Are you ready to further your education? Many military veterans start and complete their college educations while on active duty, but whether you're still serving or getting reading to transition to civilian life, the first step is the most important: choosing the right college or university. How do you know which school is right for you? We spoke with American InterContinental University (AIU) admissions team lead Jonathan Moeller to get some advice. Moeller has worked with military students for more than nine years and comes from a military family himself. Here are five tips he recommends for military veterans applying to college.
Check Your GI Bill Benefits. The first order of business for military veterans is to find out if you still have funding left on your GI Bill. Moeller says many veterans wait too long and don't realize they could lose these benefits. "It is important for them to understand that the school to which they apply should have financial aid representatives who are skilled at working with the types of additional funding they may be bringing to the table," says Moeller.
Communication is Key. Moeller says it's important to stay in communication with schools you're considering or the one you have chosen—especially the financial aid department. Also, he adds, "You need to make sure to have communication with a VA representative. Then, you need to take responsibility for getting any military transcripts to the school."
Have Transcripts on Hand. Speaking of transcripts, having them ready when you apply will make the process go more smoothly. Moeller advises that you make sure to get transcripts for any classes you've taken through ACE (American Council on Education), any other college credits, or from CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) or DSST exams. Also, make sure you have copies of any certifications you hold. Admissions advisers should be able to assist you with what paperwork you'll need to submit.
Seek Military and Veteran Support. Finding a school that provides a unique learning environment with opportunities tailored to the needs of military students, veterans and their families is key to your success as a military or veteran student. Online universities like AIU can be particularly appealing to this group, as they typically offer flexible degree programs accessible anytime, anywhere with an Internet connection. Online students at AIU, for example, have 24/7 access to course materials, discussions, lectures, our online library and other resources, including technical support.
Look For A Military-Friendly School. For the sixth year in a row, American InterContinental University (AIU) has been named one of the country's Military Friendly® Schools for its ongoing commitment to providing military students and their families the opportunities and support they need to achieve their educational goals. That designation is important, Moeller says. "We respect and appreciate the service and sacrifice the men and women of the military have made and want to make sure we help them make the best decision for their future success," he says. "This attitude of respect helps set a welcoming tone for veterans to feel at home."
Ready to learn more? Explore how AIU serves military and veteran students.