April, 12

Online Military Schools: A Comparative Guide

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When pursuing higher education, active duty military members face unique challenges that can make traditional campus learning difficult. This is where online military schools come into play, offering flexibility and tailored support for those who serve. Let’s compare some of the best online schools for active duty military, highlighting their features and how they cater to service members’ needs.

Online military schools, also known as online military colleges, provide distance learning opportunities designed for military personnel. These schools understand the unpredictable nature of military life and offer flexible scheduling, credit for military training, and dedicated support for veterans and active service members.

The Appeal of Online Schools for Veterans

For veterans transitioning back to civilian life, online schools offer a smooth pathway to gaining valuable qualifications. They provide an environment where veterans can leverage their military experience for academic credit, easing their transition and setting them up for success in the civilian workforce.

Online Schools for Service Members: Balancing Duty and Education

Active military personnel often balance their service commitments with personal goals. Online schools for service members are structured to accommodate this balance, allowing students to study from anywhere in the world at any time, which is essential for those with demanding schedules.

Key Features of Top Online Military Colleges

  • Flexibility: Courses are designed to fit around military commitments, with asynchronous classes allowing students to learn at their own pace.
  • Credit for Military Experience: Many online military colleges award academic credit for military training and experience, recognizing the value of the skills learned in service.
  • Support Services: These schools often have dedicated support services for military students, including counselling, tutoring, and career services.
  • Financial Aid: These colleges understand the financial constraints of military life and offer various forms of financial aid, scholarships, and tuition discounts to service members.
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Comparing the Best Online Schools for Active Duty Military

When comparing online schools, consider factors such as accreditation, the range of programs offered, the level of support provided to military students, and the cost of tuition. While many schools offer benefits for military students, some stand out for their commitment to serving those who serve.

American Public University System (APUS)

APUS is renowned for its extensive range of online degree programs and certificates. Its strong focus on the military community means that APUS offers a supportive learning environment with resources tailored to the needs of service members.

University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)

UMGC is another top contender known for its innovative online learning platform and comprehensive support services for military students. It offers various programs and has a long history of serving the military community.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

SNHU provides a vast selection of online programs and is recognized for its military-friendly policies, including generous transfer policies for military training and flexible scheduling for active duty members.

The Admission Requirements for Online Military Schools

Admission requirements for online military schools can vary, but they generally include the following:

Basic Admission Criteria

  • Application: Completion of an online application form.
  • Transcripts: Submission of official transcripts from previous educational institutions.
  • Recommendations: Letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s character and potential.
  • Essays: A personal essay or statement of purpose explaining the applicant’s interest in the school and their goals.
  • Interview: An interview may be required to assess the applicant’s suitability for the program.

Military-Specific Requirements

  • Proof of Service: Documentation verifying active duty status or military service.
  • Military Training: Information about any military training eligible for academic credit.
  • VA Benefits: For those who have not used VA GI Bill® benefits at any institution of higher education, an application for benefits may be necessary.

Additional Considerations

  • Age and Physical Fitness: Some military schools may have age and physical fitness requirements.
  • Character and Leadership: Assessment of the applicant’s character and leadership experience, often through essays and interviews.

Support for Military Students

  • Financial Aid: Information on scholarships, grants, and tuition assistance for military members.
  • Support Services: Dedicated support services for veterans, military members, and their families are available.
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It’s important to check with each school for their specific admission requirements, as they can differ based on the program and the level of support they offer to military students.

Institutions With Exceptional Support for Deployed Students

Here are some institutions known for their exceptional support for deployed military students:

American Public University System (APUS)

APUS stands out for its comprehensive support for deployed students, offering flexible course schedules and dedicated military advisors to assist with the unique challenges service members face.

Ohio University

Ohio University is recognized for its strong support system. It provides various services, including a military-focused transition seminar, priority course registration, and assistance with deployment issues.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

SNHU is celebrated for its military-friendly policies, which include generous transfer policies for military training and flexible scheduling to accommodate active duty members’ service commitments.

These institutions are committed to ensuring that deployments and military duties do not hinder their students’ educational progress. They provide robust support networks and flexible academic policies to cater to the needs of service members.

How do These Schools Handle Deployments and Sudden Duty Assignments?

Online military schools are well-equipped to handle the unique circumstances of their students, including deployments and sudden duty assignments. Here’s how they typically manage these situations:

Flexibility During Deployments

  • Course Pauses: Students can pause their courses if they are deployed or have other service-related obligations that interfere with their studies.
  • Extended Deadlines: Many schools offer extended deadlines for assignments and exams to accommodate sudden changes in military schedules.
  • Withdrawal Policies: Special withdrawal policies may allow military students to withdraw from courses without academic penalty due to deployment.

Support Services

  • Academic Advising: Dedicated military academic advisors are available to help students navigate their educational journey during their service.
  • Counselling Services: Counseling services are often provided to assist with the stress of balancing military duties and education.

Technological Solutions

  • Online Platforms: Schools utilize robust online platforms that allow students to access coursework from anywhere, which is crucial during deployments.
  • Communication Tools: Effective communication tools are in place to keep students connected with faculty and peers even when they are deployed.
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These policies ensure active-duty military members can continue their education without their service commitments becoming a barrier. It’s always recommended that you check with the specific institution for their detailed policies regarding military deployments and duties.


Choosing the right online military school is a significant decision for active-duty military members. It’s crucial to select a school that offers the desired degree program and understands and accommodates the unique needs of military life. By doing so, service members can achieve their educational goals without compromising their commitment to serving their country.

Remember, the best online military college for one person might not be the best for another. It’s all about finding the right fit for your needs and career aspirations. So, take the time to research, compare, and choose wisely. Your future is worth it.

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