Once out of the military, service members must prepare themselves to transition back to civilian life. Many choose to utilize their GI Bill and go to college to earn their degree. Don’t let the financials involved overwhelm you, there’s a number of affordable degree programs available out there. However, it important for veterans who wish to attend college to look for certain qualities and services offered. In addition to finding the right college, service members must also be cognizant of other academic factors associated with adjusting to an academic lifestyle. Compiled is a list of what to look out for and other tips for veterans looking to return to school.
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
When it is time to go back to school, many veterans make the mistake of overloading themselves with school work their very first semester. The education process is very different compared to the field, regardless of how long you’ve been back as a civilian. In this case, it is better to start out with the minimum amount of credits (usually 9) for a full-time student. Weighing out and being able to manage your time is essential in succeeding in school, so be sure to stick to what you can handle for at least the first year back in order to get back into the swing of things.
Posting Material Online
The internet is only becoming more of a factor for colleges and employers to choose their students or employees. With that said, be sure to scan through your social media accounts and scrub through and remove any objectionable material that a university or future employer would either either offensive or inappropriate. Use your social media account to your advantage to help portray yourself professionally to the public, building on your military experience and exemplary characteristics.
Choose a Military Friendly School
Believe it or not, there are schools that focus primarily on providing military personnel their education. These military friendly schools have extra incentives for service members such as flexible schedules, financial benefits for them and their families, and even specially designed programs to help them succeed. In addition to incentives such as these, veterans usually are the ones teaching and running the college, so they know the hurdles veterans face. Here, they will be able to connect with other students who have served in the military, creating an atmosphere of unity and understanding. Check out this informative guide to colleges for veterans to get a better understanding of all your options and considerations.
Use Your Benefits to Your Advantage (VA Stuff)
Serving your country is a reward most are not able to experience and the benefits that come to veterans after their time are to show an appreciation for all the sacrifices that they have made for the betterment of their country. Be sure to talk to you VA to help guide you through the process of filing for your GI Bill and finding out other grants and scholarships available exclusively to veterans. Also, be sure to ask them if you are eligible for their additional governmental financial aid or FAFSA to help reduce the financial pressures of going back to school.