(Image provided by American Military University)
Summer is over and the kids are back in school. Is the timing right for you too? Whether you’re a military spouse, currently serving or a veteran—many military parents take advantage of this newfound time to focus on individual goals when school is back in session. For many, completing a degree implies more opportunities. Based on my career serving as a former senior admissions representative, recently promoted to Veteran Liaison, serving American Military University (AMU) students, there are five guidelines I’ve defined for students looking to return back to school.
Make your education fit into your hectic schedule
Time management is a key component to success as a student, online or traditional. Since most online learning is asynchronous, students have the option of fitting education into their schedule. This means you can learn 24/7 using your mobile device or computer and complete your weekly assignments based on a schedule you choose that fits your busy life. This enables you to log in to complete your classroom discussions, writing assignments, and tests at your optimal time of day. This flexibility is incredibly empowering whether you’re an on-the-go spouse or deployed military.
Maximize military experience for additional credits
No matter where you decide to attend, be sure that the school offers military transcript evaluations. I encourage you to work with your college advisors to explore all of your options. AMU provides and Transfer Credit Evaluation and Prior Learning Assessment programs to help you get the credit you’ve earned through your military training, job experience, or other learning outside of the traditional classroom. You can also optimize your credits by choosing a program that closely relates to your military background like criminal justice, cybersecurity (IT), intelligence studies or homeland security, among many others options.
Educate yourself on your financial aid options
There are many options to choose from including military Tuition Assistance (if Active Duty, Guard, or Reserve), Veteran’s Benefits, Federal Student Aid, Employer Benefits, as well as self-pay. It’s important that you work with a respected, affordable university that understands military life so that you’re able to maximize the benefits you and your family have earned.
Find and connect with other military-community students while you study
Social media communities are a great way to connect with fellow students online. These groups are a great way to see motivational student success stories, school announcements, and are an open environment to ask questions and get feedback from students and alumni. AMU has a major presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and RallyPoint – just to name a few. We utilize these channels to connect with our students at a deeper level, and find it’s a great way to communicate with them. If you’re currently serving, you can locate one of our many Military Outreach Representatives near your local military installation. Don’t be afraid to network because there are many people out there who are eager to help you with your educational goals.
You’ll always have a strong support network.
Research the programs that are of interest to you. Every school has their own set of requirements, and you’ll want to make sure that it’s accredited. Also ensure that they have accommodating features to your military career, and shift in priorities. If you’re ready to take the next step with AMU, I invite you to contact me or a member our helpful admissions team at 1-877-777-9081. You can also apply now online here.
There is no better time than today to think about your educational goals and what school would be a good fit for you. Whether you are state-side, currently deployed, or transitioning to your post-military career, know that there are options available if you’re serious about seeking a degree and a peer community online.
If you have any specific questions, please comment here.