Returning To School As A Veteran

If you didn't attend college because you went straight into the military, you might now be considering it. Because you're somewhat older than other students, you may be reluctant to jump back into college, and you might be unsure about how to prepare yourself after years of not being in class. With these pointers, college can be a fulfilling experience that leads to a rewarding post-service life.

1-Set Academic Goals

While you may have a vague goal of getting a degree of some kind, it's best that you examine your past work in the armed services, skills, and other qualities before setting academic goals. Setting such goals will make finding a job easier.

For instance, if you worked with computers, it seems logical that you would seek a degree in computer science or engineering so you can build on what you already know. 

If you want to do something drastically different than you did while in the service, it's even more important to set goals. You'll need to examine prerequisites and determine what must be done to excel in your new field.

2-Get GI Benefits

One of the benefits in place for you as a former servicemember is the money set aside for you as part of the GI Bill. This money will help you fund some or all of your college experience, depending on what you've got in mind. Just be sure to talk with vet admission advisors who can help you complete paperwork and submit it to the proper office at the school you'll be attending.

3-Get Help with Application

Not all civilian administrators or admissions officers understand military lingo; you may fill out some of your application in a way that's not easy to understand. The veteran admissions advisors that help you with getting GI benefits can also help you complete admissions paperwork in a way that helps a college understand your past and abilities better.

4-Seek Veterans Groups

Even before attending class, it's smart to hook up with other veterans at a school. In fact, you may want to seek out specific veterans groups before you're admitted. Being able to interact with people who understand what you've been doing and are also transitioning into civilians can be important.

5-Remember to Befriend Civilians

Because you feel comfortable with the other vets at school, you may rely on them for friendships and study aid. However, college can be a great time to start talking to and befriending civilians.

While the help of fellow veterans is invaluable, being around civilians can give you a different perspective. They may also learn things from you.

Entering college as a veteran provides some unique challenges and experiences. Using these vet-specific suggestions will help, as will meeting up with veteran admissions advisors as soon as you're able.