5 Tips for Ex Military Personnel Going Back to College
Feb 28, 2017 22:02
Going back to school is a perfect way to re-invent yourself once your time in the military is over. By learning a new career, you chart your life afresh. But approach this transition wisely. Do not jump into student life without taking some factors into consideration. Here are some tips for ex-military personnel going back to college.
1. Choose a Veteran-Friendly School
Begin your journey back to college by choosing a school that suits your needs and military background. Go for one that has a reputation for helping active duty soldiers, or veterans like you. Such schools typically offer benefits to military personnel. Their hours and programs are also military-friendly.
If you have always wanted to study a military history degree, this is the place to pursue it. And best of all, many veterans like you attend such schools, so you will be in good company.
2. Do Not Rush
The transition from military life to civilian life should be gradual. Ease into your new life as a student and don't take on too many classes at once. Give yourself time to adjust to the workload and schedule. Once you get used to this change, take on as many classes as you can handle. Student life is not difficult for veterans accustomed to the rigors of military life. It is just different and takes getting used to, that's all.
3. Talk to Veteran Affairs (VA)
Before you take the leap and jump into college, talk to your local VA office first. VA officials understand the challenges a veteran faces when he or she goes back to college. Thus, they can offer you advice on which programs to pursue, which schools to enroll in, and which education benefits you are entitled to as a veteran. The tips and pointers they give you are invaluable. Also keep one more thing in mind. Once you get to campus, find the on-campus VA office and talk to the officials there, too.
4. Get Financial Aid
Do not try to pay for college by yourself; it is an expensive affair. And why should you when the GI Bill entitles you to financial aid? Yes, veterans pursuing further education are entitled to financial aid, but this aid depends on the program you intend to pursue, so talk to your VA for further details.
Apart from the GI Bill money, you are also eligible for student loans under the Financial Aid and Student Loan Assistance (FAFSA). Paying them back is easy, for they have a low interest rate. Finally, get private student loans only as a last resort. Their interest rates are higher than those of FAFSA.
5. Apply Early
Finding a veteran-friendly school and talking to your VA is only the beginning of your education journey. Now, get your applications in order and then send them out early. Remember, different schools have different application deadlines, so do your homework well. The last thing you want to do is to miss an application deadline and get locked out of enrollment.
Military veterans who intend to go back to college to study for an MMH degree should enroll in a veteran-friendly school if possible. They should also contact a VA official for help, get financial aid, and apply early. Once they get to campus, veterans must take it easy.
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