Even though the military has gone through downsizing since the 1950s, it remains as one of the largest military’s in the world. The U.S. Department of Defense estimates about 1.3 million men and women were enlisted in the military in 2016. The U.S. Census Bureau has also estimated about 21.8 million veterans are living in the United States.
Due to these very high numbers, the government has provided many programs to help veterans and military personnel gain college degree. More than 900K veterans and service members received education benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs from 2000 to 2012. The largest increase came from the new Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program. Many other programs have helped military service members and veterans gain a college education.
When it’s time to go to college as a veteran or military service member, it’s important to choose the right school. Some college and universities are more military-friendly than others. Here’s a look at some of the top military-friendly colleges and universities found in America.
Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS
Fort Hays State University used to be a military outpost. Today, the institution offers many online programs for military members and veterans. They offer 50 accredited degree and certificate programs and undeclared students can even get a Bachelor of General Studies online.
The university is one of the top for military members and veterans because of the financial aid options including the Montgomery GI Bill, Fry Scholarship, Reserve Educational Assistance Program, MyCAA for military spouses and the Kansas Military Service Scholarship. The university also provides many military-oriented programs and participated in the 8 Keys to Veteran Success program.
The University of Alabama
The Bama by Distance program makes the University of Alabama a very military-friendly options. This program provides over 60 online degree and certificate programs giving military members an option for distance learning. These programs include 15 different human environmental sciences degrees and 24 teacher programs. There are also five communications and information sciences options and plenty more.
The University of Alabama works with GoArmyEd to help first-time students from the military. Students are paired with an Army Education Counselor to help with all the paperwork and getting everything set up for tuition payments. Other programs are also offered through the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs from the university. These include a Veterans Benefits Administration program and VetSuccess.
Colorado State University-Global Campus
CSU-Global provides distance learning for Colorado State University. With 24 online programs for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, CSU-Global offers a great choice for veterans and military service members. Many of the programs are concentrated in management, human resources, accounting and other business studies. The university also offers programs for K-12 teachers.
CSU-Global is one of the most affordable options for these with a military background. They offer a 10% discount on tuition for active-duty, veterans and military dependents. They also ensure the annual cost will not increase for military students as long as they remain enrolled. Tuition payments can be deferred while waiting on the GI Bill or other tuition benefits to be processed.
First-time military students could qualify for the prior-learning assessments to gain college credits and may transfer up to 30 PLA credits. Competency-based exams also provide a way for military members to gain credits without taking courses.
University of Maryland-University College
With close to 50 online degree and certificate programs, the University of Maryland-University College provides a good choice for military members and veterans. The university also offers 69 undergraduate minors and master’s degree programs. Most of the programs are 100% online.
UMUC provides a discounted tuition rate for veterans, active-duty, National Guard and military dependents. They also offer Tuition Assistance, which could cover as much as 100% of the education-related expenses for military members, reservists and veterans. Programs, such as the College of American Soldier, Marine Corps Career College, Defense Threat Reduction University and Joint Forces Staff College provide ways to gain credits, as well.
University of North Dakota
Found in Grand Forks, UND provides 60 online degree and certificate programs with many STEM pathways and degrees in engineering, aviation, space studies, medical laboratory science and forensic psychology. Teachers and nurses will find plenty of online options, as well.
In-state tuition rates are provided for all military students, regardless of current residency. This benefit extends to veterans, military dependents and active-duty service members. The Military Tuition Assistance program is also provided, along with a full tuition refund for any courses not completed due to deployment.
With over 50 online undergraduate degree and certificate options, Troy University is a great military-friendly option. They provide 14 Associate of General Science options with subjects, such as international business, social science, aviation operations and many others.
Troy has provides military members and veterans with education options since the 1950s. They have partnered with all five branches and provide many branch-specific programs including General Education Mobility Initiative, Enlisted Education Program, Green to Gold Initiatives, Air University Associate to Bachelor Co-Operative degree and many others.
Other very military-friendly colleges and universities include:
? Northern Arizona University
? Utah State University
? Western Kentucky University
? Davenport University
? New England College
? University of Toledo
? East Tennessee State University
? Columbia College
? Lamar University
? Central Texas College
? Cardinal Stritch University
? Cameron University
? University of the Incarnate Word
? National Louis University
? Franklin University
Many universities and colleges are very military-friendly throughout the United States. However, if you want to make sure you choose a good school for those with military experience, this list contains the best choices.