What You Should Know About This Degree
Though the education you receive at a military-friendly college or university will be the same high quality as that provided to non-military students, there are certain benefits and advantages that military-friendly programs make available to those who have served, are serving, or who are the qualifying spouse or dependent of an individual who has served. These benefits include the ability to earn college-level credits through exams at no charge (where non-military students pay more than $40 per exam); the ability to earn credits for military experience and training; and the availability of special tuition discounts, scholarships, and grants for military members.
Additionally, colleges that are military friendly will install special personnel and extra-curricular options for military members and veterans including having a chapter of the Student Veterans of America on campus; offering a full-time veteran’s counselor; offering clubs or associations for veterans; and having signed the VA Principles of Excellence.
There are over 1,500 on-campus chapters of Student Veterans of America, an organization that strives to improve outcomes and empower student veterans in higher education through research, service, programs, and advocacy. The group currently represents over 750,000 student veterans, ensuring that they have the resources and support that they need. Attending a school that has a SVA chapter ensures that you have a voice working on your behalf on campus, providing you with the greatest chance for success.
Though many veterans worry about their ability to transition into the workforce after having served, an increasing number of organizations are seeking the experience, knowledge, and leadership skills that veterans possess. By combining your training and talent with the education offered by a military-friendly educational program, you give yourself the greatest possible advantage for career success.
Depending upon your military experience, you may be able to combine your degree from a military-friendly program and work towards a career in healthcare, in government or public administration, in defense contracting, information technology, or any of a number of careers that have proven particularly attractive for those who have served.
Here are some questions to ask when researching military-friendly colleges:
- Am I eligible for this program? Every college will have its own unique admissions standards, but military-friendly colleges will have dedicated personnel assigned to help you transition into pursuit of a degree that will lead to successful civilian life. The support staff will help active-duty service members and veterans to navigate program selection, tuition assistance, and other resources. They can also assist with balancing your classroom obligations with active-duty life so that you can meet the challenges of both.
- Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? While some veterans and military members may choose on campus life, others will need the flexibility of an online education. Many of the programs that we’ve reviewed offer online options that can be taken either synchronously or asynchronously to allow for greater flexibility in both your military obligations and in accommodating work and family schedules to which you may be obligated.
Funding your education is always a top concern, and especially for those who have served or are serving in the military. There are several VA educational benefits, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which can be used to fund your educational expenses, and individual institutions may also offer specific discounts for veterans or members of the military and their qualified family members. Military-friendly colleges will have financial services staff that are specifically dedicated to helping those who have served.