Earning an Online Degree While in the Military Tips
- Find a College that Meets Your Needs
- Arrange Financing
- Make Education a Priority
- Find a Study Buddy
- Take Your Time and Maintain Focus
Earning an online degree while in the military isn’t as difficult as you might think. Getting ahead in today’s world requires continuing education to develop skills and knowledge. More and more military members are working on their degrees. With a degree, they can take advantage of promotion opportunities within the military as well as prepare for their lives outside the military. Here are five tips to keep in mind while working toward this goal.
Find a College that Meets Your Needs
Once you’ve settled on your desired career path, research online schools that have experience with students earning their online degree while in the military. The needs of military students differ from those of civilian students, so a school that understands the varying demands on your time and can offer flexibility in schedules and deadlines is a better choice. Some schools may have a military representative on staff who can answer your questions regarding schedules, what to do if you are deployed, etc. Your duty station may also have a military education service office where more information can be found. Take advantage of these resources to satisfy your concerns.
There are numerous options available to military students to fund their education beyond the standard student loans, scholarships, and tuition assistance. The GI Bill remains a popular choice for post-secondary education, and there are other programs that provide financial assistance. The financial aid office at your university will have more information as well as your military education service office.
Make Education a Priority
Your military duties and your family are and should remain your top priorities. Earning an online degree while serving in the military should come next. There is no point in pursuing an education if you are unable to make it a priority for you. Keep your superior informed and ask for flexibility if you need it. Spend time with your family because they need you, and you them, and make time to study. Remember that every class you complete is one step further toward meeting your educational goals.
Find a Study Buddy
No man is an island. It takes a village to raise a child. Many hands make light work. In other words, having a study buddy working with you to support and motivate you will make your educational journey easier. Even if your study buddy is on a different degree program, it helps to have someone who understands the struggles of balancing duty, family, and education to cheer you on. You will also benefit by being their cheerleader while you both earn your online degrees.
Take Your Time and Maintain Focus
With all of the demands of a military career, it can become easy to lose focus. That is why it is important to prioritize your time and not allow other, less important distractions keep you from your goal. Going too fast—that is, taking too many classes at a time—or trying to do too much can lead to burnout and make your goal seem farther away and harder to reach. Getting a degree is not a race, so take your time and work at your own pace. You’ll get there before you know it.
The military offers great educational opportunities to enhance your military career and your life after you’re out. It’s up to you to take advantage of them. Hopefully, these tips will help you on the path toward earning your online degree while serving your country in the military.
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