DoD Voluntary Education Programs

The Department of Defense (DoD) Voluntary Education Program offers eligible service members opportunities to further their education through a variety of programs and services provided by the individual branches of Service. The resources listed below are available to assist in planning, completing, and paying for educational advancement from basic academic competencies up to Doctoral degrees.

External Degree Examinations
Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) sponsors a wide range of examination programs to help service members meet their education goals. These examinations are administered on more than 530 military installations by the DANTES Test Control Officer (TCO), who is generally the Education Services Officer or Navy College Education Specialist for the military installation. About 150,000 DANTES sponsored examinations are administered each year to military personnel.

The American Council on Education (ACE) provides a collaborative link between the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and higher education institutions through the review of military training and experiences for the award of equivalent college credits for members of the Armed Forces. Registrars, admissions officers, academic advisors, career counselors, and DoD Voluntary Education professionals have a basis for recognizing military educational experiences in terms of civilian academic credit.

Military Tuition Assistance (TA)
Federal legislation allows the Services to pay up to 100 percent of education costs for service members. 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.

Online Academic Skills Course
Peterson’s Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) for Military Success is designed for service members, military family members, and civilian employees who want to increase their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and math skills to pass their exams, excel in their jobs, advance their careers, or continue their education.

Postsecondary Degree
The primary focus of Department of Defense (DoD) sponsored continuing education programs is programs that enable service members to earn a college degree. Congress has held that men and women serving in the Armed Forces should have at least the same opportunity to advance academically as do civilians who remain outside the military.

Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC)
SOC was created in 1972 to provide educational opportunities to service members who, because they frequently moved from place to place, had trouble completing college degrees. SOC functions in cooperation with fifteen higher education associations, the Department of Defense (DoD), and active and Reserve Components of the mi