My Coast Guard
Commentary | July 20, 2022

Coast Guard expands tuition to civilian employees  

By Kathy Murray, MyCG Writer

Due to a recent policy change, civilian employees will now be able to take advantage of tuition assistance (TA) of up to $4,500 a year for career-related degrees or certificates.  

This is the first time that Coast Guard civilians are eligible for TA since 2013 when the program was halted due to sequestration. 

The renewed benefit underscores the service’s commitment to investing in the total workforce through education, professional development, and support for lifelong learning and attainment of mission-related degrees and credentials, according to Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Linda Fagan.  

“Expanding tuition assistance to include our civilian workforce highlights the Coast Guard as a true employer of choice while also improving recruiting, retention, and readiness,” Fagan said.  

How does it work?  
Effective immediately, permanent full-time and part-time government service (GS) and wage grade (WG) civilians may submit TA applications via the MyCG Education website. (CAC required). The program will pay the cost of authorized courses up front, so there will be no need for reimbursement.  

What’s covered?  
Tuition assistance of up to $4,500 a year is authorized for courses that are related to an employee’s current position and the anticipated needs of the Coast Guard. The Education and Training Quota Management Command (ETCQ) will ensure the stipulation is met during advisement sessions. TA funds will apply toward coursework that leads to:

  • A first or second academic certificate   
  • A first or second associate or bachelor’s degree  
  • A first master’s degree   
  • TA is not authorized for any degree above a master's degree, including juris doctor (JD), doctoral degrees (PhD), and similar terminal degrees  

Who’s eligible?  
In order to be eligible, civilians at the Coast Guard must have:  

  • At least 90 days of prior, continuous Coast Guard service  
  • Received “Achieved Expectations” or higher on their most recent annual appraisal or interim rating            
  • Received supervisor approval to participate in the TA program (Supervisors are encouraged to consider command priorities, operational tempo, and individual performance when approving TA requests)  
  • Received education counseling from a Coast Guard Education Services Officer (ESO)  

What about reservists?  
Coast Guard civilians who are also reservists of any service may use TA in either capacity as long as the combined total of civilian TA and reservist TA does not exceed Coast Guard’s $4,500 annual cap. TA is not authorized for reservists who are not meeting satisfactory reserve duty participation standards.  

Any other requirements?  
Upon completion of the course, civilian members are obligated to remain employed with the Coast Guard one full month for each course credit hour. For example, a civilian who completes a course worth three credit hours on July 26 would be obligated to serve until October 26 and complete the full pay period.  

For further questions:  

  • The field should direct TA questions to local ESOs.   
  • Unit ESOs can contact Chief Warrant Officer Jaimee Richter, ETQC, at (757)756-5338 or email .  

   
Recent articles:  
Changes in tuition assistance for military and civilian members  
Tuition assistance guidance for 2022 MyCG