take 120 hours to complete, the Hazlewood Act may cover your full cost of tuition. 

Who’s eligible for Hazlewood Act benefits? 

A veteran has to meet all of the eligibility requirements outlined in Hazlewood Act Statute and 40 Texas Administrative Code §461. Below are some of the main requirements for veterans, their spouses, and their dependents. 

  1. Veterans 
  • At the time of entry into active duty: designated Texas as Home of Record; entered the service in Texas; or was a Texas resident 
  • Received an honorable discharge or separation or a general discharge under honorable conditions 
  • Served at least 181 days of active-duty service (excluding training) 
  • Currently reside in Texas 
  1. Spouses and dependent children 
  • Be the spouse or child of an eligible veteran 
  • Be the spouse or child of a veteran who: became totally disabled for purposes of employability because of a service-related injury or illness; is missing in action (MIA); or was killed in action (KIA) 
  • Currently reside in Texas 

Get help with tuition from the Texas Military Department 

If you’re a member of the Texas Military Department (TMD), you may qualify for the State Tuition Assistance program. The program gives eligible members up to $1,000 for tuition and fees. It’s possible to upgrade the award up to $4,500. You can use the benefit for fall and spring semesters, but not summer classes.

Who’s eligible for State Tuition Assistance? 

The State Tuition Assistance program is open to actively drilling members in the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG), Texas Air National Guard (TXANG), or Texas State Guard (TXSG). You also need to meet the following requirements: 

  • Have completed Basic Training (or its equivalent) 
  • Be attending an accredited Texas college or university 
  • Be pursuing an academic certificate, your first undergraduate degree, or your first graduate/professional degree 

Keep in mind you’ll need to submit a State Tuition Assistance application at least annually. In some cases you may need to submit a separate application each semester. 

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