Guide to Finding the Best Online Military-Friendly Colleges

Finding the best online colleges for military personnel is crucial for balancing education with service commitments. Online programs offer the necessary flexibility for frequent relocations and unpredictable schedules. This guide explores top online colleges for military members, addressing key questions, cost analysis, and program options to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Online Colleges for Military Personnel

Online colleges provide essential options for military personnel who face unique challenges such as frequent relocations and unpredictable schedules. These institutions offer flexible learning schedules, allowing military students to balance their education with service commitments. Key benefits include:

  • Flexible Scheduling: Online programs offer asynchronous courses that can be completed anytime, ideal for military personnel who may be deployed or have irregular working hours.
  • Support Services: Many online colleges have dedicated support services for military students, including advisors familiar with military benefits and resources.
  • Financial Assistance: Military-friendly colleges often participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and other financial aid initiatives, helping to reduce the cost of education.
  • Career Transition Support: These institutions provide career services tailored to military students, assisting them in transitioning to civilian careers.

Common Questions & Answers

For Active Duty Military:

What should I look for in an online college as an active-duty service member?

Seek accredited institutions offering flexible scheduling, military discounts, and support services such as military advisors and tutoring. Programs that allow for asynchronous learning are particularly beneficial.

How can I balance my military duties with online education?

Choose programs with asynchronous classes and flexible deadlines. Regularly communicate with your instructors about your military commitments, and utilize the support services offered by the institution.

For Veterans:

What financial aid options are available for veterans?

Veterans can benefit from the GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon Program, and scholarships specifically for military personnel. Many institutions also offer tuition assistance programs and credit for military experience.

How can I maximize my military experience in my education?

Leverage prior learning assessments and credit transfers to convert your military experience into college credits. This can reduce the time and cost required to complete your degree.

Which online programs are recommended for veterans?

Programs in fields such as cybersecurity, information technology, business administration, and healthcare are popular due to their high demand and applicability in civilian careers.

Online Colleges for Military: Program Overview

Here’s a summary of some top online colleges for military personnel and the programs they offer:

Institution Programs Offered Average Tuition (Per Credit) Military Discount (%) Net Tuition Cost (After Discount) Financial Aid Programs
University of Maryland Global Various undergrad and grad programs $499 25% $374 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Scholarships
Arizona State University Business, Engineering, Healthcare $561 20% $448.80 Military Tuition Assistance, Grants
Liberty University Criminal Justice, IT, Nursing $390 30% $273 Scholarships, GI Bill
American Public University Business, Homeland Security, Cybersecurity $285 20% $228 Military Grants, Scholarships
Southern New Hampshire University Marketing, Nursing, Psychology $320 25% $240 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Financial Aid

VA Approved Online Colleges

VA-approved online colleges meet the requirements to offer benefits under the GI Bill. These schools provide flexible learning options and support services for military students. Notable VA-approved online colleges include:

  • University of Massachusetts Global: Offers degrees in legal studies and business analytics with flexible start dates.
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Provides programs in applied science, engineering management, and more, with robust support for military students.
  • University of North Dakota: Offers self-paced and semester-based programs in fields like aerospace sciences and chemical engineering.

Military Tuition Assistance Online Colleges

Military Tuition Assistance (TA) programs cover tuition costs for eligible active-duty service members. Several online colleges participate in TA programs, ensuring affordability and flexibility for military students. Examples include:

  • University of Cincinnati: Offers a variety of online programs with tuition assistance.
  • Southern New Hampshire University: Known for its comprehensive support and military discounts.
  • Liberty University: Provides extensive online degree options and financial aid tailored for military students.

Fully Funded Online Colleges

Some online colleges provide full funding for military students through various programs. These institutions ensure that eligible veterans can count on full coverage of all tuition costs exceeding GI Bill limits. Notable fully funded online colleges include:

  • University of Southern California: Offers numerous online programs with a focus on flexibility for military students.
  • Purdue University Global: Provides tailored online programs for military personnel and veterans.
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: Known for its strong support for military students and flexible online programs.

Key Institutions Across the U.S.

  1. University of Southern California: Offers numerous online programs with a focus on flexibility for military students.
  2. Purdue University Global: Provides tailored online programs for military personnel and veterans.
  3. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: Known for its strong support for military students and flexible online programs.
  4. University of Florida: Offers various online degrees with military benefits.
  5. Penn State World Campus: Provides extensive support services for military students.
  6. Colorado State University Global: Known for affordable tuition and military-friendly policies.
  7. Northeastern University: Offers flexible online programs and military support services.
  8. Drexel University: Provides robust online programs with military benefits.
  9. Oregon State University: Known for its flexibility and support for military students.
  10. University of Arizona: Offers various online degrees and military-friendly services.

Considering Online Colleges: Professional and Career Planning

For Active Duty Military:

Choosing the right program is crucial for your career progression within the military. Focus on fields that align with your current role or future ambitions, such as cybersecurity, engineering, or leadership. According to recent data, military personnel with degrees are more likely to receive promotions and higher pay grades.

For Veterans:

Veterans should consider programs that facilitate a smooth transition to civilian careers. Degrees in business administration, healthcare, and information technology are particularly valuable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that veterans with higher education levels have better employment prospects and higher earning potential.

Top Online Colleges for Military by Major

Choosing the right major is crucial for military personnel seeking to advance their education and career. Here’s a table outlining some of the best online colleges for military students based on different majors, including a range of tuition costs:

Major Institution Average Tuition (Per Credit) Financial Aid Programs
Cybersecurity University of Maryland Global $480 – $499 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Scholarships
Southern New Hampshire University $320 – $384 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Financial Aid
Drexel University $530 – $550 Military Grants, Financial Aid
Business Administration Arizona State University $540 – $561 Military Tuition Assistance, Grants
Liberty University $380 – $390 Scholarships, GI Bill
University of Florida $500 – $525 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Scholarships
Criminal Justice American Public University $270 – $285 Military Grants, Scholarships
Liberty University $380 – $390 Scholarships, GI Bill
University of Phoenix $398 – $410 Military Discounts, Financial Aid
Healthcare Administration Southern New Hampshire University $320 – $384 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Financial Aid
Drexel University $530 – $550 Military Grants, Financial Aid
Purdue University Global $360 – $371 Military Discounts, Scholarships
Information Technology Penn State World Campus $576 – $617 Military Grants, Scholarships
University of Maryland Global $480 – $499 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Scholarships
Arizona State University $540 – $561 Military Tuition Assistance, Grants
Engineering Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ. $510 – $527 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Financial Aid
Purdue University Global $360 – $371 Military Discounts, Scholarships
University of Florida $500 – $525 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Scholarships
Psychology Purdue University Global $360 – $371 Military Discounts, Scholarships
Southern New Hampshire University $320 – $384 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Financial Aid
Liberty University $380 – $390 Scholarships, GI Bill
Nursing Drexel University $530 – $550 Military Grants, Financial Aid
Southern New Hampshire University $320 – $384 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Financial Aid
University of Phoenix $398 – $410 Military Discounts, Financial Aid
Legal Studies University of Maryland Global $480 – $499 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Scholarships
Arizona State University $540 – $561 Military Tuition Assistance, Grants
University of Florida $500 – $525 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Scholarships

Selecting the right online college and major is essential for military personnel aiming to advance their education and career. By choosing institutions that offer strong programs, robust support services, and financial aid tailored to military needs, service members and veterans can achieve their educational and career goals effectively.

Conclusion

Finding the best online college for military personnel requires careful research and consideration of factors such as flexibility, affordability, and support services. Utilize resources like the GI Bill and military tuition assistance to maximize your benefits and make informed decisions about your education.

References

1Liberty University
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Liberty University offers extensive online programs and is highly regarded for its support of military students. The university provides over 450 online degree programs at various levels, including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Liberty University is a Yellow Ribbon Program participant and offers military tuition discounts to active-duty service members, veterans, and their spouses. The university also provides a Military Affairs Office that assists with benefits and academic advising tailored to military students’ needs. Liberty’s flexible course schedules and asynchronous learning model allow military students to complete their studies at their own pace, regardless of their location.

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2University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)
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The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) is renowned for its commitment to serving military students. UMGC offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs that are available entirely online, making it accessible for service members stationed around the world. The university has a strong support system for military students, including dedicated military advisors and financial aid options tailored for veterans and active-duty members. UMGC’s flexible class schedules and frequent start dates make it easier for military students to balance their studies with their service commitments. Additionally, UMGC participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, further reducing tuition costs for eligible students.

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3American Military University (AMU)
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American Military University (AMU), part of the American Public University System, is specifically designed to meet the educational needs of military personnel. AMU offers over 200 online degree and certificate programs, including popular fields like Homeland Security, Intelligence Studies, and Military History. The university’s flexible scheduling and monthly course start dates are ideal for service members with unpredictable schedules. AMU provides comprehensive support for military students, including academic advising, career services, and a dedicated veterans’ center. The university also offers military tuition grants, which significantly reduce the cost of tuition for active-duty service members and their families.

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4Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide
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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide is a top-tier institution known for its programs in aviation and aerospace, as well as its commitment to military education. The university offers a wide range of online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including Aviation, Engineering, Business, and Cybersecurity. Embry-Riddle’s online programs are designed to accommodate the unique demands of military life, with flexible scheduling and the ability to complete coursework from anywhere in the world. The university also offers a variety of support services tailored for military students, including financial aid counseling, career services, and veteran support programs.

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