The process of transition from Active duty to the select reserves, or to civilian life has a number of challenges that are inherent to the process. One option that works for many people is to make a list of issues and goals to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible. There are a number of things that you should be on the lookout for as you go through the process. A person should look at starting about a year before you leave active duty so that as the date draws closer you will be ready.
Schools fill up so don?t wait too long, apply early in the period you wish to enroll in. You need to begin to identify and apply to schools about six months or a year before you end your active duty career. That way you can have a priority list, first second and third choices. Make your first set of contacts by telephone, and then in writing or in person, or ideally both. Make sure you take the time to seek out and visit with the veterans coordinator at the schools you seek acceptance at, they often can give you valuable hints and tips to use in your admission hunt. If you are a little flexible then you will be ready for anything. Make a list of the deadlines that you will be operating under, and know that among the written deadlines they tend to be the ones with less flexibility. Figure out the deadlines for application and for class registration, and then set goals in advance of each, small achievable weekly and monthly goals of things to accomplish. You should make sure you have a copy of all your transcripts, including your High school transcripts, and transcripts from any of your earlier college coursework. The actual timeline that you will operate under will be different and should be a little individual as the timeline of each school tends to vary a little bit. You should print out and keep handy a copy of your DD-214, which is your discharge paperwork, for you will use it often after you separate and begin your college career.
Make sure that if you apply over the Internet that you print out a hardcopy for your own records. Either way make sure that a copy of the form reaches the regional VA office on your behalf. Obtain a coy of Veteran?s form 22-1990, this is the form you will use to apply for Montgomery GI bill funds.