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IST to attend graduate school

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  • IST to attend graduate school

    I am currently in the Florida National Guard. I am using EDD (Educational Dollars for Duty) which pays 100% of my tuition at the University of Florida (a state university). I have never used Federal TA. I may be attending graduate school in Virginia starting January 2015. This will be to obtain a Master's Degree. I figure I will be up there about 2 years. When I get my degree, I plan on returning to Florida to get my Ph.D. I have 3 questions:

    1. Even though I have not served for 10 years in the Guard (I am just starting my 5th year), since I have never used Federal TA, am I eligible to have my tuition covered while in Virginia?

    2. Florida has paid for my undergraduate degree (through the EDD program). Will they make a big fuss if I leave the FL Guard to join the VA Guard for two years?

    3. Is it even possible to do temporary ISTs? It obviously won't be possible for me to drill in FL for two years while living in VA.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Federal TA has changed significantly of late, so I'm leery to touch #1. I can tell you that if you accept Virginia's State Tuition Assistance, you owe Virginia two years of service after you finish using it. Our Education office has developed quite a good system of recouping money from Soldiers and Airmen who do not fulfill their obligations.
    2. This is a question to address with your chain of command now. My guess is that you have a service obligation to Florida.
    3. You are welcome to IST to any State that will have you. It's only temporary in retrospect.

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    • #3
      I was intrigued by the idea of state tuition assistance, as my own state ( Massachusetts) offers tuition and fee waiver for Guard service, and obviously Fed TA, but we donít have our own state tuition assistance. I did some research and noticed that Virginia requires you to have at least 2 years left of your service time. Is this to ensure you complete the 2 years you owe to the state, or do you owe two additional years (added to your service obligation). If so thatís seems to me like a real win win win. You win because you get your help with paying for your education, Virginia wins because they get two years of service, and the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force win because they also get 2 years of reserve component service from you by virtue of the nature of the Guard. The same for the 4 years owed for Federal TA. The Army/Air Force gets 4 years of service from you, and so does your state. Thatís seems like a good deal all around.

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