Completing a college degree can help you advance either a military or civilian career, but attending college while serving in the military presents some obvious challenges. If you're currently serving in the military, these tips will help you choose an online college for military members.
Any college you consider should be accredited by one or more recognized accrediting bodies. Accreditation means that other institutions recognize the quality of a college's education.
Although accreditation is a simple concept, it's an absolutely essential one. The military, other schools, and businesses often only recognize degrees from accredited colleges.
Most colleges that serve military personnel are accredited, and confirming accreditation is simple. If you ask a college's admissions personnel, they'll be able to mention the bodies that have accredited their school.
Knowledgeable Financial Aid Advisors
One of the biggest benefits that comes with military service is financial assistance for college, and most military personnel who enroll in college intend to pay for all or part of their program with this assistance. While it's generally easy to use any available assistance for college tuition, there are some nuances and procedures that have to be followed.
A college that's for military members will have a financial aid department that's familiar with all of the assistance programs the military provides. The department's advisors will be familiar with program details, applicable paperwork, and the general process of applying your college benefits toward tuition. They'll ensure everything is properly taken care of with regard to paying.
Flexible Course Schedules
Scheduling can be a major challenge when trying to balance military duty and a college degree program. All coursework must be scheduled around your official responsibilities. Scheduling can become especially complex if you're working odd shifts, split shifts, have multi-day drills, or are in another time zone.
Look for a college that offers flexible course scheduling for military members. You'll have a much easier time balancing schedules if you can listen to recorded lectures and complete assignments at any time of the day (or night).
Professors at colleges that have lots of military students will also better know how to accommodate scheduling changes that accompany active duty. They'll understand if your responsibilities change so that you may have to postpone an assignment or delay an exam.
Don't neglect to find a college that offers degree programs you find both useful and interesting. An admissions officer can help you find degrees that will help you advance in the military, and poise you well for work as a civilian.