Military-Friendly Colleges in San Diego

Mar 23, 2018

San Diego, CA is known for beautiful weather and beautiful beaches. But for veterans and active duty servicemembers, it's also home to several military-friendly schools. Discover military-friendly schools in southern California.

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Veterans and military students may find San Diego an ideal city in which to pursue higher education. Many San Diego colleges and universities have military-specific benefits. Below are five good selections.

School Comparisons

School Name Institution Type Location In-State Tuition (2017-2018)* Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits
San Diego State University Public 4-year San Diego, CA $7,460 Military housing, SVO, ROTC
San Diego City College Public 2-year San Diego, CA $1,142 Veterans Service Center, scholarship, Navy College Program
University of San Diego Private not-for-profit 4-year San Diego, CA $47,708 Veteran Student Services Coordinator, Military Ally, ROTC
University of California at San Diego Public 4-year La Jolla, CA $14,018 Resource center, entrepreneurship program, scholarships
Alliant International University Private, for-profit 4-year San Diego, CA $14,310 Scholarships, Air Force ROTC, SVO

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Military-Friendly Schools in San Diego

Many schools in San Diego offer military and veterans benefits, and a few, such as San Diego City College, have special relationships with military establishments. Both veterans and active duty students may find sunny San Diego the right choice for their education.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University, also referred to as SDSU, offers a number of innovative programs for veterans and military students. SDSU created the first Student Veterans House in the country, which serves as a place for veterans, active duty, and reservists (as well as their spouses) to relax and hang-out. Near the House, the school offers six three-bedroom apartments exclusively for military-affiliated students. SDSU's Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center offers a variety of services to veterans and active duty students. The center also created the Military Ally Awareness Program, which provides training for staff in military-related challenges and issues. The school has an active Veteran Alumni group and a Student Veterans Organization (SVO). San Diego State University also offers ROTC programs for Army, Navy, and Air Force. SDSU has degree programs from the bachelor's level through the doctoral.

San Diego City College

San Diego City College (SDCC), a community college with approximately 16,500 students, has a number of services designed with the military student in mind. The school's Veterans Affairs Office provides guidance and counseling to servicemembers trying to navigate the academic world. Additionally, the school sponsors workshops and resource fairs to help military families assimilate into the campus community. In addition to the standard distance learning opportunities, SDCC also participates in the Navy College Program, which helps active duty sailors earn credits and degrees. The college offers a wide variety of scholarships including some, like the Summer Research Scholarship, which are exclusive to student veterans.

University of San Diego

This Catholic university offers veterans and military students a number of benefits. The school has dedicated staff to oversee Veteran Student Services, VA benefits, as well as a dedicated staff member for Outreach and Special Events. This school offers ROTC for Army, Air Force, and Navy. In addition, they have a HERO club, which honors those who have given their lives in service. The University of San Diego has partnered with SDSU to bring the Military Ally Awareness Program to its campus. The University of San Diego has 8,500 students and offers bachelor's as well as graduate programs in fields like nursing, and engineering. The school places an emphasis on global service.

University of California at San Diego

With over 35,000 students, UC San Diego may appeal to military students who prefer a large institution. The school has many programs for veterans, including an active Student Veterans Resource Center, which serves over 1,500 military-affiliated students. Through the center, veterans can access the San Diego Veterans Coalition as well as the California Legal Task Force, as well as other helpful organizations. This school also offers a number of military scholarships. Veterans may also participate in the Veteran Ventures program, which is a ten-week course in veteran entrepreneurship using the veterans-teaching-veterans approach.

Alliant International University

Alliant International University (AIU) is a private university with a number of campuses in California, including San Diego. The school has an active Student Veterans Organization and a dedicated veteran contact. AIU offers the Military and Veterans Program (MVP) scholarship, which is awards $5,000 to full-time undergraduate students. Students interested in Air Force ROTC can participate in the program via a cross-town affiliation with SDSU. Alliant offers programs in the mental health professions, law, business, forensics, and medicine, among others. They offer a number of professionally oriented programs, from bachelor's to advanced degrees, as well as professional certificates. This school has about 4,000 students.

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