Military & Veteran Affairs
TN STRONG Act & Tuition Assistance
Effective 4 May 2021, the Federal Tuition Assistance/Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) restriction has been removed! This means that Reserve Component Service Members enrolled in a half-time or more program of study may now receive their FTA and CH 1606 MGIB-SR benefits simultaneously for the same course.
Tennessee STRONG Act
The Tennessee STRONG Act is a reimbursement program for members of the TN National Guard to obtain funding towards a first bachelor's degree. If you have signed a 6 year contract and are actively drilling, we encourage you to apply to utilize this benefit. Prior to the application, soldiers must apply for Tuition Assistance in order to act in accordance with regulations put in place by the Tennessee National Guard. Proof of class registration and Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) usage must be submitted with your application.
Below are the eligibility requirements in order to receive funding.
- Be admitted to and enroll in an eligible institution (any Tennessee public community college, public university, or private college or university, all of which must be regionally accredited). Individuals attending private institutions will be reimbursed for the average cost at a public institution.
- Maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0. An individual who loses eligibility for failing to maintain a 2.0 grade point average may regain eligibility upon maintaining a 2.0 grade point average in a subsequent semester.
- Apply for and use Federal Tuition Assistance.
- Be in good standing and currently serving with the Tennessee National Guard.
- Apply for the reimbursement within 90 days of course completion
As a last-dollar reimbursement, the amount of state tuition reimbursement is offset by any other funds received. This includes any other state and federal aid including Pell Grant, TSAA award, HOPE scholarship, and any other tuition specific scholarship; institutional or otherwise. The tuition reimbursement will be made to the educational institution on behalf of an eligible member for no more than 120 credit hours or eight semesters toward a first time bachelor’s degree.
When submitting your application you will need the following:
- Commander Signature
- Itemized billing statement for the term
- Signed and completed Section IV
- Proof of TA Authorization, if you fail to provide this documentation, your STRONG Act acceptance will be reduced by the amount in which you would have received for Federal Tuition Assistance.
The application deadlines for TN STRONG Act benefits are as follows:
Fall semester: October 1st
Spring semester: February 1st
Summer semester: June 1st
For any questions regarding your TN STRONG Act benefits, please reach out to one of the contacts below:
Army Guard: SFC Stephen Biase at 615-313-0737
Air Guard: MSgt Joseph Wilson at 615-313-0849
The application packet can be found here:
Federal Tuition Assistance
Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) is a benefit that must be applied for prior to the application of the TN STRONG Act. The deadline for FTA is always at least 10 days prior to the term beginning and the application opens 90 days before the term begins. Failure to apply for FTA could result in the reduction in funding from the TN Strong Act by the amount that would have been applied from FTA.
The maximum amount paid for Federal Tuition Assistance for ARNG members is: 100% Tuition up to $250 per semester hour, up to 16 semester hours annually, not to exceed $4,000 per fiscal year. Current Army policy limits TA to 130 semester hours of undergraduate credit or baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first and 39 semester hours of graduate credit or master's degree, whichever comes first. The 39 semester hour limit applies to all credits taken after completion of a baccalaureate degree.
Tuition Assistance Procedures:
Update in regards to ArmyIgnitED and Federal Tuition Assistance (TA)
As many of you may be aware, the implementation of the new system has been challenging, especially in terms of integrating the data required to allow you to request Tuition Assistance (TA) for the current and upcoming term. Now that schools have been provided guidance for moving forward, we are updating the data needed so that the ArmyIgnitED system can complete its setup and allow you the ability to request TA. We hope to have it all finalized by mid-July, at the latest. Typically, you would not be able to apply for TA for the fall prior to July anyway, due to the release of tuition & fee amounts. We will update you as soon as we know more.
Please note that if you were planning to use TN STRONG for the summer and were unable to submit your TA request, or prove a denial due to the system-wide issues, let us know and we will work with you.
If you have not created your account in ArmyIgnitED, please follow these directions to get your access. First, go to https://www.armyignited.com/app/ there is a button in the top right-hand corner labeled “Get Started.” Click this link and follow the prompts. The next page will be a “login.gov” page. Unless you have already created your ArmyIgnitED account, you will need to create one. This is even if you have used TA in the past. Once you have created this account, you will be asked to log in again, and this should give you access to the ArmyIgnitED page. Unfortunately, this is as far as you can go at this time. We will provide further guidance as we progress in this process
If you have problems with this process and want to ensure your access to the ArmyIgnitED
site, please do not hesitate to come into our Veteran’s Center for one-on-one help.
June 29, 2021
If you’re an active duty service member, national guard or reservist utilizing tuition assistance, you’ll use the ArmyIgnitED portal to request Tuition Assistance for your registered courses. To gain access to ArmyIgnitED, check your email and/or speak with an Army Education Counselor.
In order to act in accordance with procedures, we always suggest applying for FTA in a timely manner. Our department is always willing to assist students in the application process. Once your TA is approved, you will be required to bring your TA authorization form to the Business Office (Bursar's Office) in order for your funds to be applied to your student account. You will be sent instructions by Mr. James McClanahan on how to retrieve this document.
****Please check your email frequently in order to ensure no outstanding requirements remain after your FTA submission. Mr. McClanahan will reach out to you via email for any other documents or changes you may need to make. For questions, please reach out to Mr. James McClanahan by phone at 615-313-0604 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.