Best Resources for Active Military Members Going to College

  • Financial Aid
  • Specialized Scholarships
  • DANTES
  • Defense Centers of Excellence
  • Military One Source

As millions of active-duty military members become college students while serving the country, they employ the resources built for them by the national government. And rightly so. After all, the programs that allow them to take classes while still in the military were developed with the sole purpose of improving access to higher education. So, what are some of the most popular resources available here?

Related resource: Top 10 Online Colleges for Active Duty Military

Defense Centers of Excellence

While Defense Centers of Excellence are not exclusive to active-duty military members who are going to college, they are one of the most underused services. For those unfamiliar, the purpose of the center is to provide various forms of advocacy for military personnel who may not be in a position to do certain things alone. Thus, they can be extremely useful during the college application process that can be extremely challenging for someone who is also dealing with things like PTSD, stress, anxiety, or similar. Not to mention that the Defense Centers of Excellence are completely free of charge to military members.

Financial Aid

One of the most popular benefits of attending college while actively serving in the military are the countless financial perks that will help the service members pay for their education. Post 9/11 program that is better known as the G.I. Bill is a prime example. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it exists to help honorably discharged and active military members with more than a total of 90 days of cumulative service pay for their classes. In addition, this program and many others will go as far as to help pay for the expenses related to housing.

Specialized Scholarships

Besides financial aid that has been established by legislative action, military members who are actively serving are also entitled to a wide variety of scholarships. For instance, those who are in the Navy will be able to apply for help through the Navy College Program or Navy College Fund. Similarly, U.S. Marine Corps has an “Advanced Degree Program,” per se, that will give out up to $4,500 to active-duty members seeking graduate degrees. The same applies to every other branch as all of them have a series of different programs built to focus on their own servicemen and women.

Defensive Activity Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES)

DANTES was developed to help students who are serving in the military save some time when it comes to earning a degree. How? Well, they consider one’s previous experience and let them take certain tests that will help them get credit for classes without actually attending. So, instead of spending 16 weeks taking a certain course during a long semester, active duty member who might have a lot of experience with the subject matter will be able to test out of that area and focus on something else. This program saves precious time and lets individuals graduate sooner.

Military One Source

Finally, Military One Source is a helpline that connects the service member with an appropriate party that will help them work through problems at hand. One of their most popular services is non-medical counseling that could come in very handy for students who might be struggling to balance and prioritize their daily engagements. Furthermore, this resource is especially great for people who are struggling to adjust to the civilian lifestyle and find it difficult to maintain an appropriate grade point average.

Since the aforementioned resources are completely paid for by the government and the taxpayers, individuals who qualify should always look for ways to utilize them. This is especially true for those who are students in college while actively serving in any of the branches as they have a vast amount of options that tend to be unexplored.