Military & Veteran Affairs

TN STRONG Act & Tuition Assistance



Tennessee STRONG Act 

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 or master's degree. 

Prior to the application, soldiers must apply for Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) in order to act in accordance with regulations put in place by the Tennessee National Guard. IF YOU HAVE BEEN ISSUED A COMMON ACCESS CARD (CAC), YOU MOST LIKELY ARE ELIGIBLE FOR AND NEED TO APPLY FOR FTA.

Please note that it is the student's responsibility to determine if they're eligible for FTA by either contacting the TNNG Education and Incentives Office or ArmyIgnitED.

The section on FTA can be found further down this page. You can also obtain more information about FTA by visiting here.

Below are the eligibility requirements in order to receive TN STRONG Act funding. 

  • Be currently serving in the Tennessee National Guard (TNNG).

  • Be in good standing with the TNNG.

  • Must have served in TNNG for a portion of the term that STRONG is requested and must be serving when term ends.

  • Have not attained a bachelor's degree and wish to pursue an associate’s or bachelor's degree.

  • Have not attained a graduate degree and wish to pursue a graduate degree.

  • Attend a Tennessee college of applied technology (TCAT), regionally accredited community college, 4 year public university, or private school who’s primary campus is located in TN.

  • Use Federal Tuition Assistance (if eligible).

  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress with 2.0 GPA minimum for undergraduate programs or a 3.0 GPA for graduate programs for the academic term for which TN STRONG Act tuition reimbursement is being requested. For members seeking a certificate or diploma from a vocational or technical program at a public or private educational institution, satisfactory academic progress and either a minimum grade point average of 2.0, or academic good standing, as determined by the institution, if grade point averages are not utilized by the institution, are required to be eligible for reimbursement.

  • The funded course(s) meets a requirement listed in your personalized degree plan provided by the school (this can include prerequisite courses).

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 Federal Tuition Assistance, 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 toward a first time bachelor’s degree or 40 graduate credit hours toward a master's degree (inclusive of any previously earned or awarded hours).

How to Apply for the TN STRONG Act

The office of Military & Veterans Affairs will submit a TN STRONG Act application on your behalf. However, you are responsible for completing the application packet with the exception of the SECTION IV page, which is on page 2 of the packet. That page is to be completed by us. Once you have completed all the other pages, please forward them to us at You can also drop off the documents in person at the Veterans Center on the 3rd floor of Jere Whitson. Once we have these documents, we will add the SECTION IV page to the application and submit it on your behalf to the appropriate TN STRONG Act manager.

Please make sure to sign, initial, and date wherever required (including getting your unit/squadron Commander's signature). Any missing information may result in your application packet being rejected in its entirety.

The application packet can be found below:


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

Federal Tuition Assistance

Concurrent usage of FTA and Chapter 1606
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.


The Army’s Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) program is a benefit for all individuals who serve in the Army, either as Active, Guard or as a Reservist. The maximum amount paid for Federal Tuition Assistance is up to $250 per semester hour, up to either 16 semester hours annually or 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 the completion of a master's degree, whichever comes first. The 39 semester hour limit applies to all credits taken after completion of a baccalaureate degree. 


You must submit your FTA request at least 7 business days prior to the course start date.

If you are planning on using the TN Strong Act and you fail to apply for FTA it could result in the reduction in funding from the TN Strong Act by the amount that would have been applied from FTA. If you have been issued a Common Access Card (CAC), you need to apply for FTA.

You can find more information about Federal Tuition Assistance here.


Tuition Assistance Procedures

If you’re are utilizing tuition assistance, the access point is the ArmyIgnitED portal to request Tuition Assistance. To gain access to ArmyIgnitED, speak with an Army Education Counselor or a member of the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs at Tennessee Tech.

ArmyIgnitED Portal

In order to act in accordance with procedures, we always suggest applying for FTA as soon as you have registered for courses. FTA requests must be submitted at least 7 business days prior to the course start date. If you wait to request FTA on the first day of the term or later it will be declined. 

Steps you will need to take in order to request FTA:

First time using FTA or first time using FTA through Armyignited:

  • FTA requests are made through ArmyIgnitED.

  • Go to ArmyIgnitED and sign in with your CAC card. 

  • Once the student account is established, select the education goal. Select education level, school and degree you want to pursue. 

  • Once your education goal has been approved by your ESO/ESS, click on the Virtual Benefits Training link; after that is completed, click on TA Requests and issue funding. 

  • Your assigned education counselor will review your tuition assistance request (TAR) and approve or reject it. You will receive an email stating the status of the TAR and the steps to follow, if necessary. 

Requesting FTA 

  • Once the education goal is approved, click on ‘Request Tuition Assistance’ **

  • Select the courses 

  • Click on ‘Add Course’

  • Click on ‘Submit Request’, upload any documentation if needed

Our department is always willing to assist students in the application process. If you encounter any problems, please make sure you let us know immediately so that we can help resolve the issue in a timely manner. You can reach us at  

The link below contains detailed instructions on applying for FTA:

Federal Tuition Assistance


**** Please check your email frequently in order to ensure no outstanding requirements remain after your FTA submission. Mr. James McClanahan, the Education Services Specialist for TN Army National Guard, will reach out to you via email for any other required documents or changes you may need to make. Mr. McClanahan can be reached by phone at 615-313-0604 or by email at


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Minuteman Award
The Tennessee Army National Guard presenting the prestigious Minuteman Award to Tennessee Tech in recognition of the university's participation in the Tennessee STRONG Act and its continual support for members of the Tennessee National Guard.

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