What States Offer Free College For Veterans
There are several states that cover the total cost of tuition and possibly other fees for veterans who want to earn a college degree. Some of the states offering financial assistance programs to a large number of in-state veterans include Wisconsin, South Dakota, Montana, Massachusetts, Texas, and Illinois. Several additional statesâsuch as Florida and Alabamaâoffer financial aid for resident veterans who were injured while serving. Eligibility requirements vary, so veterans should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs office in their state to find out what programs are available.
How Have You Seen The Gi Bill Influence A Veteran Or Service Member’s Higher Education Decisions
The GI Bill is a huge factor in many students being able to attend school. It can determine how many years of schooling they have, their housing allowance, and whether they have to work full-time while they’re in school. For veterans without a civilian career lined up, they may go to school because it is the most affordable solution for them. In these instances, it is central to inspire students to understand why they are in school, and how to thrive in an educational environment.
Endicott College has a reduced rate for active military students who receive Tuition Assistance through their branch of service. This means that while they are in the service they don’t have to pay for tuition. We’ve been working with the National Guard and Coast Guard to get students enrolled in programs as enlisted soldiers. If they follow this advice, not only do they advance in rank within their service, but they can transfer their GI Benefits to their partner, or children – that’s a huge benefit!
How To Join The Military After College
After deciding that joining the military after college offers a promising path, many students still have questions about the logistics of such a plan. This section reviews common general requirements alongside the steps students take to join. When reading these, remember that different branches vary in terms of how they enable college graduates to join, but some similarities can be applied across the board.
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Earning A Degree While On Active Duty: What You Need To Know
Posted onMay 2, 2018
Working toward a degree while serving on active duty is much different than attending classes on a traditional campus, or even taking online classes from home. Before you take on the challenge of school and active duty, there are some key points to know that will increase your chances of success.
Education And Training Commands By Branch
A major part of the military experience is a formal and informal education in technical skills. Education and Training Command services specific to each branch allow service members to actively pursue a specific vocational or practical military skill under that branch’s unique tutelage. While this work does not necessarily carry over to formal class time or credits, it is a valuable resource for all members of the military who are eager to refine a service-based expertise.
- Naval Education and Training Command: This program is administered by the Department of the Navy to provide seamen and officers educational opportunities geared toward professional development.
- Air Education and Training Command: This program, offered exclusive to members of the Air Force, was developed to improve and enhance the basic military training and technical acumen of airmen.
- U.S. Marine Corps Education and Training Command: The purpose of this TEC program is to build better marines by providing advanced training in concepts, policies, and planning.
- U.S. Coast Guard Educational Services: Intended to meet the unique educational needs of Coast Guard service members, this program provides assistance for active-duty personnel who wish to attend college.
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What Do You Notice To Be The Driving Force Behind Veterans Pursuing An Education After Service
In my conversations with veterans at Tulane over the years, I’ve gleaned that military service helped them develop a better understanding of who they are and brought awareness of their capabilities. In these cases, students sought an education that allowed them to provide value around this military-forged, more mature sense of themselves. This personal growth acts as a source of confidence and a motivator for veterans to seek an education that is commensurate with delivering their talents to society.
The Military Will Likely Cover Most If Not All Of Your College Education
If youre an active-duty member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard, you are entitled to tuition assistance from your particular branch.
Theres a chance your branch might pay up to 100 percent of your college tuition expenses incurred toward earning a degree. If the full amount is not covered by this tuition assistance, you might be eligible to use the GI Bill as well. This scenario is known as using the top-up program. This additional funding often covers the difference on any remaining tuition amount for college coursework.
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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.
Low Cost And No Cost Options
Davila spent some time exploring the federal work-study program, a service providing part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay for education expenses and offset military tuition. The program encourages community service work and work related to the students course of study. Corporal Davila, however, didnt pursue that option because another great opportunity came his way.
Even though I didnt quite make the 36 months needed for service, I havent paid anything for my education, explains Corporal Davila.
Eduardo is modest when he describes how he entered National Universitys educational programs with no cost. While the Post 9-11 GI Bill begins providing some student benefits after only 90 days of military service, Corporal Davila did not need to worry. As a National University Scholar, his tuition and related costs were fully covered.
There was a lot to the scholarship application process with National University, admits Davila. I had to write essays and take part in specialized training. I needed three recommendation letters. I sat with eight department heads and then I gave a full presentation on artificial intelligence and on computer programming. It was a lot of work but it was worth it.
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How To Choose Which Type Of College Is Right For You
If youre interested in military training and getting a college education, you have a number of choices. On top of the service academies, Senior Military Colleges, and Military Junior Colleges, you can join an ROTC at another college or join a cadet program at some maritime colleges.
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding which type of school you want to attend:
How committed are you to pursuing a career in the military?
If you’re completely sure that you want to serve in the military after college, then the service academies may be a good option for you. If you’re interested in military training but haven’t fully committed to a military career, then perhaps a Senior Military College would be better for you.
Do you want to be around civilian students or immerse yourself in a military environment with other cadets?
If you want the balance of feeling like a normal college student and get military training, then joining an ROTC program at a traditional college is probably your best option. If you want to be in an environment that is completely dedicated to preparing you to serve as a military officer and share that experience with your peers, then you may want to attend a service academy.
If you mostly want the military training experience but still want some exposure to regular college students, then maybe you should consider one of the SMCs that has non-cadet students.
Are you a competitive applicant?
How do finances affect your decision?
Enlist Support From Friends And Family
Eduction and life in general are easier to handle when your family and friends support your goals. Be sure to let them know how important your dream of an education is and do your best to support them in return.
Remember, each situation, degree plan, unit work load, and other factors are different, so you may need to exercise more flexibility and patience if you want to attend classes while on active duty. I feel very fortunate to have been able to complete my Bachelors Degree while on active duty because it gave me options when it came time to make the decision to reenlist or separate from the military. Ultimately, I chose to separate from the military because I was ready for a new challenge in life. But I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had to achieve my degree and make that decision.
Do you have any tips for taking classes while on active duty?
The Top College Degrees For Military Students
Companies and organizations have raised the bar for many entry-level positions. Its estimated that by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require education beyond high schoola sharp increase from 2016 when only 37 percent required a post-secondary education. As employers that traditionally hired workers without degrees are now hiring applicants with at least a bachelors degree, an already tight job market has become even more competitive.
Members of the armed forces receive training after high school which doesnt result in a degree however, the skills obtained are no less valuable. When military students combine the expertise gained in service with the return on investment of a bachelors degree, it quickly becomes apparent that earning a college degree is worth it.
Figuring out how to choose a program major that compliments your military background takes planning. Read on to learn how to select the best college degree program based on your skills and career goals.
Identify Your Career Goals
Some students complete their college degrees with no desire to leave government work. For example, a military student might major in business, information technology, cybersecurity, or another area with the intent of securing employment with a federal agency. Other military students may focus on one of the top civilian career paths for veterans. Here are a few examples of program majors and their related careers in which servicemembers and veterans might excel.
|BS in Psychology||Mental Health Counselor or Psychologist|
Furlong reminds students that earning a degree isnt reserved for those looking to exit the armed forces, either. The military might send a senior enlisted servicemember or officer to earn their graduate degree so they can in-turn access higher ranking positions. They might also use the education obtained to provide in-service training for their unit, he offers.
Conversely, a junior enlisted service member or officer might plan on ending their service and using their bachelors degree to help secure a job in government. In this case, there might be less focus on the actual program major, Furlong adds. For military personnel balancing service and civilian responsibilities, he recommends exploring online degree programs that offer increased flexibility.
Furlong says prospective students can bring clarity to their career goals by asking these questions:
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Can You Tell Us About Your Background Working With Veterans Who Are Attending College
I started working with veterans at Endicott College in 2012. We had several students who had to stop classes due to feeling suicidal. These were my brightest, funniest, and most engaged students â but they were struggling. Veterans Affairs reported in 2014 that the rate of suicide among male veterans was 37 per 100,000. This number has slowly gone up over the years. Both of my grandfathers served in the military, and they both committed suicide. With my brother and father also being veterans, I felt genuinely dedicated to making a difference. Endicott College has a long tradition of serving veterans and military students and I knew there was something more that we could do to serve our students and help support their transition to civilian life.
In 2014, Endicott College brought the Veterans Initiative Towards Academic Leadership to campus. This project coordinates VA services for Endicott College veterans â social work, academic support, and peer tutoring. In 2015, we founded a veterans club to bring more community to this group of students they became a chapter of the Student Veterans of America in 2016. We also began a VA work study in 2016 as a way to integrate more opportunities for our veteran students to earn money while being full-time students. Additionally, this will be the second year we run a 3 credit class that helps military students translate their military leadership skills to the academic setting.
Q What Is The Most Challenging Part About Attending College While Serving In The Military
The most challenging parts would have to be the unstructured nature of college and really prioritizing time for school. The military is extremely structured, as many people already know. As a service member, I know what my duties and responsibilities are. If I am given orders to accomplish a task, there is a deadline, and if it’s not completed in time, it may impact the mission.
On the other hand, in college, the success is all up to the student. The professors will provide the material and help if asked, but if I decide not to do the work, it’s only my future that I am affecting. This leads to prioritizing time. For example, I work 0730-1630 Monday through Friday. Under special circumstances, I may have to work earlier, later, or even on the weekends. However, this does not include time for daily errands, the gym, or any extra volunteer work that the Air Force may require.
To avoid overwhelming myself, I have to create a schedule. My work schedule, any special duties, gym time, and designated time for studying all go in my planner.
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Travel Benefits For College Students Who Are Military Family Members
Military family members who are college students may have to consider international travel to get to their families during breaks. And travel can be expensive, especially during the holidays. Fortunately, military family members enrolled in colleges away from their active-duty parents OCONUS duty station are eligible for travel benefits.
Make Education A Priority
It should go without saying, but if you want to balance your military career, your family, and an education, you need to set priorities. Obviously, your family and career come first, but you will have a hard time if you dont list education directly after those. I dont recommend completely dropping your social life and extracurricular activities, but you need to maintain a balance. That may mean skipping some nights at the club or hanging out with the guys a little less frequently. But it also means completing your degree.
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Tips For Taking Classes While In The Military
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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.
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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