When looking to attend college as a veteran, it can be daunting to even know where to start. Thankfully, there are tools that have been created to ease this transition and help veterans, active military personnel, and their dependents find the right college or university that fits their individual needs, interests, and qualifications.

One of these free tools is called CollegeRecon, and once you sign up and create your profile, you are able to search through over 3,000+ not-for-profit colleges and universities across the country. The search filters are arranged to help guide you through the selection process. One of the very important filter categories of CollegeRecon is the Veteran/Military Services tab. This tab allows you to discover schools that provide any one of these 15 beneficial services offered to Veterans that attend that institution. (Simply sign up here and you’ll be discovering schools in a matter of minutes!) Even better, you can then directly connect with admissions counselors through the program as well.

The following 15 points are what all veterans looking to attend college should consider before making a decision:

1. Campus Student Veterans of America Chapter– SVA chapters are student-Veteran groups that have formed on college and university campuses to provide peer-to-peer networks for Veterans who are attending those institutions.

2. Full-time Veteran Counselor on Campus– A full-time Veteran counselor is on campus to offer assistance and support for an array of student-Veteran issues.

3. Signed VA Principles of Excellence– Educational institutions participating in the Principles of Excellence program agree to follow a set of guidelines pertaining to student-Veteran issues. Example: Providing students with a personalized form of the total cost of an educational program and designating a Point-of-Contact for academic and financial advising.

4. Club/Associations for Veterans– These institutions offer student-Veteran clubs and associations on their campuses.

5. Veteran Upward Bound Program– Veterans Upward Bound Program is designed to motivate and assist Veterans in the development of academic and other requisite skills necessary for acceptance and success in a post-secondary program.

6. ROTC Program Offered– When enrolled in ROTC you learn and develop leadership skills and prepare for a career as an officer in the U.S. Military.

7. ACE Credit for Military Experience– ACE Military Evaluations Program evaluates formal military training in terms of academic credit, allowing thousands of military personnel to earn credit for college-level learning acquired in the military.

8. Follow ACE Standards for Credit– ACE’s Military Guide presents credit recommendations for formal courses and occupations offered by all branches of the military.

9. Awards Credit for CLEP Exam– CLEP exams allow Veterans to receive college credit by earning qualifying scores on any one or more of 24 assessments, allowing them to move directly into higher-education courses, saving both time and money.

10. Awards Credit for DSST Program– DSST are also credit-by-examination exams for both higher and lower levels.

11. In State Tuition Extended for Active Duty– These institutions charge active duty military, regardless of their state of residence, no more than the in-state tuition rate.

12. Approved for TA Funding– Military Tuition Assistance (TA) is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines.

13. Yellow Ribbon Program– Tuition and fees may exceed what the GI Bill will cover. Institutions participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program make additional funds available without additional charge to your GI Bill entitlement.

14. Scholarships for Military– Apply for military specific scholarships at specific institutions.

15. Reduced Tuition for Military– Some institutions offer reduced tuition to members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Think these 15 points over, and then start your path to higher education with this free tool by signing up!