Best Online Colleges for Military Veterans

Aug 15, 2017

Military veterans who are seeking online degree programs are likely interested in finding options that are affordable, flexible, and offer degrees that align with their interests. We will look at some programs in the article below.

Veterans who are returning to school after a military career may be interested in pursuing a degree online, as it provides them with increased flexibility and the possibility of being able to work while studying. There are many factors veterans may want to take into consideration when choosing an online degree program, like whether they qualify for special tuition rates or scholarships and what types of degrees are available online. Below, we will look at five of the top colleges for veterans looking for online degree programs.

School Comparison

School Name Institution Type Location In-state Tuition (2016-2017)* Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits
University of Oklahoma 4-year, public Norman, OK $10,881 Bachelor's and master's degrees, some 100% online, ability to qualify for in-state tuition
Western Kentucky University 4-year, public Bowling Green, KY $9,912 Military scholarships, online programs from associate's to master's, in-state tuition
Oregon State University 4-year, public Corvallis, OR $10,366 Ecampus, low online tuition rates, bachelor's and master's degrees
Pennsylvania State University 4-year, public University Park, PA $17,900 World Campus, application fee waiver, military credit transfer, World Campus scholarships
Colorado State University 4-year, public Greenwood Village, CO $8,400 Global Campus, bachelor's and master's degree specializations, 10% tuition discount for veterans

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Highlights

The schools below all offer online degrees, though they differ from each other in their tuition rates, degree offerings, and veteran benefits. Some schools have a designated online campus that charges tuition rates independent of their brick-and-mortar affiliate school, and we will look at each school in closer detail below.

University of Oklahoma

Named by U.S. News & World Report as the second-best school for online bachelor's degrees for veterans, the University of Oklahoma offers a number of entirely online degrees designed for military personnel, veterans, and adults who are simultaneously working. This school offers an online B.S. in Criminal Justice, as well as an online B.A. in Administrative Leadership, which are two degrees that may be particularly interesting to veterans. For veterans who have already completed an undergraduate degree, OU also offers online master's degrees in areas like Criminal Justice, International Relations, Social Work, Communications, and Prevention Science just to name a few. Veterans who were stationed in Oklahoma are able to qualify for in-state tuition rates, even after discharge or release, as long as they establish a domicile in the state.

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University has created over 90 online degree programs, ranging from associate's degrees and undergraduate certificates to master's degree programs, all of which can be completed entirely online. Veterans may be interested in the online bachelor's programs in Criminology, Technology Management, and Manufacturing Engineering Technology, depending on their skillset and what job they did while in the military. The school also offers a number of military and veteran specific scholarship awards to help make tuition more affordable, and veterans at WKU also qualify for in-state tuition rates. U.S. News & World Report ranks WKU as fifth in the country for online bachelor's programs for veterans.

Oregon State University

Via Ecampus at Oregon State University, veterans have access to over 45 online programs, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. Tied for number seven on U.S. News & World Report list of best online colleges for veterans, the school offers a wide variety of online degrees in fields like Agricultural Sciences, Economics, Foreign Languages, Rangeland Sciences, and Political Science. Students who are enrolled in online programs through the Ecampus pay a special tuition rate that is just over the in-state tuition rate, but around half the price of the out-of-state tuition rate. This is good news for military veterans, as they can move from state-to-state or even internationally and still benefit from the same lower tuition rate.

Pennsylvania State University

Through Pennsylvania State University's World Campus, students have access to over 125 online degree and certificate programs that cover a wide variety of majors and fields. Veterans and military members can apply to the school for free, thanks to a veteran application fee waiver. Penn State accepts military experience as college credit, allowing veterans to complete their degrees as quickly as possible. In addition to the federal aid program, veterans can also apply for World Campus Scholarships, which are designed to help students enrolled in World Campus degree programs afford their tuition. U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn State as tied for number seven of best online colleges for veterans.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers a special online tuition rate for students who enroll in their degree programs through the Global Campus. CSU offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs that students can complete entirely online. They also offer students the option of choosing further specializations within their degree programs. Veterans who enroll in the Global Campus at CSU automatically qualify for a 10% tuition discount, as long as they were honorably discharged.

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