6 Tips For Veterans Going Back To College

Many people who leave the military decide to take advantage of the GI Bill by enrolling in college. It can be challenging to go back to college after being in the military, and adjusting to academic life can be stressful for all students, including veterans. The following information can help ease some of the stress veterans may have when they go back to school.

How Early Should a Veteran Apply For Benefits?

It can take 6-8 weeks or longer for VA Benefits to be processed.  The Veterans On-Line Application can help veterans review and compare benefit options. If the college, a veteran is thinking of applying to, has an advisor it is important to ask the VA Advisor at the college for assistance if you have questions while applying.    http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp

What Is The Enrollment Process For Veterans?

The first thing a veteran should do is visit the veteran page of the college’s website for the step-by-step application, registration and enrollment process.   If the college has a veteran’s Service representative, they will help the student through the application process for that college, as well as for the VA.  The  veteran representative can assist with academic advising,  registering for classes, and even help with financial aid issues.

How Should A Veteran Apply For GI Benefits?

There is a wide a variety of education benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, including programs under the new Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon Program, Transfer of Benefits, and Veterans Vocational Rehab.  Whether a student is a veteran, a reservist, in the National Guard, or on active duty, they should check the VA website or discuss their benefits with the school's veterans' administrator. A student can also find a wealth of information -- as well as the application for benefits -- at the VA page.   http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/

How Should A Veteran Apply For Financial Aid?

Veteran students should apply for regular federal financial aid in addition to the G.I. Bill program. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be submitted online using a school’s financial aid code.  Financial aid is especially helpful for veteran students whose G.I. Bill benefits are still processing at payment deadline.  Reservists should apply for tuition assistance from the branch of the military for which they are currently serving.   https://fafsa.ed.gov/

Is It Important To Get An Adviser?

 

Every student should be assigned to an adviser.  While some smaller schools might not have an adviser specifically for military personnel, larger schools often do.   Even schools that do not have a dedicated military adviser will have academic advisers who can help veterans make academic decisions.  The adviser helps students to develop a suitable educational plan, make your course selections, and determine your major.


How Can A Veteran Earn Credits For Being In The Military?

Many colleges and universities will consider prior learning attained in non-credit or experiential settings such as the military. Credit will be awarded for prior learning that is assessed as college-level learning as it applies to a student’s chosen program and degree.  Also, veterans can transfer in credits for their military experience.   Finally, veterans should take advantage of CLEP tests.  CLEP provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate college-level achievement through a program of exams in undergraduate college courses.  

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