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Can I Join The Military While In College

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Can You Go To College While in The Military? (United States Army)

You will then need to present original copies of your birth certificate, government issued photo ID, transcripts from your highest level of education, proof of trade qualifications and professional licenses, and any additional forms required for the trade or job you selected. All overseas education must be presented with a Canadian equivalency from Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada

Decide Which Branch Of The Military Fits Your Interests And Abilities

Each military branch offers different roles within the armed forces. Depending on your talents and interests, you may be better suited to certain branches of the military. Talk with recruitment advisors online or in-person as you research each section of the United States military.

Choose from the following branches of the armed forces:

  • Army

  • Space Force

Tips For Taking Classes While In The Military

Advertiser Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the authors alone. This article may contain links from our advertisers. For more information, please see our .

Being in the military is a full-time job, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But that doesnt mean you should let that get in the way of your dreams of achieving an education. Even deployments dont have to stop your education because many schools offer online classes and many deployed locations now feature educational centers where you can take proctored exams or even take placement exams to test out of college courses.

Let me share with you how I was able to complete my Bachelors Degree while on active duty by taking full-time classes, both in residence and while deployed to the Middle East. And no, I didnt have a cushy office job. I worked as a C-130 mechanic on the flight line, often working 9-12 hour days at home station, and 13-14 hour days while deployed.

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Programs For Indigenous Peoples

Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year

A one-year educational program offered to Indigenous peoples through the Royal Military College of Canada

Summer training programs

Summer Indigenous programs provide an opportunity to discover Military culture and training.

Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program

A special three-week program for Indigenous peoples who are considering a career in the CAF.

Rotc As A Graduate Student

Reasons To Join The Army: What Benefits Can You Earn?

The Reserve Officer Training Corps prepares college students for careers as military officers. Dating back to 1916, when it was founded as part of the National Defense Act, today’s ROTC program combines academic education with military training. ROTC cadets earn a degree while completing additional military science training. After completing the program, graduates join the military as officers and take on leadership roles in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or other armed service branches.

Grad student ROTC recipients can use the program to pay for a master’s degree. ROTC programs provide full tuition and a book allowance for grad students, along with a monthly stipend. During grad school, ROTC cadets complete the same coursework requirements as other students, with additional military training requirements. After graduation, master’s students can join the military as officers, typically for a four-year service agreement. When recipients fulfill the service requirement they can transition to civilian jobs in the same field as their master’s degree.

This guide covers ROTC in grad school, including requirements and benefits. It also explains the difference between ROTC and officer candidate school and provides information about additional ROTC scholarships.

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Making It Work Under Difficult Circumstances

Perseverance and dedication are key characteristics of successful students. Spittler says shes helped hundreds of students, and always loves to hear their stories. A few of them still stand out in her memory.

She recalls advising an online military student who was deployed overseas. He was interested in a masters program at National. She told him itd be a great program for him, but that he needed to take the classes in sequence, without breaks in between. She also told him his options in case he needed to drop a class.

Throughout the program, the student kept in touch with Spittler and, although she knew he was deployed, she didnt know where. Spittler says when a student is on active duty, You cant really discuss where theyre at because of security reasons. I really dont ask.

Wherever he was serving, the time difference was significant, and the student would stay up late in order to call Spittler during her office hours if he needed to speak to her. His ability to focus on difficult coursework while deployed really captured her attention and she praised him for his efforts.

Finally, he arrived at his capstone project, which is the last course in a National University program. Going into the last course, he had all As, but he was upset to receive a B+ in his final class.

She told him not to be so unhappy about the B+, but rather to be proud of what he had accomplished. It was no small thing to transition from one country to another and then to transition home.

Active Duty Health Professions Student Loan Repayment Program

Health professionals who are also on active duty can qualify for $40,000 per year toward your student loan debt for up to 3 years if youre serving in the dental, medical, allied health, nursing, or veterinary corps while on active duty. You can also be eligible for up to $50,000 in total loan forgiveness over 3 years if youre in the reserves for those professions.

What Loans Qualify for Active Duty Health Professions Student Loan Repayment?

  • Stafford Loans
  • Supplemental loans for students

How to Apply For Army Student Loan Repayment:

Contact an Army recruiter to learn how to apply, find out whether youre eligible, and learn more about what active duty service in the Army entails.

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Requirements For Officer School

Being a U.S. citizen and having a four-year college degree or higher are the bare minimum requirements for officer school. Beyond that, the selection process is highly competitive across service branches. Candidates must meet physical standards, may have to pass a qualifying test, and demonstrate that they have leadership ability, integrity, dependability, academic discipline and adaptability.

Why And How To Pursue Your Degree While On Active Duty

Best military branch to join for COLLEGE

It’s 0500, and you’re up and ready to meet the challenges of a new day. Physical training, working in your military occupational specialty , developing basic soldiering skills you push it all day. It may sometimes seem like there is little time for anything else.

Today, though, more and more active-duty service members are going to school to further their education. Why do they do it? And how?

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National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program

If you sign up to serve, you also need to meet other criteria for this program:

  • You must enlist for a minimum of six years
  • Enlist for a critical skills vacancy in the grade of E-4 or below
  • Enlist in a qualifying position in an MTO or medical TDA unit only
  • Score a minimum score of 50 on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test
  • You cannot also be enlisting as a 09R SMP cadet, RFP, or Active First Program
  • You must not be enlisted as a glossary non-prior service soldier .

If you are eligible, you can earn up to $7,500 annually, with a maximum of $50,000, toward your qualifying student loan debts.

What Lons Qualify For National Guard Student Loan Repayment:

  • Stafford loans

For more information, visit the National Guard Student Loan Forgiveness website.

Getting Fit With Fitt

As a rule of thumb, ease into your activities, gradually increase each element of FITT, and end each session with a cool-down. For example:

  • Begin with a 5- to 10-minute warm-up. Walking, biking or a slow jog will increase blood flow to the muscles and lightly increase your heart rate. Follow up with some light stretching of the muscles you will be using in your workout.
  • Improving your overall fitness is most effectively done through a combination of 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic and strength exercises. The two sample fitness sessions below are based on Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology guidelines.
  • A 5- to 10-minute cool-down helps return your body to its normal, pre-exercise condition. Suddenly stopping an intense workout can make you dizzy, nauseated or even faint. Walking, biking or a slow jog will gradually bring down your heart rate and relieve muscle soreness.

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Fast Track To Officer

Becoming a military officer isnt nearly as difficult if you join the military with a bachelor?s degree. Starting with a degree in hand when you enlist means you just have to complete Officer Candidate School or Officer Training School and basic training to become a military officer.

Once youre an officer, you will be in charge of 15 to 40 service members and you will gain higher pay. In addition, you will gain more privileges, the ability to become a leader and better treatment. Officers also gain a better education and more skills, which helps when you leave the military and start searching for a civilian job.

What Do Rotc Students Do

Flight school students execute

Mainly they are just like any other college student. They earn an academic degree and learn to think and reason at the college level. Along the way they learn leadership skills and have experiences that will set them apart from their peers. These skills and experiences will qualify them to become officers in the US Army. Upon graduation, they are placed in job positions as Second Lieutenants, either on Active duty or in the Reserves or National Guard.

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Should I Join The Military To Pay For College Final Thoughts

If you want to earn a college degree but you dont want to go deep in debt with a student loan to pay for it, joining the military is an option to consider. Many people do it. Whether this is a good option for you is something that only you can answer.

If you are unsure of whether the military makes sense for you, talk to a recruiter. Make sure you ask about the educational benefits. Military benefits do change periodically, and you want to make sure you understand everything thats available before making a decision. Once you sign on the dotted line, theres no backing out.

Its also a good idea to talk to a few people who are either currently in the military or have been discharged. They will be able to give you insights on military life that you probably wont hear from a recruiter.

Also consider some of the alternatives to going deep in debt with a student loan. Community colleges, competency-based degrees, work colleges, and employer tuition assistance are all great ways to dramatically lower the cost of earning a degree.

Should I join the military to pay for college?

Only you can answer that question. Before you make a decision, take the time to talk to a recruiter and to some people who went the military route. Also consider some of the alternatives for funding your degree mentioned in this article.


Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program

If you are interested in being part of one of the top nuclear programs in the world, look into the NUPOC program. It offers:

  • Up to $168,300 while finishing your degree
  • A regular monthly income ranging from $3,280 to $5,610 for up to 30 months prior to your graduation
  • A generous military salary
  • Naval Nuclear Power School Instructor
  • Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Instructor

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To Join As Anofficer Officers In The Caf Hold Positions Of Authority And Respect They Are Responsible For The Safety Well

You are between 16 and 57 years old.

If you are under 18 years old, you will need permission from your parent or guardian.

You are between 16 and 57 years old.

If you are under 18 years old, you will need permission from your parent or guardian.

You are a Canadian citizen.

You are a Canadian citizen.

You have completed Grade 10 or Secondary IV .

You have completed Grade 10 or Secondary IV .

You have, or are working towards, a Bachelor’s Degree.

If you do not meet this requirement, you may be eligible for one of our Paid Education programs.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness For Military

College while in the military

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is a little-known benefit that can help you pay off your student loans. You can have your federal student loans forgiven after 120 qualifying payments and there are no limits on the amount that can be forgiven.

Military service qualifies under the qualifying employment guidelines.

How to Apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness:

You can fill out the employment certification formor access our free assessment to see if you qualify.

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Expert Interview: Lizz Galea Us Air Force A1c

U.S. Air Force A1C Lizz Galea, 23, is from Kalkaska, Michigan, and is currently stationed at RAF Mildenhall in the United Kingdom, about 75 miles from London. She decided to join the Air Force in April 2019 and officially enlisted in the DEP in May 2019. She is taking online classes in pursuit of an arts and sciences degree from Northwestern Michigan College, located about 25 miles from her hometown. She has a particular interest in dietetics and hopes to eventually work as a registered dietitian for athletes.

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps

Founded in 1916, ROTC is a college program offered at more than 1,700 colleges and universities across the United States that prepares young adults to become officers in the Military. In exchange for a partially or fully paid college education and a guaranteed post-college career, ROTC students commit to serve in the Military after graduation .

It’s also possible to do a year or two of ROTC simply for the great leadership experience but without service commitment . The Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force each offer their own ROTC program. The Coast Guard doesn’t offer ROTC, but they do have a College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative scholarship program for college sophomores and juniors.

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Reserve Officer Training Corps

ROTC programs are available at more than 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities theyre offered by every branch of the military . Think of ROTC as a scholarship program with a military service component. For example, students in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps are eligible to receive up to $180,000 in tuition assistance at one of 160 colleges in the United States.

During college, they live with other cadets on campus they also get special training during the summer. But otherwise, theyre like traditional college students. Especially after 5 p.m., when the uniforms come off. After graduation, NROTC students are commissioned as ensigns in the Naval Reserve. And they are required to serve at least three years of active duty service.

Playing College Sports After The Military


Did you know that military veterans are still eligible to play college sports after they transition out of the military? The NCAA says that your eligibility to play is put on hold while you are serving your country, this means that when your service is over you can still play all 4 years at college. The NCAA also is not the only college sports organization with this rule, many other such as NJCAA, JUCO, and NAIA all allow veterans to play.

Coaches are also very eager to recruit athletes out of the military. These military athletes have life experience and leadership qualities that are unheard of in an average 18 year old freshmen. Not to mention, during 4 or 6 years in the military you have had more time to condition and get into much better shape than you were in when you enlisted. The fact that these athletes do not usually require financial aid because of the Post 9/11 GI Bill makes them even better recruits. However, coaches are often unsure of where to find these athletes to recruit them and people transitioning out of the military don’t know how to put themselves in front of these coaches to get the process started.

Also, we have created a tool where you can search schools by sports offered and view things like BAH. Search Now

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Air Force Officer Positions

Here are possible officer positions within the Air Force:

  • Weather Officer: A Weather Officer is responsible for the vital service of accurate weather forecasting for aircraft. Officers who earn an undergraduate degree in meteorology or a related field qualify for this position after completing the basic meteorology program.

  • Combat Systems Officer: Combat Systems Officers act as mission commanders for electronic warfare, weapons systems and navigation. These officers utilize technical equipment to lead missions.

  • Special Tactics Officer: This highly trained and elite group of officers provide a range of tactical operations including personnel recovery, fire support and battlefield trauma care.

  • Airfield Operations Officer: These officers lead airfield operations, manage air traffic control and oversee airspace management. They provide leadership and technical assistance in their role as advisors to airfield commanders.

  • Aircraft Maintenance Officer: An Aircraft Maintenance Officer is responsible for creating maintenance plans and directing essential maintenance operations. They also manage quality assurance and training in all aspects of aircraft repair and maintenance.

National University Seeks Motivated Students

Advisors at NU look for military students who are motivated, focused, and want to do better in life. These students may not have been successful in the classroom before entering the military. But military service can change all that.

A lot of students go to different schools and dont do well because they dont know how to balance military commitments, Spittler says. But she explains when theyve been in the military for a while, theyve learned discipline and accountability, and have developed the motivation to move up in rank. So all of this makes a difference when they decide to return to the classroom. In the application process, their high school grade point average is not as important as their current level of motivation, according to Spittler.

While a student with a low high school GPA may be embarrassed when they first approach an advisor, Spittler says she and her colleagues are understanding and will ask: What is different now?

In an interview process, the advisor gathers information and asks questions that help the student determine their reason for seeking more education, and to help understand if they are ready.

She finds that, most often, prospective military students are usually ready and prepared for the challenge of college after serving in the military for a year or two. Additionally, the educational benefits theyve earned help ease the decision.

With all that lined up, Spittler adds, So why shouldnt they go to school?

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