Military service members—both active duty and veterans—have served our country with honor and have often postponed their education for military service. When higher education becomes the goal for these service members returning to civilian status, it is important that institutions cooperate with the unpredictable schedules and financial needs of these prospective students and assist in this new transition.
A standard of military cooperation in higher education has been established to identify those institutions that are on track to provide service members with added benefits when they return from service and enroll in a degree program. Military friendly colleges are those who maximize Post 9-11 GI Bill® benefits for active-duty service members and veterans through various added support and benefit initiatives.
The Post 9-11 GI Bill was established by Congress in 2008 and provides active-duty service members and veterans, who have 90 days of aggregate service after Sept. 10, 2001 or individuals discharged with a service-oriented disability after 30 days, robust benefits to apply towards a college degree. [pullquote] Benefits include up to 36 months of full tuition and fees, a monthly housing stipend and up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies, as well as benefits that can be applied to both undergraduate and graduate degrees, national testing programs and tutorial assistance.[/pullquote] But, not all colleges and universities are equipped or willing to assist service members with navigating their GI Bill to maximize their benefits and translate their service to an education.
Touro University Worldwide (TUW) supports our military service members in their higher education pursuits, and our military friendly status signifies that we are here to assist our military students.
Participation in the Yellow Ribbon program:
Most GI Bill benefits are easily transferable to public, in-state colleges and universities; however, circumstances may require a military student to look elsewhere for their degree. A specialized degree program may only be offered by a private college, or continuing service requirements might demand that they enroll in an out-of-state institution. Graduate programs often fall outside of the traditional GI Bill benefits. While GI Bill benefits are still applicable to private and out-of-state institutions, as well as graduate programs, benefits may not cover the total amount of tuition. The Yellow Ribbon program was designed to help military students avoid all out-of-pocket expenses when GI Bill benefits aren’t enough. Higher education institutions like TUW voluntarily participate in this supplemental benefits program.
On-campus VA resources:
The life of a college student can be difficult for any new student, but especially for active-duty military students who are juggling an unpredictable schedule on top of their daily course work. Active-duty service members could be called to service at any time, which could disrupt their course schedule and degree outcomes. Navigating GI Bill benefits can also be complicated for military students, who may need additional support to understand the terms and regulations to their military financial assistance package. Military friendly schools will have a VA representative on campus to help military students. Whether enrolled in on-ground courses or online, this representative will be available to answer questions and provide support from enrollment through graduation.
Acceptance of military credit:
Military training and experience can equate to college credits for military students. Military friendly schools will accept certain training programs, examinations and field experience as transfer credits to help military students accelerate their college program. Most schools utilize the American Council on Education standards to accept military training and experience for academic credit. Standardized exams such as the College Level Examination Programs (CLEP) or DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) may also be counted for credit.
Education support for family members:
Military service members aren’t the only ones who have sacrificed for their service. Their family members, including spouse and children, have also sacrificed while their loved one was completing military service. Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) provides up to $4,000 (over two years) of financial support to spouses of military service members in their pursuit of a college degree. Not all colleges accept MyCAA accounts. In addition to the MyCAA, TUW provides spouse and children reduced tuition as another way of showing our support of our service members.
Program flexibility and diversity:
Military students operate on a different schedule, with active-duty service members often being called to service during a semester term. Colleges offering flexible solutions to traditional programs such as evening classes, weekend courses and online degrees are best suited for these military students. Military students are also looking for diverse program offerings to maximize their military experience and meet their career goals. They are also looking for career-building skill sets such as leadership, communication and management. TUW offers a diverse catalog of fully online programs for our military students.
Military friendly status is an indicator of a higher education institution that is concerned with your academic well-being and future career outcomes. TUW is a strong supporter of the military and is proud of our military friendly designation.
*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.