CollegeHow Does College Work In The Military

How Does College Work In The Military


A Patriotic Way To Pay For School

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Radio.comLooking for more military-related information?Contact a recruiterMilitary.comIf youre a military veteran, check out these Veteran Scholarships that will help you pay for school.Are you a spouse or child to a current or veteran military member?College Scholarships for Military Children & Spouses

How Does College Work

College is a complicated system that allows for flexibility and variety in education. Most students use college to earn an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree. Traditionally, both public and private colleges offer classes for a certain number of credits that contribute to the required credit total.

The curriculum for a four-year bachelor’s degree involves general education credits, which vary by institution. Usually, a freshman takes classes in basic subjects, such as English, history and science, before he moves on to take classes in his major or minor. Sometimes, these 100- and 200-level general education courses can be taken at a two-year community college before transferring to a four-year university. A more thorough education at a two-year college that includes major work results in an associate’s degree.

Each class is worth a number of credits, and these credits usually count toward a bachelor’s degree. Students must take the required classes for general education and complete a major in order to graduate. There may also be a required number of upper level credits, which means classes at a 300 level and above, and an overall required number of credits. Students often work with an academic adviser at the school to understand the complicated graduation requirements and formulate a schedule for the upcoming year.

Us Coast Guard Academy

The Coast Guard is the smallest of the service academies. Graduates become officers in the Coast Guard. Its located in New London, CT, which is about two hours from Boston and New York City.

  • US News ranking: #1 Regional Colleges

Student Perspectives

Students believe it’s hard to fulfill all of their obligations and try to have a social life. However, they appreciate the education and future opportunities they’re being given. Furthermore, they’re complimentary of their teachers.

Coast Guard fun

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Going Back To School As A Military Veteran

Making the transition from life in the military to life as a civilian isnt easy. But there are many advantages to earning your degree after finishing your military service, such as improving your job opportunities and easing the transition to a civilian lifestyle.

And we know you can do it! Studies show that veterans earn their degrees at a similar rate to non-veterans. Despite the unique challenges faced by veterans, one study showed that those who use the GI Bill earn their degrees in sync with traditional students.

Heres an overview of the resources available to veterans going back to school, plus some of the potential scams to be aware of and avoid.

How To Become A Member Of The Armed Forces

How common is it for members of other military branches to ...

To join the military, applicants must meet age, education, aptitude, physical, and character requirements. These requirements vary by branch of service and for officers and enlisted members.

Although entry requirements for each service vary, certain qualifications for enlistment are common to all branches:

  • Minimum of 17 years of age
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Never convicted of a felony
  • Able to pass a medical exam

Applicants who are 17 years old must have the consent of a parent or legal guardian before entering the military.

Age limits for entering active-duty service are as follows:

  • In the Army, the maximum age is 34.
  • In the Navy, the maximum age is 34.
  • In the Marine Corps, the maximum age is 29.
  • In the Air Force, the maximum age is 39.
  • In the Coast Guard, the maximum age is 27.

All applicants must meet certain physical requirements for height, weight, vision, and overall health. Officers must be U.S. citizens. Officers and some enlisted members must be able to obtain a security clearance. Candidates interested in becoming officers through training in the federal service academies must be unmarried and without dependents.

Service members are assigned an occupational specialty based on their aptitude, previous training, and the needs of their branch of service. All members must sign a contract and commit to a minimum term of service.

Women are now eligible to enter all military specialties.

Become an officer

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National Defense Student Loan Discharge

The National Defense Student Loan Discharge is for military members who served at least 1 year in an area deemed imminent danger or in direct fire. Your Perkins or Direct Loans would qualify.

How to Apply for National Defense Student Loan Discharge:

Fill out the Department of Defense form and send a letter to your loan servicer explaining why you think you qualify for the discharge. The discharge amount varies, so your servicer is the best point of contact.

The Real Experience Is Not The Same As Movies And Videogames

Heres what you can expect from the military: you start off as a worthless bag of bones sent to basic training to be the punching bag of some of the more clever, mischievous, and dedicated troops on the planet. Some branches call them Drill Instructors, others call them Drill Sergeants.

I call them role models and the keepers of military tradition. Weve all seen the movies and the YouTube clips but I can tell you from personal experience its a whole lot different when youre the one living it.

Their mission is to break you, and they will. They will tear you down then build you into something new. Something that is fit to wear their uniform and be part of a bigger team, or theyll wash you out and send you home. You will get into the best shape of your life, you will push yourself to new heights, and you will be filled with pride and a feeling of accomplishment. You will also get to know exhaustion and pain on a physical, spiritual, and mental level.

I was. I spent fifteen months in western Iraq.

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Demonstrating Success At School And In Uniform

While servicemembers may face many unique challenges when returning to civilian life, the advantages they gain from their time in the service are hard to ignore. Veterans and servicemembers have life experiences and skills from the military that make them well-suited for classroom life, even while still serving.

Furlong explains: In the military, are thrown into the gauntletthey have to deal with whatever hand they are dealt. They work well in that chaotic environment.

While college life isnt as perilous, it certainly demands a great deal from studentsespecially those who are still serving or are raising kids while getting their degree. The coping skills gained while serving put military students at an advantage that younger, less-experienced students may not have. Because military members are in leadership positions at very young ages, they go on to mature and refine those skills through college and beyond.

A lot of times, in the classroom, veterans will take the lead on projects, Furlong says. They dont have a problem voicing their opinions or their perspectives on situations.

Military Members Generally Only Serve For A Limited Time

How the Military Can Pay For College | ROTC Program

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the required enlistment service time for military personnel is between 2 and 6 years. Of course, there are many factors that determine this, and each branch is unique in certain rules.

For all branches, the average enlistment time is just shy of 15 years. On average, military officers stay in the armed forces for about 11 years. As for those who are members of the reserves, most are committed for between only three and six years.

These enlistment figures demonstrate that a large percentage of military members will return to civilian life with many years to devote to another occupation. As such, attaining a college degree within your field of choice can significantly aid in your professional pursuits, career advancement, and a higher quality of life.

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Applying To A Service Academy

As the acceptance rates at the service academies indicate , admission into them is extremely competitive. General requirements for admission into a service academy include:

  • An interview with a local representative

The most challenging application requirement for many applicants is a Congressional, Vice Presidential, or Presidential nomination for admissiononly the Coast Guard Academy doesnt require a nomination, and the Merchant Marine Academy will only accept congressional nominations. Congressional nominations are the most common nominationthey account for about 75% of all appointmentsthere are a handful of other nominations available, including those for:

  • Enlisted military personnel
  • ROTC and JROTC students
  • Children of military personnel who were killed in action, died while on active duty or were disabled while on active duty
  • Children of military personnel who are currently prisoners of war or missing in action
  • Children of Medal of Honor recipients

In addition to meeting the multitude of requirements, applying to a service academy is similar to applying to any other fiercely competitive college. Good grades and exemplary test scores are integral, as are extracurricular activitiesespecially those where youve held a leadership position. Similarly, athletic excellence is also a coveted characteristic in applicants athletic achievement, along with a leadership role such as team captain, are particularly prized.

Are You Ready To Discover Your College Program

The military is always seeking out educated and qualified candidates to serve in leadership roles. If you wish to rise to the rank of an administrative officer or serve in a specialized role like law, medicine, or the ministry, a bachelors or graduate degree in your field can qualify you for some great career opportunities.

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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.

Benefits Of Earning A Bachelor’s Degree During Military Service

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Military personnel with current skills and knowledge are needed to keep the US military strong and relevant in the world. Online classes allow active duty members to fulfill their current obligations while they work towards future goals. This type of instruction offers other important benefits to enlisted learners.

  • All the materials are online and can be accessed from almost any internet-connected device. If duty calls suddenly, learners dont have to carry around large stacks of books and papers to continue their studies.
  • Online learning programs allow generous timelines for completion. Surprise movements dont have to derail your education plan. Simply return to your lessons when time permits.
  • During long deployments, online learning programs are a great way to channel energy towards a positive purpose. Interacting with fellow virtual learners and the drive to achieve can be a pleasant distraction from routine and homesickness.

Online learning is a strategic career move for any member of military service, no matter what degree they want to earn or where in the world they currently are.

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The 5 Us Service Academies

The service academies are a great option for students who know they want to pursue a college education and serve in the military.

There are five Service Academies, each dedicated to a different branch of the armed services:

  • US Military Academy
  • US Naval Academy
  • US Air Force Academy
  • US Coast Guard Academy
  • US Merchant Marine Academy

Graduates of the service academies receive a Bachelor of Science, are commissioned as officers in their branch, and are required to serve for a minimum of five years after graduation.

It Isnt A Videogame Where You Hit X To Respawn

Always remember the basic function of US troops, no matter the branch of service, is to close with and destroy the enemies of the United States in close combat. You will be trained to kill and there may come a time when you will have to take a life or have yours taken from you. For the record, it isnt a videogame where you hit X to respawn.

If youre looking to prove yourself somehow, win medals, or gain glory, I will tell you now you wont. The warriors we veterans look up to, the ones whove gone before, werent in it for that foolishness. They were it for something greater. They simply rose to the challenge set before them and went above and beyond for that something greater.

All in all, the military is a great calling and vital for the preservation of our nation. You shouldnt think of it as your last option. However, it is not for everyone.

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Can You Tell Us About Your Experience Working With The Military And How That Relates To A University Setting

I was a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman from 1969-1973. In addition to field medical training with the U.S. Marines, I was a surgical technician assisting surgeons in the operating theater. Since this was during some of the most aggressive fighting in Vietnam, I had the privilege of taking care of many young, wounded soldiers and sailors. Being only 20 years old myself in 1969, it was an opportunity to grow up fast. I joined the military as essentially an adolescent, and left much more mature than when I entered.

Attending College During Military Service


There are a number of ways to earn higher education degrees while serving in the military.

  • The Military Tuition Assistance Program pays active-duty service members up to 100% of tuition expenses up to $250 per credit.
  • There are more than 1,900 colleges that offer service members and their families the chance to finish college degrees despite a mobile military life.
  • Both the Army and the Navy offer loan repayment programs to help active-duty service members pay off student loans they took out before enlisting.
  • More than 1,700 colleges and universities offer Reserve Officer Training Corps programs. ROTC cadets commit to military service after graduation, and receive military officer training and tuition, fee and textbook scholarships during their time in college.
  • There are also several types of military schools: service academies, senior military colleges and maritime academies. The nature of the service required during and after attending these schools varies.

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Service Academies And Senior Military Colleges

Students who would like to experience a military environment while getting an education should be aware of the opportunities that a Senior Military College or Service academy can offer. They are widely respected and provide first-class instruction.

Service academies offer full four-year scholarships, and SMCs offer financial aid packages for eligible students. Both also offer pay for books, board and medical and dental care. In exchange for such benefits, graduates become commissioned officers and are required to uphold a service obligation of a minimum of five years. Those who attend SMCs can choose whether or not they want to serve, but recipients of ROTC scholarships will be required to serve after graduation.

Pursue Your Degree While You Serve

As you consider college while serving in the military, gather information about degree programs to maximize your time and the benefits that come with serving.

1.U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Military Careers.” Retrieved from: . This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.2.VA, “GI Bill®.” Retrieved from: .

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended these programs, go to AIU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Not all programs are available to residents of all states.1374662 11/18

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The Unique Challenges Of Balancing Military Service And College

Everyone has a different experience when balancing military service with college, but Furlong knows first-hand the challenges that are unique to the community.

A lot of have been out of school for so long, jumping back into it can be daunting, he says.

He also recognizes that many of our undergraduate students tend to be non-traditional. They have families, children, and jobs because they have bills to pay, he adds. They are often older than traditional undergraduates, as they are not enrolling in classes right out of high school. These non-traditional students, including those who are taking courses while enlisted, have to learn to juggle their many responsibilities so that neither coursework nor their service duties suffer.

For those who are actively serving while balancing work and school, Furlong offers this tip: Start out with just one or two classes and gauge your course load and time management from there. Communication with advisors and instructors is key to being successful in your program.

Transferring military skills is something that many newly enrolled military students need assistance with, and planning the right educational path can take some time. In the end, he says, your chosen career path may not share the same skills or trades that were used most during your time in the military.

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