Best online colleges for military and veterans in 2021
If you’re a prospective student who has served or is currently serving in the armed forces, you're qualified for a number of unique benefits to help you pursue your college education.
Many colleges and universities go above and beyond in their recognition of service members. Here’s a quick guide to the advantages of pursuing a military-friendly program and a look at the best online colleges for military and veterans.
Who can benefit from a military-friendly program?
Military-friendly degree programs can be beneficial to active-duty service members, including officers and enlisted personnel, as well as members of the Reserves and Guard forces. Veterans and military spouses can also benefit from the resources and curriculum structure these types of programs offer.
Benefits of augmenting military experience with a master’s degree
Adding a master's degree to your resume can help pave the way to more meaningful career possibilities outside of the military.
Set yourself apart from the competition
Graduate degrees are often associated with higher-paying and more professionally rewarding jobs. As a candidate with a graduate degree, you're more likely to stand apart from applicants with a bachelor’s degree.
Integrate your experience and education
Whether you're an active-duty service member or a veteran, earning a graduate degree creates a valuable opportunity to explore parallels between your military career and opportunities in the civilian sector.
Bring your military skill set into the workforce
Many employers actively seek out candidates who possess both military experience and a graduate degree to fill challenging positions in high-stakes industries. Employers who are unfamiliar with how military experience translates to their own industry will immediately recognize the graduate degree. By speaking the language of future employers, you can improve your chances of finding employment that aligns with your leadership capabilities, professional interests, and skill level.
Why choose a military-friendly degree program?
Compared to traditional degree programs, military-friendly programs are uniquely tailored to the needs of active-duty military personnel, veterans, and family members. They often involve:
Military-specific college and career counseling services
Flexible online curricula
Military-friendly online graduate business degree programs can help you:
Develop professional skills and advance your career
Ease back into the civilian workforce
Build a professional network through your class cohort, faculty, and alumni community
The military difference
Financial support is one of the most tangible advantages typically offered by military-friendly programs. Participating schools may also offer:
Tuition assistance in the form of grants or scholarships based on military status
Enrollment in government-sponsored education benefit programs
Course credit for prior military experience and transfer credit from prior institutions
Military discounts for students and their family members
Specialized guidance and support services designed for students serving on active duty as well as those transitioning between a military career and civilian life
High-touch courses with frequent communication from instructors and classmates
Faculty with after-hours availability or flexible office hours
Student support 24/7
Benefits of online learning for the military lifestyle
Courses in military-friendly degree programs may be offered online.The best online colleges for military and veterans can enable you to:
View lectures and complete coursework around your unique schedule
Learn and digest the course material at your own pace
Make steady progress toward a degree from any location
Given these possibilities, flexible online programs can be a good fit for the military lifestyle. Whether you're an active-duty service member, military spouse, or veteran, you can seamlessly complete your studies while working full time in either a military or civilian setting.
Resources for online college students
Use these resources to better understand the advantages of online learning and the shift to virtual education across the globe:
As a member of the military community looking to advance your career, you can enroll in an online graduate degree program to build on your previous academic and work experiences.
An advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration or a master’s degree in a business-related field, can help military personnel, spouses, and veterans prepare for a fulfilling career in the professional world.
According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8.9% of veterans go on to earn a master’s degree, compared to 8.3% of the non-veteran population.
Best online colleges for military
Many online colleges and universities offer programming, tuition assistance, and support services to help current and former service members succeed in higher education.
Consider these online colleges for military and veteran students.
As the first private military college in the U.S., Norwich University has been providing military students with education for over 200 years. Its online programs — including bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and certificate programs — are designed to meet the unique needs of active, veteran, deployed, and reserve service members. Many Norwich faculty members are also retired military officers who are prepared to help students integrate their career experiences into their academic experiences.
Maryville University is part of the 2020-2021 Military Friendly Schools list in recognition of the exemplary opportunities it provides to military veterans and their spouses. Maryville partners with the American Council on Education (ACE) to evaluate military courses completed to turn them into college credit for its degree programs. Maryville also participates in the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) and Green to Gold program to help service members earn income as Army officers while completing their degrees.
Regis College is also part of the 2020-2021 Military Friendly Schools list for its support of military students and their families. The college offers a 15% tuition discount to military and veteran students and their spouses entering its online graduate programs. Regis College additionally accepts military credits through the Joint Services Transcript program. Students at Regis College can receive one-on-one guidance through the Veterans Program Office and newly established Veterans Center on campus.