"As a general rule of thumb, transferring up from a T-4 can only help." This is what I was thinking all along.
About the payment issue, I'm getting some financial help from them, but tuition is not 100% covered. I'm actually relying on CCRAA, the new law that was passed in 2007 and takes effect July 2009, which you may have heard of. Essentially, under this act, any lawyer who is employed in public service (broadly defined, including JAG) for a period of 10 years total, can have the remainder of all eligible loans forgiven. Eligible loans include federal loans (subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans/Grad PLUS/Perkins?). In this situation, tuition cost at a given school would be a negligible factor in my opinion.
But I think I will go ahead and take this issue up with some former JAG officers.