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Your transition from military to college made easy

Are you thinking about a new career? Or advancing your post-military career? In today's tight job market, experience alone is not enough. While there is nothing in the world like military experience, it can be hard for civilian employers to understand. A college degree shows that you’ve mastered the knowledge in your chosen field, and can help you stand out from the crowd. Added to your military discipline, training, and know-how, it can be a powerful tool to help you move forward.

So, what’s holding you back?

There may be a lot of reasons you’ve put off going to college. Life is complicated, and juggling work, family, and everyday tasks can seem overwhelming. If you look at the reasons that may be getting in the way, they probably come down to one or all of these issues:

Time: "Is it the right time to go back to college?"
You may think that you don’t have time for school, or that completing your degree will take too long.  Look for higher education institutions that serve adult and non-traditional students as they often offer flexible course schedules, including evenings, weekends, and online courses, allowing you to work around your family and job obligations. Many schools also offer online learning opportunities that allow you to complete coursework, even entire degrees, from home. Schools with "rolling admissions" let you start class at the beginning of any term and summer terms can help you finish your degree faster.  Having served in the military, you may be farther along to your degree than you think. Look for schools that award prior learning credit for your military training. You may already have up to four credits just for Basic Training.

Money: "Can I afford to go back to college?"
If you’re a veteran, on active duty now, or in the National Guard or Reserves, you may have earned some fantastic veterans education benefits that could cover most or all of your education costs. Make sure the school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency, and is approved for Tuition Assistance and military and veterans benefits. If you’re on active duty, in the Guard, or Reserves, check with your Educational Services Officer to see what benefits you may be eligible for. If you’re a Veteran, check with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to see if you’re eligible for benefits.

Uncertainty: "Is there a support system in place for me?"
It may have been a while since you’ve been in a classroom and you’re not sure that you’ll be able to pick up the books again. Look for schools that have experience working with veterans, and have staff members dedicated to assisting and advising veterans on their unique challenges that may arise during the transition from military to college. Ask other veterans and service members how they feel about the schools they’ve attended. If you’re eligible for military and veterans benefits and you’re having trouble in a class, the VA may be able to provide tutoring assistance.

College may seem overwhelming at first, but so did basic training. Good news! There are no drill sergeants at college. A college degree can prepare you for success in your future the same way basic training prepared you for military life. Remember that feeling of accomplishment and pride you had when you graduated from basic? Feel that again when you walk across the stage and accept your diploma.

Download Our Veterans Education Benefits Checklist