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April, 12

Benefits of Attending a Military-Friendly College

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Did you know that more than 2 million veterans and service members are enrolled in higher education in the United States? Pursuing a college degree can be a rewarding and challenging experience for anyone, but especially for those who have served or are serving in the military. They may face unique obstacles, such as adjusting to civilian life, coping with physical or mental injuries, or balancing multiple responsibilities. However, they also have unique opportunities, such as applying their skills, knowledge, and leadership to new fields, expanding their network, and advancing their career.

That’s why choosing a military-friendly college is crucial for veterans and service members who want to succeed academically and professionally. A military-friendly college recognizes and supports the needs and goals of military-affiliated students and provides various benefits and resources to help them thrive. This article will explore the benefits of attending a military-friendly college for veterans and service members and how they can make the most of their educational journey.

The Benefits of Attending a military-friendly College: How Veterans and Service Members Can Succeed Academically and Professionally

1. Financial Support

One of the main benefits of attending a military-friendly college is its financial support. Military-friendly colleges understand that paying for college can be a challenge for many veterans and service members, especially if they have dependents or other expenses. That’s why they offer various forms of financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, tuition discounts, and credit transfers, that can reduce the cost of education and make it more affordable.

For example, some military-friendly colleges participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a voluntary agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to cover the tuition and fees that exceed the amount covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This means eligible veterans and service members can attend these colleges without paying out-of-pocket costs. Other military-friendly colleges offer military scholarships or grants specifically designed for military-affiliated students and can cover part or all of their tuition, books, or living expenses. Some examples of these scholarships or grants are the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA), the Tillman Scholars Program, and the Pat Tillman Foundation.

Another way that military-friendly colleges provide financial support is by offering tuition discounts or waivers for veterans, service members, and their dependents. These discounts or waivers can vary depending on the college, but they can range from 10% to 50% off the regular tuition rate. Some military-friendly colleges also offer credit transfers for military training and experience, which can save time and money by reducing the number of courses or credits required to complete a degree.

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By offering these forms of financial aid, military-friendly colleges can ease the burden of student debt and increase the return on education investment for veterans and service members. They can also help them achieve their educational goals without compromising their financial stability or security.

2. Academic flexibility

Another benefit of attending a military-friendly college is its academic flexibility. Military-friendly colleges understand that veterans and service members have busy and unpredictable schedules and may need to juggle multiple commitments, such as work, family, or military duties. That’s why they offer flexible and convenient learning options, such as online courses, hybrid programs, and accelerated degrees, that can accommodate their needs and preferences.

For example, some military-friendly colleges offer online courses or programs that can be accessed from anywhere and anytime, as long as an internet connection exists. Online courses or programs can be ideal for veterans and service members who are deployed, stationed abroad, or travel frequently, as they can continue their education without interrupting their service or sacrificing their mobility. Online courses or programs can also benefit those who prefer to learn at their own pace, or who have family or work obligations that prevent them from attending traditional classes. Some examples of online military-friendly colleges are American Military University (AMU), Colorado Technical University (CTU), and the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC).

Another option that some military-friendly colleges offer is hybrid programs, which combine online and on-campus courses or components. Hybrid programs can provide the best of both worlds, as they offer the flexibility and convenience of online learning and the interaction and support of face-to-face learning. Hybrid programs can be suitable for veterans and service members who want social and academic engagement with their peers and instructors but also need some flexibility and autonomy in their learning. Some examples of hybrid military-friendly colleges are Arizona State University (ASU), Northeastern University, and the University of Southern California (USC).

A third option that some military-friendly colleges offer is accelerated degrees, which allow students to complete their degree in a shorter period of time than the standard duration. Accelerated degrees can be achieved by taking more courses per term, taking courses year-round, or taking courses that are shorter or more intensive than the regular ones. Accelerated degrees can be appealing for veterans and service members who want to finish their education quickly and move on to their career goals, or who have prior learning or experience that can be applied to their degree. Some examples of accelerated military-friendly colleges are Capella University, Excelsior College, and Western Governors University (WGU).

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By offering these flexible and convenient learning options, military-friendly colleges can help veterans and service members balance their education, work, and family commitments and achieve their academic success and satisfaction.

3. Career development

A third benefit of attending a military-friendly college is the career development that it offers. Military-friendly colleges understand that veterans and service members have valuable skills and experience that can be applied to various fields and industries, but they may also need some guidance and support to transition to civilian careers and increase their employability and income. That’s why they offer career-oriented programs, such as vocational training, certification courses, and internship opportunities, that can enhance their skills and credentials and prepare them for the job market.

For example, some military-friendly colleges offer vocational training or technical programs that can teach practical and hands-on skills in high-demand fields, such as health care, information technology, or engineering. Vocational training or technical programs can be a good option for veterans and service members who want to pursue a career related to their military occupation or want to learn a new trade or profession that can offer stability and growth. Some examples of vocational or technical military-friendly colleges are Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Lincoln Tech, and DeVry University.

Another option that some military-friendly colleges offer is certification courses or programs that can provide industry-recognized credentials or certifications that can boost the resume and qualifications of veterans and service members. Certification courses or programs can be useful for those who want to demonstrate their proficiency or expertise in a specific area or who want to meet the requirements or standards of a certain profession or organization. Some examples of certification courses or programs are Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and CompTIA A+.

A third option that some military-friendly colleges offer is internship opportunities or programs that can provide hands-on experience and exposure to real-world scenarios and challenges in a chosen field or industry. Internship opportunities or programs can benefit veterans and service members who want to gain practical and relevant experience or network and connect with potential employers or mentors. Some examples of internship opportunities or programs are Hire Heroes USA, Veterans in Global Leadership, and The Mission Continues.

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By offering these career-oriented programs, military-friendly colleges can help veterans and service members transition to civilian careers and increase their employability and income. They can also help them leverage their skills and experience and achieve their professional goals and aspirations.

Conclusion

In conclusion, attending a military-friendly college can benefit veterans and service members who want to succeed academically and professionally. Military-friendly colleges can provide financial support, academic flexibility, and career development, which can help them overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities of pursuing higher education. However, not all colleges are equally military-friendly, and it is important to research and compare the options before choosing a college that best suits one’s needs and goals.

If you are a veteran or a service member who is interested in attending a military-friendly college, here are some tips or resources that can help you find and apply to one:

  • Use online tools or databases, such as Military Friendly, College Scorecard, or GI Bill Comparison Tool, to search and compare colleges based on their military-friendliness, cost, quality, and outcomes.
  • Contact the Veterans Affairs office or the military liaison of the colleges you are interested in. Ask them about their admission requirements, financial aid options, academic programs, and student services for military-affiliated students.
  • Seek advice or assistance from veteran organizations or mentors, such as Student Veterans of America (SVA), American Corporate Partners (ACP), or Veterati that can provide guidance, support, and networking opportunities for veterans and service members who want to pursue higher education or careers.

Attending a military-friendly college can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for veterans and service members who want to advance their education and careers. By choosing a military-friendly college, they can enjoy the benefits of financial support, academic flexibility, and career development and achieve academic and professional success and satisfaction. Thank you for reading this article, and we hope you learned something new and useful.

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