Veterans: Thinking About College? Don't Miss the 2011 Guide to Military Friendly Schools

Sep 29, 2010

Each year, G.I. Jobs surveys colleges and universities across the country to determine which schools provide the best environments for veterans. These are institutions that focus on recruiting students with military experience and ensuring that their unique educational needs are met. Veterans: Read on to learn more about finding the best college fit for you.

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GI Bill Supports Veterans in Higher Education

Military veterans make up a unique group in America's colleges and universities. They have an unusual amount of life experience, which teaches them maturity, leadership and first-hand knowledge of global affairs.

And now is a great time for GIs to go to school. In June 2008, then-President George Bush signed the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act, also known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, into law. The Act provides enhanced education benefits for GIs who have served in the military since the 9/11 attacks.

The benefits cover education expenses for 36 months, or the equivalent of four years in college. The definition of 'education expenses' is quite broad; covered are tuition, fees, living expenses and related costs. And the amount is quite generous - the government will cover tuition and fees up to the maximum charges for in-state students at the most expensive public school in the student's state. Allowances for books, supplies and other educational expenditures are up to $1,000 per year.

Visit the website of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators to find out if you're eligible.

Veterans on campus

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Cultural Studies
  • Ethnic and Gender Studies
  • Geography and Cartography
  • Human and Consumer Sciences
  • Human and Social Services
  • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
  • Military Studies
  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Science and Studies
  • Social Studies and History
  • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies

Veterans and GIs: Find the Right School for You

With all these resources available, more and more GIs are getting their degrees. But not all schools are equipped to accommodate the needs of this population. Enter a special kind of college evaluation system: The Military Friendly Schools list, compiled annually by G.I. Jobs.

With the help of an academic advisory board that includes educators from all over the country, G.I. Jobs has recognized the top 15% of military friendly colleges, universities and trade schools in the U.S. Criteria for making the list include 'efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting military and veteran students and academic accreditations.' In other words, these schools reach out to the military community, offer a solid academic experience and provide support to enrolled veterans and GIs.

The list - which isn't ranked - includes 1,220 postsecondary institutions, 45 of which are 'virtual campuses.' The 'virtual' schools offer online courses and degree programs in lieu of a traditional campus experience. These programs offer flexibility that can be especially useful for veterans, who are often juggling work and family responsibilities in addition to school commitments.

The Military Friendly Schools list for 2011 will be officially released on the Military Friendly Schools website on October 1, 2010. Visit the site to check out the College Matchmaker, which allows veterans to search by school location, financial benefits, degree type, area of study, support, flexibility and enrollment size to find the education they're looking for.

Looking for more information on military friendly online education? Don't miss our interview with Louis Martini, Director of Military and Veteran Education at the all-online Thomas Edison State College, a 2011 Military Friendly School.

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