Top 5 Features to Consider When Choosing a Military-Connected College

Choosing a college can be a daunting task, especially for military-connected students. Because most schools cater directly to traditional undergrad students, it can be difficult to find an academic environment that caters to the unique needs and experiences of veterans and their families.

So, to simplify this process, we have compiled a list of the top five features to look for when considering a military-friendly college.

1. Academic Credit for Military Experience

You’ve given a lot to your country. And you’ve learned a lot along the way.

A military-connected college should recognize and value the skills acquired during military service. Look for schools that offer academic credit for military experience, acknowledging the transferable skills gained during your time in the armed forces.

Ashland University, for instance, awards academic credit for military experience, helping you earn your degree faster and more efficiently.

2. Tuition Assistance Programs

While GI Bill benefits can cover a significant portion of educational expenses, additional costs may still remain. Seek colleges participating in military and veteran education benefits programs like the Yellow Ribbon Program. These programs can provide additional financial support to military-connected students, especially those attending private schools or studying out-of-state.

At Ashland University, various tuition assistance options–which include the Ohio National Guard Scholarship, Warrior Fund, and Ron Karl Scholarship, to name just a few–are available for military-connected students.

3. Specialized Support for Service Members, Veterans, and Families

The best military-connected colleges offer specialized support services to meet the unique needs of service members, veterans and their families. Look for a dedicated Military and Veteran (M&V) team that understands the specific challenges military-connected students face.

Ashland University's M&V resource center, known as The Jack, provides comprehensive support, including academic advising, transition assistance and a strong sense of military community rarely found on college campuses.

4. Military Spouse and Dependent Programs

When a military-connected student goes to college, it’s not just one life that is affected. That’s why it's essential to consider the programs and benefits available for the family members of military personnel. As you gauge which schools are the best fit, choose a college that recognizes the importance of supporting military spouses and dependents.

Ashland University prioritizes the needs of military-connected families, ensuring that programs and resources are available to assist them throughout their educational journey.

5. Proven Student Success and Flexible Learning Options

Look for a college with a track record of student success and a commitment to flexible learning options. A military-connected college should offer comprehensive student support services, including tutoring, career guidance and counseling. Additionally, flexible program offerings, both in-person and online classes, can accommodate the unique schedules and demands of military-connected students.

Ashland University is renowned for its student success initiatives, ensuring you receive the support you need to thrive academically.

When selecting a military-connected college, it is crucial to consider the specific features and support services that will cater to your needs as a service member, veteran, or military family member. Look for colleges that provide academic credit for military experience, offer tuition assistance programs, prioritize specialized support services, recognize the needs of military spouses and dependents and provide flexible learning options. With these factors in mind, you can find a college that will empower you to succeed academically and transition smoothly into civilian life.

Intrigued by the possibilities? Schedule a meeting or visit with us today to discover how Ashland University's Military Families and Veterans Services can support your educational journey and help you thrive in a military-connected college environment.

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