It’s Back to School time and while you’re readying your kids for that all-so-important first day of school, now’s a good time to consider going back to school yourself. Especially with all the benefits available to military veterans, setting your sights on higher education has never been easier.
Here are 5 tips for veterans who want to go back to school:
- Choose the right school: While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of schools to choose from, some schools are better suited for military veterans than others. Finding a school with a reputation dedicated to helping veterans achieve their dreams of higher education is an important first step. Military-friendly schools are more likely to offer additional benefits, flexibility, and special programs for current military personnel or veterans.
- Know your VA benefits: The VA offers numerous benefits for veterans and active-duty military personnel who are interested in pursuing higher education, including tuition-assistance programs. Your local VA office can also offer you tips, tricks, pointers, and access to whatever resources you’ll need to get the college ball rolling.
- Understand financial aid: College tuition is expensive, so understanding what financial aid packages are available will give you a hand up. As a veteran, you have earned the benefits entitled to you in the GI Bill, and that includes money for college tuition. You may also qualify for additional tuition assistance, including other government programs, such as FAFSA.
- Be sure to apply on time: All institutions have differing deadlines as far as when you submit your application. Now that you’ve connected with your local VA and have your tuition financing all set up, it’s time to start the application process. Knowing how much you can afford to pay will have a big impact on which schools you choose to apply.
- Take it easy: If you’ve been out of school for several years, it’s important to ease your way back in. Start with a manageable class load and add classes as your schedule permits. College is not a race, and earning a degree takes time and dedication. If you overwhelm yourself in the beginning you can burn out quickly.
Also, make sure to find out if the school you will be attending accepts DD-214 credits, which could speed up you college career and help save money.