If you are one of many veterans considering using military benefits to pay for your education, you may be wondering if online college would be a good option for you. There are pros and cons to every issue, and this is no different. The unique concerns you face as a former or current member of the military impact whether online courses are right for you.

Convenience

This is definitely an advantage for all non-traditional students, but it is especially useful for you as you deal with post-military schedules. If you are no longer on active duty, you probably have a full-time job. Military benefits can help you transition from a job to a career with the right education. Online programs allow you to study while keeping your employment. If your position is based on your military experiences, these programs can help you build on those skills to advance in your profession. Those who are still in the military usually move around a lot between bases. Distance learning can help you work on your degree wherever you are transferred.

Flexibility

Your military life probably accustomed you to working odd hours. You may be at your most alert at three in the morning. Online degree programs give you the freedom to put that time to good use studying. In addition, if you need to take a few days or even weeks off, your program will probably allow you to do that. This may not be the case in all programs however. Some online courses from traditional universities are taught in live time or have specific requirements for turning in assignments.

Transition Ease

You may have encountered some difficult times in serving your country. Many people deal with PTSD and other emotional problems that make traditional classroom attendance daunting. You might not be ready for face-to-face classes. Being social doesn’t come easy for some people, and that is especially true after combat experience. Distance learning can help you earn the degree you need without fielding uncomfortable questions about your military service. It can help you avoid the anxiety many people face in crowded situations such as a university lecture hall.

The Downside

If you are weighing the pros and cons of distance learning, you must be realistic about your life. You might be the kind of person who learns best in a traditional situation with peers and an instructor. You may need the support many traditional colleges offer in veterans groups. While some online schools have support chatrooms, the experience is not the same as sitting down for coffee with peers, or talking to a counselor. Online groups cannot offer the camaraderie found at traditional universities or the networking opportunities that may arise through them. In addition, you might be accustomed to having a rigid routine. Setting your own study schedule requires time management skills that many vets have not developed.

You deserve the best educational opportunity available to you, and your country can help you achieve your goals through military benefits. A realistic assessment of who you are, your skills and your limitations, will help you choose an educational path that is right for you. There are many fine programs offered through distance learning at both traditional and online institutions. Online degrees from accredited schools are generally equal to the degrees earned at traditional schools. Online college offers many advantages for veterans wanting to return to school.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Colleges for Veterans