Only 1 percent of our nation’s population has ever served in the Armed Forces, allowing the 99 percent of us to enjoy freedoms too often taken for granted. Nearly two million service members (Our Nations Credentials) have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Almost 200,000 service men and women are transiting from military service each year nationwide. Many of these young men and women are returning in search of homes, jobs, and an education. And more and more veterans are using their GI Bill benefits to attend school, but often it doesn’t cover all the costs.
The University of Southern Mississippi has announced the TA Gap Funding program to help military-service members cover the gap between federal tuition assistance and remaining course tuition for TA-approved hours. The program will begin for the fall 2023 semester.
The program’s purpose is to protect the gap in tuition for veterans who receive financial aid from the federal government. With TA Gap Funding, service members can be fully covered for 15-18 credit hours per fiscal year, depending on the branch of service. For example, suppose a student-veteran receives $750 in federal financial aid for one semester at USM. In that case, the University will cover the remaining cost for that semester (up to 16 to 18 credit hours per fiscal year, based on the military branch of service).
“We are going to provide the money necessary to ensure that their tuition is fully paid for,” said Major Gen. (Ret.) Jeff Hammond, director of Military Student Affairs at USM. “If you’re eligible, you can receive federal tuition assistance, but that doesn’t pay the total cost. We’re going to provide that gap difference.”
The TA Gap Funding Program is another example of how USM strives to serve those who deserve it most: our military community. USM is ranked a top Military Friendly University and received Gold Standards as a Military Friendly School. The Center for Military Veterans, Service Members, and Families on the campus of USM is dedicated to serving the military community on and off campus. From application, scholarships, tutoring, and job placement, the Center is ready to help military servicemen and women get started on furthering their education.
The Center for Military Veterans, Service Members, and Families is led by Major General Jeff Hammond, USA, Ret. who guarantees the Center will: lead by example, love their students, and provide the finest in customer care. Contact the Center with any questions about the TA Gap Funding Program!
Hattiesburg Phone: 601.266.8387
Gulf Park Phone: 228.214.3244
Department Email: [email protected]
Photo provided by The Center for Miltary Veterans