Military Friendly Educational Institutions 

By Paula Green 

         It is back to school time!  There are thousands of military servicemen and women who return home from active duty and decide to further their education. Fortunately, there are over 11,000 higher educational institutions that are recognized as being military-friendly. These facilities support active-duty members, veterans, spouses, dependents of deceased veterans in any of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. When pursuing higher education, here’s what service person should look for  

         ACE (American Council on Education)– institutions that participate in ACE are experienced at translating prior military learning experiences into college credit. Additionally, ACE will provide recommendations for formal courses and occupations based on an individual’s military training and experience.  

       Change of Order Withdrawal– Active duty members may be called to serve. Before enrolling in a school, check into their change of order withdrawal policies. Distance Learning and Online Degree Programs are also a possibility. 

        College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a group of standardized tests administered by the College Board. Military members and eligible spouses are eligible to take CLEP tests. They may also have them paid for either by GI Bill benefits or through the DANTES program. 

        DANTES External (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support)– DANTES provides education alternatives to service members who cannot attend classes or schoolsdue to work schedules or active duty. 

        Military Discounts– if it genuinely is a military-friendly university/college, then service members should receive a discount on their education.  Discounts can vary; some go up to 50% off.  

        Military Tuition Assistance – is a program available to active duty, National Guard and Reserve Component service members. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides it.  TA can lessen a service person’s financial concerns considerably. 

        Military Scholarships  similar to Military Discounts this varies greatly by each school. Some schools also offer free textbooks and supplies for varying military affiliations. State Veterans Education Benefits – many states provide additional veterans with education benefits. Check to see if any benefits are provided within your state. 

        Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) helps service members and veterans meet their education and training costs with monthly benefit payments. It provides over $71,000 in cash and numerous support programs. 

         MyCAA (Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts) Member– this program is for military spouses and provides up to $4,000 (over two years) of financial assistance for military spouses who are pursuing a license, certification or Associates degree in a portable career field and occupation. 

        Yellow Ribbon Program – to receive benefits, service members must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This includes: those who served 36 months on active duty. It also includes Purple Heart recipients with an honorable discharge and any amount of service. 

       Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)– unemployed Veterans who are 35 to 60 years old may be eligible to receive up to 12 months of free retraining assistance at community colleges, technical schools and colleges offering only AA degrees may.  

          For more information on military-friendly educational institutions, visit