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What Does a Military-Friendly College Look Like?

Servicemembers, veterans and their families can find a number of resources to help take the next step in furthering their education.

Some of those are publications that cater to the military community or veterans. Publications such as G.I. Jobs magazine, Military Times, U.S. Veterans magazine and Military Advanced Education & Transition may use a  “military friendly” designation or ranking to recognize schools as good choices for veterans and military students, according to a post in VAntage Point, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ official blog.

The criteria for recognizing colleges can vary. New England College’s 2017 Military Friendly® designation from Victory Media (publisher of G.I. Jobs) was based on factors including support for military students, academics and financial assistance. Military Advanced Education & Transition’s 2017 list of Top Colleges and Universities recognized NEC for its military culture, and support online and on campus.

Military students and their families may want to consider the following as they explore their options.

  1. People who understand the ins and outs of military education benefits – That can be an individual or an office staffed by experts who know how education benefits can be used and are ready to guide veterans on in-depth planning or scheduling.
  1. Transferability of military education and training credits – Some colleges have transfer-credit policies for military students that award course credit for prior military training and experience. NEC evaluates Joint Services Transcripts (JST) and will accept credits for Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Subject Standardized Tests (DSST). Veterans need to have JST or Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcripts sent through the American Council on Education (ACE).
  1. Processes and procedures for ensuring military education benefits are applied – A school’s staff should be poised to act as advocates should issues arise that might slow down payments or otherwise disrupt the learning experience.
  1. Support and resources – It’s good to know whether a school has veterans support organizations or clubs on campus or online. NEC has a veterans resource center on campus, as well as Students Engaged with Respect to Veterans Education (SERVE), New England College’s association for veterans.
  1. Addressing degree program interruptions – Some schools have policies addressing military deployment or mobilization. NEC does not penalize military students for temporarily exiting a program if they are deployed, and its 100% online degree programs provide flexibility for servicemembers to complete their coursework from anywhere.

*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 website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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