Best Online Colleges for Active-Duty Military

Mar 28, 2018

Get information about pursuing a college degree while on active duty. College courses may lead to active duty promotions or a better career in civilian life. Discover online colleges for service members.

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The colleges profiled below were ranked in Military Times Best of Online and Nontraditional Colleges for 2018 based on categories like the number of military students they enroll and their flexible course settings, which might make them good fits for active duty service members.

School Comparison

School Name Institution Type Location In-State Tuition (2017-2018)* Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits
University of Maryland Public 4-year Adelphi, MD $7,296 Scholarships
Central Texas College Public 2-year Killeen, TX $3,390 Scholarships
Regent University Private not-for-profit 4-year Virginia Beach, VA $17,288 Military discount
American Public University Private for-profit Charles Town, WV $6,880 Technology fees are covered for students on active duty
Penn State - World Campus Public 4-year University Park, PA $13,988 Military Grant-in-Aid program

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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Online Colleges for Active-Duty Military

Active duty service members don't need to wait until they are released from the military to get a start on education. These online colleges provide opportunities to get started right away and to take classes on flexible schedules, as well as offering a variety of services to assist military students.

University of Maryland - University College

The University of Maryland - University College offers a number of benefits to active duty service members, such as college credit for military training. The Vessey Veterans Resource Center supports active duty service members as well as veterans through programs like the One2One peer mentoring program. The school also has a networking program for service members and veterans called Mil-Vet. The General John W. Vessey, Jr. Scholarship Fund offers scholarships to active duty service members along with other military students. University of Maryland - University College offers associate's degrees through doctorates. The school offers 90 degrees and specialty certificates, and it has extensive online and hybrid learning options.

Central Texas College

Central Texas College features the Eagles on Call center, which offers help and assistance to military service members, including help navigating the GoArmyEd portal for requesting tuition assistance. For military service members, online classes can be started every month. This school gives college credit for military training, and it has scholarships for active duty service members like the Congressman Chet and Lea Ann Edwards Endowed Scholarship For US Military Members and Family for associate degree-seekers. Central Texas College also teaches classes to military overseas at remote campuses, such as in Europe.

Regent University

Regent University is a private not-for-profit school in Virginia Beach, VA, with an abundant amount of distance-learning programs: 128 across the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school offers a military discount and a bookstore voucher to help reduce costs for service members. It's also a participant in the MyCAA program for military spouses. Military service members may receive college credit for military training, and there is also a dedicated staff for military and veteran students. Regent University offers service members associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees, as well as a number of professional certificates.

American Public University

American Public University, a fully online school, has more than 400 veterans on its faculty and staff, demonstrating its commitment to military values and service members. This school offers a tuition grant to cap tuition fees. It also provides textbooks to service members, and there are no course technology fees for service members who are using tuition assistance. In addition, the school has a dedicated staff for military students, and it awards college credits for military training. American Public University only offers distance learning classes, so service members attending online don't miss out on any campus-centered aspects of the school.

Penn State - World Campus

Penn State - World Campus, which is also an online school, has a Military Support Team to help all types of military students with everything from admissions to securing benefits to choosing degree plans. This school also gives college credit for relevant military training. Grants and scholarships for military students at Penn State - World Campus include the Military Grant-in-Aid program, which is available to all military service members and can reduce tuition costs by up to 44%. This public school offers more than 150 online degrees and programs. There are certificates available that can be completed in as little as one year, as well as associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees.

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