The GI bill, which provides educational benefits to military members and veterans, is a popular benefit. A college education can give you the training you need to pursue a career you love and achieve success in your field, but college is also expensive. The GI bill can make a college education affordable for someone who might otherwise not have the chance to go to college. And in today's world, military members and vets have more college options than ever before, including online colleges and universities. Take a look at some of the benefits of online colleges for current and former military members.
For active duty military members, flexibility is a must. Your service duties may require you to move frequently, and transferring from college to college is impractical. It can be tough to get accepted at a new college, and even tougher to make sure that all of your credits transfer with you. Online college allows for a seamless educational experience regardless of your physical location.
Even for veterans, who may be less likely to move frequently, flexibility can be a factor. After one or more tours of duty, you're not a traditional college student. You'll be older. You'll probably have a job. You may be married or have children. Living in a dorm and attending classes every weekday may not be a realistic option for you. Online college allows you to create a schedule that meets your unique needs.
The traditional on-campus college experience can be valuable, but it's also a huge life transition. If you're a veteran returning to civilian life, that is also a huge life transition. Combining the two may be asking too much of yourself.
With online college, there is less to worry about. You don't have to spend time thinking about meal plans, dorm roommates, or classroom locations. You can simply turn on your own computer in your own home and get to work. If the idea of spending every day on a college campus sounds distracting and overwhelming, online college can streamline things so that you can focus on what's important: your studies.
One of the commonly cited drawbacks of online school is the lack of interaction with other students. And while that can be a drawback for some students, for others, it can be something of a relief. Some current and former military members feel uncomfortable and out-of-place on traditional college campuses. Most other students will be younger and have significantly different life experiences. Some veterans report being asked uncomfortable or insensitive questions about their service. These problems can be lessened if the college or university has a strong student veterans organization, but many do not.
When you attend an online college, you can create your own communities. There are forums and online support groups for military members where you can talk to other student veterans like yourself. This way, you can share your experiences with others who understand what you're going through and even find study buddies. There's no need to limit your educational community to the confines of a classroom.
Online college can be a great choice for current and former military members, but it isn't right for everyone. Research traditional, online, and hybrid programs to find the college solution that's right for you. For more information, contact a school like University of Maryland University College.