What You Should Know About This Degree
The military offers multiple GI Bill programs for active duty military members, veterans, and spouses and children of service members. Each program has specific eligibility requirements and regulations. It’s important that you understand what benefits you are eligible for prior to applying to a college. You must obtain this information from the Bureau of Veterans Affairs. Even if a school as a military affairs office, they do not have access to your records and GI Bill information.
Many military friendly colleges will work with service members who choose to work on their degree while on active duty, including refunding tuition payments in the event you are called for duty. However, GI Bill benefits are administered differently for active duty service members and veterans, and you may not receive the maximum benefits you are eligible for if you choose to use them while serving.
Because of the way for-profit colleges are regulated, there has been speculation that for-profit colleges have been targeting veterans for their GI Bill funds, while providing a questionable quality of higher education. Veterans and active duty service members should carefully look at the schools to which they are considering applying, to ensure that they will receive a quality education and recognized degree from a respected institution.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Military Friendly Colleges:
- Am I eligible for GI Bill benefits? If you have not yet contacted the Bureau of Veterans Affairs to check your eligibility for GI Bill benefits, now is the time to do so. Applications for these benefits can take up to six weeks to process. Failure to have your certificate of eligibility available for your school can impact your ability to start classes.
- Can I receive credits for military training? Many military-friendly schools will give students credit for skills or knowledge received as part of their military training or experience, especially if it’s in a related major such as engineering, nursing, or criminal justice. Talk to an advisor to find out what kind of credit you can receive for your military experience.
Research the application deadlines and requirements as part of your selection process. This information should be available on the school’s website, or by contacting their admissions department.
It’s also important to note that GI Bill benefits may not cover all of your tuition and fees. You should also look into scholarships, federal financial aid, and assistantships in the event there is a gap.