How to Determine if an Online School Is Military Friendly

Military men and women have many options available for earning a degree while in service or after being discharged. Online resources exist to help members of the armed forces find suitable education in undergraduate and graduate studies, both online and on-campus.

Individuals looking for military-friendly online educational opportunities can search online resources and take advantage of information available through governmental agencies. Some websites rank schools according to their amenability to veteran and active duty students, while others offer tips and advice.

Finding a Military-Friendly Online School

Military students have many online means for finding accredited military-friendly schools that offer online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Service members help each other through online bulletin boards and educational forums, and some websites offer tips and advice for soldiers and air personnel headed back to school. A few of these online resources include:

  • MilitaryTimes - provides a school search tool, helpful articles and a forum for students to post questions and assists other military personnel looking for school advice.
  • Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) - links students to Army, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard and National Guard educational networks that offer school and program information
  • MilitaryOnlineColleges.org - ranks the top ten colleges and universities for military students.
  • G.I. Jobs - lists online schools that offer military scholarships, discounts, counseling, veterans associations and military support to service members and their dependents
  • Military.com - offers information on education and employment benefits as well as a school search tool specifying online programs.
  • Military Advanced Education Magazine- offers an online, alphabetically arranged list of the top military-friendly colleges and universities in the United States, based on their on-campus and online programs, as well as support that the school offers to veterans.
  • BestColleges.com ranks the most military-friendly online colleges in the United States each year, and the site provides justification for each ranking. For 2017, the top five colleges offering online programs were:
    • Fort Hays State University
    • Colorado State University
    • University of North Dakota
    • University of Alabama
    • University of Maryland - University College
  • U.S. News & World Report - provides ranking lists for the top online bachelor's degree programs for veterans, as well as the top MBA programs. For 2017, the top online bachelor's degree programs were offered by:
    • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
    • University of Oklahoma
    • Arizona State University
    • Western Kentucky University
    • California University of Pennsylvania

Government Resources

The Educational G.I. Bill

Since World War II, military members have received financial assistance from the federal government for education. In 2008, new legislation updated the G.I. Bill, offering service men and women more resources and funding for a college education. Under the new bill, military personnel may receive:

  • Full tuition coverage
  • Housing support
  • Annual or monthly stipends
  • Relocation assistance
  • Dependent benefits
  • Additional financial reimbursement

Several options and eligibility criteria exist under the newly provisioned bill. Students who served after September 11, 2001 may qualify for different benefits than those who served earlier.

Departmental Resources

The Department of Veterans Affairs website provides detailed requirements for each type of G.I. Bill, as well as information on how to select the best option. Additionally, students may receive assistance finding school and program information from the Department of Defense (DoD) website. The DoD Voluntary Education Program provides links to each military branch's study for information about:

  • Benefits
  • Program availability
  • Career options

Active military members and veterans can use online resources to find information about military schools, including rankings. They can also find information from governmental bodies, such as the DoD and the VA.


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