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Best Colleges for Active-Duty Military

Nov 27, 2017

Colleges that offer degrees and certificates with flexible scheduling may be the best choices for active-duty military personnel. Affordability and diversity in possible degrees are also attributes of the schools discussed in this article.

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Being an active-duty military member is a full-time job, making flexibility in programming important when attending school at the same time. Affordability, diversity in degrees and certificates, and special resources for military personnel are other benefits offered by the following schools.

School Comparison

School Name Institution Type Location In-State Tuition (2016-2017)* Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits
Armstrong State University 4-year, Public Savannah, GA $5,360 Military Tuition Assistance, Special Scholarships, student fees waived, credit for military training
University of Wisconsin-Platteville 4-year, Public Platteville, WI $7,180 Military Tuition Assistance, credit for military training
Amridge University 4-year, Private not-for-profit Montgomery, AL $7,180 Military Tuition Assistance, credit for military training
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus 4-year, Public University Park, PA $13,678 Military Tuition Assistance, credit for military training
Norwich University 4-year, Private not-for-profit Northfield, VT $37,354 Multiple scholarship programs, Military Tuition Assistance, credit for military training

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Why These Are Great Colleges for Active-Duty Military

Going to school while on active duty means fitting work schedules together with studies. Flexible class schedules and the availability of online courses were important factors in choosing which colleges made this list. Tuition assistance and military-specific resources were also important considerations.

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Armstrong State University

This public university is the most affordable listed here, making Armstrong State University's tuition the easiest to afford when combined with Military Tuition Assistance (TA). An allotted amount is available to active armed service members to cover school costs each year. Scholarships from the university can also be used if TA is not enough. This school offers bachelor's, master's, and associates degrees, along with a variety of certificates. Schedules are very flexible, with evening and online classes that can be taken as full semesters, seven-week short semesters, or intensive summer semesters.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

This university has a strong military culture, and a large percentage of the student population at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville has some connection to the military. Students choose from a variety of majors, and degrees can be completed on campus or online. A wide offering of certificates and professional training are offered, as well, and full semester or 8-week online class schedules can help to fulfill scheduling needs while on active duty.

Amridge University

Amridge University participates in many different programs that allow those with a military background easy access to an education. Active duty service members and their families can attend this university for a lower fee than their civilian counterparts. This school also accepts prior course credits, including those related to military training. With a large assortment of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, this university offers support and flexibility to service members who are attending school.

Penn State World Campus

The Penn State World Campus is the online affiliate of Penn State. With a robust support system for students with military affiliation, this school could be a great choice for continuing education while on active duty. Some of the benefits that Penn State provides for its active duty students are waived tuition fees, the ability to transfer military training into course credit, and access to the grants and scholarships specifically designed for active-duty military students. The school also has a Military Support Team, which is on call to help military students at any time. Classes are all completely online and can be done from anywhere is the world, making them easy to fit into the hectic schedules of active-duty soldiers.

Norwich University

According to its website, this university has almost 200 years of experience in helping military personnel complete their degrees. Norwich University's classes are all online and are taken one at a time so that they are easier to manage. School can be paid for by using a number of financial aid programs that the university has designed to specifically help students in this population. Norwich also accepts past credit from several different sources, including the Defense Acquisition University, SOF courses, prior college coursework, and some types of military training.

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