The quality of education received by service members is very important to the Defense of Department. To ensure all Service members participating in off-duty, postsecondary education programs are provided quality education programs uniformly; the DoD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was established as part of the revised DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1322.25, Voluntary Education Programs.
The delivery mode for these postsecondary education programs include traditional classroom instructed courses, independent study, and distance learning programs, from institutions on or off military installations. For the first time, online institutions will be subjected to an inspection visit from DoD.
This new DoD Voluntary Education Partnership MOU conveys the commitments and agreements between the educational institution and DoD. All institutions accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, receiving Title X Military TA funding must have a signed DoD Partnership MOU and be on the List of Institutions Participating in the DoD TA Program prior to receiving funds from the Service’s tuition assistance (TA) program.
This MOU articulates the commitment and agreement educational institutions provide to DoD by accepting funds via each Service’s tuition assistance (TA) program in exchange for educational services. When signing the MOU, the institution agrees to:
- support the regulatory guidance provided by DoD and the Services;
- adhere to and execute SOC Principles and criteria;
- participate in the Military Voluntary Education Review Process (including DE institutions);
- one single TA rate per Office of Postsecondary Education Identification Number (OPE ID).
- recognize, accept, and award credit where appropriate from the American Council on Education Registry Transcript System, and other official sources of military training and experience documentation with corresponding college credit recommendations, when processing the individual’s documented education plan;
- Provide course enrollment, course withdrawal, course cancellations, course completion or failure, grade, verification of degree completion, and billing information to the TA issuing Service’s education office, as outlined in the Service’s regulations and instructions;
- Provide an evaluated educational plan to the Service member; and
- Service unique Addendums
What the MOU does not do:
It is not an obligation of funds nor a guarantee of program enrollments by DoD personnel, their eligible adult family members, DoD civilian employees, and retirees in an educational institution’s academic programs, nor a guarantee for installation access;
Does not grant access onto a military installation to market, counsel students or provide instruction. All institution must obtain permission from the installation commander to conduct business prior to entering the installation. Visits must be coordinated with the installation’s education advisor;
Does not take the place of an installation MOU. A separate installation MOU must be obtained from the installation commander to provide on-installation courses/degree programs.
Does not grant access to U.S. military installations outside the continent of the U.S.
Institutions will be able to sign the MOU through the DoD website beginning in May. Currently, a sample MOU can be viewed online. The policy will be effective on January 1, 2012.
An institution must:
be accredited by an agency (national or regional) recognized by the U.S. Department of Education;
have an OPEID. If an institution does not have an OPEID, it can refer to the Department of Education’s website. If an institution doesn't know its OPEID, it can be checked online. If an institution is eligible to participate in the DoD Tuition Assistance (TA) but does not participate in Title IV funding (which makes them ineligible for an OPEID number) they will be referred to an alternative method on to obtain a “pseudo” number.
3. Agree to the terms of the MOU.
Visit the DoD MOU website and click on the MOU link (which will not be active until May). Select the Application button, and then enter information in each field: Institution; SOC member (y/n); OPEID number; Method of Delivery; Source of Accreditation (dates of accreditation); Institution logo image (optional); POC information; signing authority; available programs. When complete, hit SAVE to submit the application.
DoD validates the information provided and checks the institution’s eligibility. DoD sends notification to the institution.
Institution receives an email stating application has been approved. Person with signing authority uses the link in the email to read and electronically sign the MOU, acknowledging his/her willingness to enter into the agreement with DoD.
The signed MOU is sent to the DoD-designated signatory to sign. Institution receives an email stating the MOU was successfully submitted.
The DoD-designated signatory signs and submits the MOU. The institution receives notification the filing process is complete. The institution is given instructions and a link to access the signed MOU.
Once all signatures are obtained, the institution is added to the list of institutions eligible to participate in the DoD military tuition assistance program. The list of eligible institutions will be available online, at the DoD MOU website.
The MOU document is effective for five years, unless terminated or updated prior to that date in writing by the DoD or the institution, or unless the institution’s state legislative policy states differently. The MOU will be effective on the date of latest signature from OUSD. (Institutions completing the MOU before January 2012 will have an implementation date of January 2012.) DoD will consider waivers for institutions with legislative restrictions regarding signing of five-year term MOU’s.
The institution will receive electronic notices 180 and 30 days prior to the expiration date of the MOU. The notice will include instructions on how to enter into a new MOU. If the MOU is not renewed before the expiration date, it ceases to be valid. Notification will be sent to services if the institution no longer has an active MOU, and the institution’s name will be removed from the “Participating Institution” list posted on the DoD VolEd website. Lack of acknowledgement from an institution also will be cause for termination.
DoD Voluntary Education programs provide lifelong learning opportunities for off-duty military community. Each year, one-third of Servicemembers participate in DoD educational programs.
Federal legislation allows the Services to pay up to 100 percent of education costs for servicemembers. The Department of Defense (DoD) has mandated a uniform tuition assistance (TA) fiscal policy across the Services. The per semester hour cap is $250, and the fiscal year ceiling is $4,500.
Qualifying courses and degree programs may be academic or technical and can be taken from two- or four-year institutions on an installation, in the civilian community, or by correspondence. In addition to degree programs, TA is available to assist service members in completing a high school diploma or certificate programs. However, TA is not authorized for courses leading to a lateral or lower level degree than the applicant already possesses. In addition, TA is not authorized for books (electronic or hardbound), CEU’s, test preparation courses (ex. SAT, GRE, CLEP).
Authorized fees covered by TA are mandatory fees associated with an individual course enrollment. Non-refundable fees and fees that are not linked to individual course enrollments (e.g., application fees, graduation fees) are not covered by TA.
TA is paid on a reimbursable basis, after a student successfully completes the course(s) for which TA was requested and approved. Successful course completion is defined as earning a grade “C” or better. Service members must obtain TA through their branch of Service.
Use the links below for detailed information about each service:
back to top