Earning a degree can help military personnel in a variety of situations. Whether they are trying to start a career in the civilian workforce, broaden their prospects for advancement in the armed forces, or get their undergraduate degree while on active duty, going back to school is a valuable use of time. However, finding the time for school can be hard for active duty and veteran personnel alike, making online degrees an excellent option for this population.
Comparison of Accredited Military Friendly Online Colleges
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||Undergraduate Tuition (in-state)*||Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits|
|Drexel University Online||Private not-for-profit, 4-year||Philadelphia, PA||$52,002*||Tuition discount for active duty and veteran service members and their families, veteran's enrollment counselors|
|Pennsylvania State University - World Campus||Public, 4-year||University Park, PA||$13,988*||Military-specific scholarships, waived application fee, professional military support team|
|Colorado State University - Global Campus||Public, 4-year||Greenwood Village, CO||$8,400*||Tuition discounts and scholarships for active duty and veteran service members and their families|
|American Public University System - American Military University||Private for-profit, 4-year||Charles Town, WV||$6,880*||Scholarship partnerships with multiple organizations that cater to service members|
|University of Maryland - University College||Public, 4-year||Adelphi, MD||$7,296*||Tuition discount for active duty and veteran service members and their families, service member resource center, veterans assistance fund|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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What Makes a Great Online College for Military Personnel
The flexibility of an online degree makes going back to school easier for service members. However, not all online programs cater to this specific population. Military personnel should look for schools with robust resources for active duty and veteran citizens, including scholarships, veterans resource and counseling services, and flexible scheduling. The schools below provide these things are more.
Drexel University Online
The online arm of Drexel University works hard to make going back to school easy for military personnel. Active duty members of the armed forces are eligible for 10-40% tuition cuts. Immediate family members can also take advantage of this reduced tuition. The classes here are taken over 10-week terms that start four times a year and can be completed from anywhere in the world. Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees are all available.
Pennsylvania State University - World Campus
The Penn State World Campus is another great PA headquartered online school that strives to make getting a degree as easy as possible for military students. Currently, they are waiving their application fee for all students who attend a military information webinar. Financially they support military students several scholarships. One of the most popular is the Military Grant-in-Aid scholarship that can be utilized by service members and their spouses. Furthermore, Penn State World Campus also offers military students counseling specific to their issues and the ability to transfer credits from their training. There are over 150 degree programs available here ranging in level of expertise and subject matter.
Colorado State University - Global Campus
The CSU Global Campus tries to make enrolling in school easier for all military personnel by reducing their tuition by 10%. This reduction is also available to military spouses. Active duty and veteran students, as well as their families, can also apply for the U.S. Military Personnel and Family Scholarship. At this online institution, it is possible to get an undergraduate degree in fields ranging from the social sciences to information technology. Graduate degrees in similar fields are also available here.
American Public University System - American Military University
The American Military University is a member of the American Public University System. Catered toward members of the armed forces, this online school is a great option for those looking to earn their degree. Over three quarters of the students here have a military background, and everything that this school does is designed to make earning a degree easier for service members. Associate's, bachelors', master's, and doctoral degrees can be earned at American Military University from any one of the six schools housed within the larger university.
University of Maryland - University College
UMUC understands that going back to school after or during military service can be difficult, so they allow their students to design their program to their needs. With over 140 satellite campuses and the ability to take all of one's classes online, this is truly a global school. UMUC further supports their military students through the Vessey Veterans Resource Center, which can be accessed by local and online students alike. Here they provide guidance in areas such as benefits and job resources. Military students are eligible for tuition discounts and can also apply for the Veterans Assistance Fund offered through the school. The academic programs at UMUC are diverse, catering to many different possible career paths.