Opportunity For Enlisted Military to Become Physicians

enlisted to medical program

Enlisted military members across the Armed Forces now have the opportunity to prepare for future careers as uniformed physicians thanks to the Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program.

Enlisted to Medical Degree Program (EMDP2)

The Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program, or EMDP2, is headquartered at the Uniformed Services University (USU) of the Health Sciences’ F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine.  The program was designed to give promising enlisted service members interested in becoming military physicians a pathway to medical school.

The two-year program is a partnership of USU, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps. This program enables highly qualified enlisted service members to complete the preparatory coursework for application to medical school while maintaining an active duty status. Students maintain their current pay and benefits while going to school full time.

What Does the EMDP2 Program Consist Of?

Program components include full-time coursework in a traditional classroom setting (in the Washington, D.C. area), structured pre-health advising, formal Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) preparation, dedicated faculty and peer mentoring at USU, and integrated clinical exposure.

Following successful completion of the program, graduates will apply for acceptance to the USU medical school and/or civilian medical schools (admission to medical school is not guaranteed).

The EMDP2 program has been accepting applicants since 2014 and the program is expected to continue accepting applicants annually.

Who Can Apply?

This program is only open to active duty enlisted service members who have obtained a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university.

Interested service members must apply through their respective service:

Air Force Guidelines

Army Guidelines

Navy Guidelines: NAVADMIN 172/17and BUMED INSTRUCTION 1500.31

Marine Guidelines: MARADMIN 494/17and BUMED INSTRUCTION 1500.31

More Information On Enlisted To Medical Degree Preparatory Program

Stay current on happenings with this program by visiting the official EMDP2 website or by following their active Facebook Page.



Tennessee Offers Free Community College to All Adults

Free Community College for All Adults in Tennessee

The Tennessee Promise Scholarship was established in 2014. It was created to help Tennessee’s high school seniors get a college degree by covering two years of tuition-free attendance at a community or technical college in the state of Tennessee. The legislation to expand this specific program to all Tennessee adults in need of an associate’s or technical degree was just approved. This makes Tennessee community college free for all adults.

This bill to expand the existing program has not yet been signed into law, but it is expected that Governor Bill Haslam will do so soon. (Governor Haslam signed the original Tennessee Promise Scholarship into law back in the summer of 2014.)

“If we want to have jobs ready for Tennesseans, we have to make sure that Tennesseans are ready for jobs, and there is no smarter investment than increasing access to high-quality education,” Haslam said in a statement.

Students may use the Tennessee Promise Scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institution offering an associate degree program.

Start Exploring Tennessee Colleges

Scholarship + Mentoring

The scholarship program is two-fold. While removing the financial burden is key, a critical component of the Tennessee Promise is the individual guidance each participant will receive from a mentor who will assist the student as he or she navigates the college admission process.

This is accomplished primarily via mandatory mentoring meetings that students must attend in order to remain eligible for the program. In addition, Tennessee Promise participants must complete and submit eight hours of community service per term enrolled, as well as maintain satisfactory academic progress (2.0 GPA) at their respective institution.





GI Bill® Approved Culinary Schools

Culinary Schools With VA-Approved Programs

The following is a list of GI Bill-approved culinary schools.  Also outlined are the various degrees you can obtain in the culinary field, as well as the various veteran support programs these schools feature.

>> Jump right to the list of GI Bill Approved Culinary Schools

Getting Your Degree in Culinary Arts

Humans love food! From brunch to lunch to dinner parties to bake sales. For those with an interest in making the food, culinary arts can be the right subject to study in school.

A culinary arts degree focuses on skills that you would need in order to pursue a profession in the food industry. You would go on to learn skills such as food safety, nutrition, world cuisine, baking, and hospitality.

Most students earn either a certificate or associate’s degree in culinary arts. Some do go on to get their bachelor’s degree, or even their master’s.

According to BLS, employment in food preparation and serving related occupations is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Certificate in Culinary Arts

Earning a certificate in culinary arts is a good way to get into this career path and is the best way to start if you want to go further in the field. Getting a certificate in culinary arts will probably take you around a year, depending on the program and if you are attending part or full-time. Some example courses you might take would be Intro to Meat, Fish and Poultry, Soups and Sauces, and Culinary Fundamentals.

Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts

Getting an associate’s in culinary arts can be a good way to get started into a food services position or use it as a step to higher career opportunities. Getting your associates should take you around two years. You might take classes in Culinary Math, Food Safety, or Wine Studies.

Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts

While you don’t have to have a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts to work in a kitchen, it would probably be a smart idea to do so. It would give you the education to go further in your career, and needed if you ever want to be in charge of your own kitchen. While you are going for your bachelor’s degree you would need to find a concentration. Double majoring or even minoring in business would also be a good idea, to give you everything you need to start your own business or restaurant. Some of the courses you might take would be Human Nutrition, Methods of Cooking, and Breakfast Production. Getting your bachelor’s degree will take you around 4 years, however, if you already have your associate’s degree, it should only take around two.

Master’s in Culinary Arts

While most people going into culinary arts don’t end up getting their master’s degree, doing so is an option. Getting your master’s in culinary arts would allow you to pursue leadership positions, run your own restaurant, or study abroad. It would be a good idea to check out your options and see if it makes sense to continue your education with a master’s degree. You would take more specialized courses such as Classical Techniques, Latin Cuisine, or Sanitation and Safety. A master’s degree would take you up to two years depending on the program and if you are attending part or full-time.

Culinary Arts Majors

>> Find GI Bill-Approved Schools with Culinary Programs with the CollegeRecon School Finder tool.

There are six different majors that pertain to a culinary involved degree. They are:

Cooking and Related Cooking Arts

“This degree is offered as an associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree. Training includes the basics of food preparation and food service with more advanced training in culinary skills and hospitality management at the undergraduate level. Two-year associate degree programs teach culinary fundamentals like food handling, kitchen safety and menu planning, while students in four-year bachelor’s degree programs learn how to cook a variety of dishes and may have the opportunity to complete internships.” – CulinarySchools.com

Culinary Arts / Chef Training

“Associate degree programs in culinary arts provide novice or beginner chefs with the training and experience required for entry-level roles in the field. Students are taught the essentials of working in a kitchen including nutrition and food handling. Most programs include diverse training in a variety of cooking forms, including meats and seafood, pastry arts, and buffet techniques. Some associate degree culinary arts programs also include training in managerial skills, such as record keeping, food purchasing, and guest services.” – Study.com

“Students pursuing a culinary arts major at the bachelor’s degree level are trained in both culinary skills and hospitality management. Much of a student’s time is spent in a kitchen setting, learning through hands-on courses in a multitude of culinary styles and methods. Among the skills covered are food safety, nutrition, cooking for large groups, and menu development. Managerial skills include marketing, cost management, and personnel management. Students often complete internships or work experiences in on-campus kitchens, such as coffee shops or cafeterias, or off-campus sites like local hotels or banquet facilities. Many culinary arts four-year programs also require applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores for admission.” – Study.com

Personal and Culinary Services

“A degree in personal services, allows students to get a degree in areas such as Cosmetology which allows you to practice creativity and expertise as you perfect someone’s hair or makeup. A major in Culinary Arts allows you to explore your passion for food and cooking to work in the kitchen as an assistant or top chef. A degree in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science will allow you to meet people’s needs in a very emotional time.” – Collegefactual.com

Culinary Arts & Related Services

See Culinary Arts/Chef Training, above. This degree is very similar.

Culinary Science / Culinology

“A bachelor’s degree in culinary science is a blending of the culinary arts and food science that allows students to not only cook food, but to learn more about the food that they’re cooking. Students will learn how to bring their culinary skills together with scientific principles, and using contemporary equipment and advanced techniques to produce cuisine that’s full of flavor and nutrition. Culinary science graduates will have a host of career opportunities, including food manufacturing, product development, food technologist, food writer, research and development specialist.” – The Culinary Institute of America

Restaurant, Culinary & Catering Management / Manager

“A program that prepares individuals to plan, supervise, and manage food and beverage preparation and service operations, restaurant facilities, and catering services. Includes instruction in food/beverage industry operations, cost control, purchasing and storage, business administration, logistics, personnel management, culinary arts, restaurant and menu planning, executive chef functions, event planning and management, health and safety, insurance, and applicable law and regulations.” – MyPlan.com


In order to be called a “certified chef,” you most likely will need to be certified by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). They grant certification for chefs, master chefs, and other specialized titles in the field. You can take the exam with either a basic two-year degree in culinary arts or with a minimum of two years working in the field. Different sectors of the culinary world might have other types of licensing available such as a food handler’s license.

Jobs in Culinary Arts

Those with a certificate in culinary arts can start as an assistant, or as a food prep worker and work their way to a better job after more education and/or experience. Here are some typical jobs based on education levels. There might be some variation depending on location and the opportunities that are available in your area.

Jobs Available with Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts

  • Chefs, who prepare food in restaurants and other dining establishments, have an average salary of $44,549, according to Glassdoor.
  • Line Cooks, who set up and stock food items, and other supplies, and prepare and cook the food, have an average salary of $25,230, according to com.
  • Pastry Chefs, who are culinary artists who specialize in creating desserts, sweets, and breads, have an average salary of $55,613, according to com.

Jobs Available with Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts

  • Sous Chefs, who are the assistant to the head chef, or 2nd in command, and oversee the kitchen when the chef can’t be there, have an average salary of $47,297, according to com.
  • Food Service Directors, who supervise food service personnel, and work on food service-related business and personnel management, have an average salary of $47,297, according to com.
  • Personal Chefs, who prepare specialized meals for clients in their kitchens or their own, have an average salary of $50,383, according to com.


List of GI Bill-Approved Culinary Schools

Culinary Schools, where you will receive a comprehensive culinary education in a shorter amount of time, can be a good option vs finding a program at a traditional college or university.

All of the following culinary schools are GI Bill approved.  

Some of the following schools have paid for promotional consideration.

Park City Culinary Institute

Culinary Certificates Offered:

  • Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, General
  • Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training
  • Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant
  • Foods, Nutrition, and Related Services, Other
  • Institutional Food Workers
  • Personal and Culinary Services, Other
  • Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Nicholls State University

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

Culinary Institute of America

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

University of Alaska – Fairbanks

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

San Diego Mesa College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts

Veteran Assistance:

Pikes Peak Community College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts

Veteran Assistance:

Daytona State College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

Pensacola State College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

Hawaii Community College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts

Veteran Assistance:

Idaho State University

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

Southwestern Illinois College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

Boston University

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Master’s Degree in Culinary Arts and Related Services

Veteran Assistance:

Northwestern Michigan College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

Grand Rapids Community College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training
  • Associate’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

Mississippi State University

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Science/Culinology

Veteran Assistance:

Wake Technical Community College

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts/Chef Training

Veteran Assistance:

University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV)

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts

Veteran Assistance:

Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City

Culinary Degrees Offered:

  • Associate’s Degree in Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager

Veteran Assistance:

>> Find more GI Bill-approved Culinary Schools with the CollegeRecon School Finder tool.


Culinary Scholarships

Beyond the GI Bill or Tuition Assistance, scholarships can be ideal for paying for college. The great thing about scholarships is you can find them for each and every degree you might pursue. Here are a couple of scholarships just for those going into the culinary arts:

James Beard Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship assists aspiring and established culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school or hospitality institution college or university. They offer cash grants that will be applied to tuition or other school-related expenses, tuition waivers, and work student grants. The amounts do vary. They will reopen their scholarship in 2021.

The AIWF Scholarship Program

The AIWF (The American Institute of Wine and Food) Scholarship Program is to give back to the community and support individuals interested in the culinary arts and/or Oenology. Each chapter offers scholarships to full-time students attending an accredited program. They have chapters in Monterey Bay, Napa and Sonoma Wine Country, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Wichita.

For more Culinary Arts scholarships, please go here.  You can also view other scholarships on College Recon, from scholarships for veterans to military spouses and more.







2022 List of Best Online Colleges for Military

Online Colleges for Military

Is one of your goals this year to start on the path of getting your degree? Wonderful! The next question is, do you want to take classes online or on campus? If you choose online, then you’re going to want to find the best online colleges for military. We have that list of military-friendly colleges for you.

Choosing Online vs Traditional

This is a crucial step that warrants plenty of thought. The two options offer plenty of pros and cons.  Choosing the right one for you is important.

Many colleges and universities are making more online programs available specifically for military-affiliated families who have very different schedules and demands from the typical college student coming from high school.

We hope this list will provide some great online programs to look into.  In addition, we’ll discuss the advantages of taking classes online.

List of Online Colleges for Military

These are a few universities that have great online degree programs.  We encourage you to reach out to them and find out more about their offerings. 

All of these schools are GI Bill-approved online colleges.  All colleges and universities are also Yellow Ribbon Schools and accept Tuition Assistance funding.

Some of the following schools have paid CollegeRecon for promotional consideration.

For further research on online schools, please visit CollegeRecon and conduct your own search.

5 Advantages of Online Colleges for Military


Across the board, you will find that online courses and degree programs are less expensive than in-person programs.

Online students aren’t on campus using the facilities, technology, and campus resources.  This allows universities to save on these expenses and pass these savings to the student in some cases.

This is also especially important for military because Tuition Assistance will only pay up to $250 per credit hour. Many times, online credit hours are significantly reduced from on-campus credit hours.


Create Your Own Learning Schedule

Students taking classes online are able to construct their day-to-day schedules.  Otherwise, you will be subject to the in-class schedule for lectures.

This means more flexibility for students who have jobs during the day, who are running their kids’ carpool, or who are active duty and balancing getting a career while serving their country.

More Degree Options

When students enroll online, they are able to enroll in a program that has the major of their choice.  This applies even if the university campus is located thousands of miles away.

Should students take classes on-campus, they are restricted to the courses and programs that specific university is offering.

By enrolling online students don’t have to sacrifice for their “runner up” degree choice.

Self-Paced Learning

Not only are online degree programs flexible for your day-to-day schedule, but some schools offer Self-Paced Learning Programs.  These programs allow students to complete the entire course at their own pace (as long as it is completed within a designated time period).

This way, students with unpredictable schedules (military-affiliated students) can enroll in a degree program without the stress of getting behind if something unexpected comes up.

Accelerated Degree Options

Online students are usually able to complete their degree faster than students who attend a brick-and-mortar school.

Why? Because online students have access to coursework 24/7, whereas students attending classes only get access to coursework when there is a class-based lecture.

This is dependent on when and how often courses are available online.  You’ll also have to consider course requirements for degree completion.

Making a decision on where to go to school is an important one. Finding your best fit for online colleges for military is easy with CollegeRecon.

For more information on conducting your search, sign up for our newsletter.  You can also read more about where to go to school here.





Apple Military Discount

Apple Military Discount, Student Discount and Apple Card Offer

Apple is making it more affordable (and easier) for veterans and military to purchase their products. The retailer offers an Apple military discount, in addition to a student discount, and a way to purchase products interest-free with an Apple Card.

Military members and veterans will now receive discounted pricing on select Apple products year-round. The discount is available both online and in stores.

Officially coined the Veterans and Military Purchase Program, the discount is open to active duty members of the United States Military, National Guard, and Reserve. Immediate family members can also receive the discount as long as they live in the same household.

Jump to:

What Is The Apple Military Discount?

Apple offers special discount pricing of 10% for veterans and military on most products. However, they only offer the discount on some Apple products with the Veterans and Military Purchase Program.

>> For more great military and veteran discounts direct to your inbox, sign up for the Military and Veteran Discounts Newsletter! It’s free from MyMilitaryBenefits.com. Start saving today!

Who is Eligible?

  • Current members of the US military
  • Veterans of the US military
  • National Guard
  • Reserves
  • Immediate family of the above

Is the Apple Military Discount Available Online?


Big Savings on Apple For Veterans and Military

We found the following as of November 2022.

An iPhone 14 Pro on the regular Apple website is listed for $999.

That same iPhone on the Veterans & Military Purchase Plan costs $899.

An Apple Watch 8 Series on the regular website is listed as $399. For Veterans & Military, the same watch costs $359.

A MacBook Air is $999 on the regular website and $899 for Veterans and Military.

Military vs Regular Pricing

List of Apple products with military discount and regular pricing. Also includes a percentage discount.

 RegularMilitaryMilitary %
MacBook Air$999$89910%
MacBook Pro$1,299$1,16910%
iPad Pro$799$71910%
iPad Air$599$53910%
iPad 9th Gen$329$29610%
iPhone 14 Pro$999$89910%
iPhone SE$429$38610%
iPhone 14$799$74610%
Apple Watch Series 8$399$35910%
Apple Watch Series SE$249$22410%
HomePod Mini$99$8910%

Please note that pricing can change at any time. When ready to purchase please make sure to check the Apple website for current pricing. You will need to click on the buy tab for most products in order to see the actual Military price.

How Do You Get The Discount?

Start shopping, right here.

You can also find the link by scrolling to the bottom of the regular Apple website. Once in the footer, locate a tab titled ‘Government’. You’ll find it in the small print. Then you’ll see the link listed there.

Please note that you will need to verify your military affiliation with ID.Me to have access to military pricing.

The Apple Student Discount

The Education Store discount is for current and newly accepted college students and their parents, as well as faculty, staff, and homeschool teachers of all grade levels.

This is a list of products included as a part of the Apple Education Discount program. Please note that this list contains a smaller subset of all Apple products.

 RegularStudentStudent %
MacBook Air$999$89910%
MacBook Pro$1,299$1,199About 8%
MacPro$5,999$5,599About 7%

The Apple Student vs Military Discounts

As a service member or veteran, and a possible student, there are many options for you to get a discount using either a military discount at a retailer or by using the same retailer’s student discount. Sometimes, one discount is way better than the other.

Apple offers both an education discount for students, and a military discount for veterans and active military.

If you are interested in either one of these discounts, you might be wondering how the discounts compare to their regular prices. Here is a list of the different products, what the discount would be, and how much the regular price is, based on April 2022 prices.

Student vs Military Discount Breakdown

Breakdown of the Apple Education Program pricing vs the Veterans and Military Purchase Plan.

MacBook Air$999$899$899
MacBook Pro$1,299$1,169$1,199
iPad Pro$799$719n/a
iPad Air$599$539n/a
iPhone 14 Pro$999$899n/a
iPhone SE$429$386n/a
iPhone 14$799$746n/a
Apple Watch Series 8$399$359n/a
Apple Watch Series SE$249$224n/a
HomePod Mini$99$89n/a

As you can see, the military discount is about 10% off of the regular prices, and the education discount varies.

You’ll notice the military discount yields greater savings and covers more products. In most cases, you are going to want to use your military discount over the education one. However, it is good to know that it is there.

The Apple Watch, iPhone, and iPad are not included as a part of this Apple Education discount.

(Please note pricing can change at any time. When ready to purchase please make sure to check the Apple website for current pricing.)

The Veterans and Military Store discount is for current and veteran members of the US military including the national guard and reserves as well as their immediate families. Go here to start shopping.

Apple Credit Card Interest-Free Offer

Apple is offering interest-free payments on certain apple products purchased with the Apple Credit Card. The Credit card is issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA and is available to qualifying applicants in the United States.

What Does the Apple Card Offer?

The Apple Credit Card also offers 3% cash back on purchases of apple products. The 3% cashback does apply to purchases qualifying for the interest-free monthly installment plan and is credited right away.

Annual percentage rates (APR) for the Apple Credit Card vary and can range from 13.99 % to 24.99%. These APR rates as of October 1, 2022, per Apple’s website. Depending on your Apple Credit Card’s current APR this could be a great deal on Apple products.

Qualifying Products for Interest-Free Offer

  • MacBook Air
  • MacBook Pro
  • iMac
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac Pro
  • Mac mini
  • Mac Studio
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Apple Watch
  • Eligible Accessories

Can You Purchase Online?

You can make purchases online or in stores with your Apple Credit Card.

It is important to note that taxes and shipping charges are not interest-free.

If you do not have an Apple Credit Card, you will need to apply for one.

Maintain Minimum Payment

You can pay online or through the Wallet App. Make sure payments are set up to pay the minimum installment payment due, payments below that amount are subject to applicable interest rates. The minimum payment is the amount that needs to be paid each month to keep your account current. If you choose to pay more toward your monthly installment balance, it does not reduce the monthly installment minimum payment for the following month.

Existing Balance

If the Apple Credit Card already has an existing balance, pay towards your Apple Credit Card balance as well as your monthly installment payments to avoid increasing interest payments on your existing balance.

You can learn more about Apple Card’s interest-free payment offer here.

About Apple

Apple is an American multinational technology company that is headquartered in Cupertino, California. They design, develop, and sell consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. They are considered one of the “Big Four” of technology along with Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

The iPhone, iPad, and Mac are some of their best-selling products.

Founded in 1976, the company started as the Apple Computer Company. The company famously began in a garage in Los Altos, California.  Their first product was the Apple I computer. The Macintosh computer was launched in 1984. The Macintosh was the first personal computer with a programming language.

In 2007, they came out with the iPhone, and in 2010, the iPad. As of today, they have over 500 retail stores in over 40 states, and 24 countries. They offer special pricing to the military.

For more info, please go here.



>> For more great military and veteran discounts direct to your inbox, sign up for the Military and Veteran Discounts Newsletter! It’s free from MyMilitaryBenefits.com. Start saving!


For-Profit Education Corporation of America Closing Schools

When you start an educational program, you expect to be able to finish that program but that isn’t always the case. One reason that can happen, that has nothing to do with the student, is when a school closes. This is exactly what is happening to schools run by the Education Corporation of America, where many GI Bill recipients use their funds to gain an education.

The Education Corporation of America is Closing & What it Means for GI Bill Students

Education Corporation of America announced on Wednesday that they were closing in dozens of their locations nationwide. The company, that operates out of Birmingham, Alabama, is closing schools that operate as Virginia College, Brightwood College, Brightwood Career Institute, Ecotech Institute and the Golf Academy of America in more than 70 locations, in 21 states.

As far as the GI Bill goes, in 2017, the ECA enrolled about 4000 students using the Post-9/11 GI Bill for their education. According to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, over $41 million went to pay for education at these schools.

Some of the students were told that the school was closing immediately and others were told to attend a meeting later on. Students should be able to at least get credit for this term.

RELATED: Biggest Mistakes GI Bill Users Make

Why is Education Corporation of America closing schools?

Their accrediting agency suspended their approval. They have had allegations that they were loading students up with debt but not providing them with marketable skills, the ones that they thought they would be learning. According to Education Corporation of America’s CEO Stuart Reed, the company was unable to raise money to operate the schools because of the company’s loss of accreditation, and the added requirements from the US Department of Education.

The company sued the US Education Department to maintain its federal funding, however the judge dismissed the suit. According to court documents filed by the company, they could not make payments on their debt as well as rental fees and faced eviction at several campuses.

The US Education Department did criticize them because they had been working with the ECA to arrange a shut-down that gave students time to transfer before the school was shut down.

The ECA was overseen by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS,) which is a watchdog group the federal government appoints to ensure colleges offer a quality education. They wrote a letter to the CEO Stuart Reed saying that they were suspending accreditations immediately at all their institutions citing, “rapidly deteriorating financial conditions” plus a failure to make required payments to the council and a wide variety of academic concerns.

The ACICS has been recently reinstated this November by Education Secretary, Betsy Devos, after being shutdown during the Obama administration over allegations of lax oversight.

What will happen with the students?

After the schools, Corinthian and ITT Tech closed a few years ago, the fact that they educated thousands of student veterans when they closed led to the part of the Forever GI Bill that restores GI Bill benefits to victims of abrupt school closures. This is good for those who attended the ECA schools on the GI Bill.

For those with student loans, they might be able to ask the US Department of Education to cancel their loans if they qualify to do so.

One of the biggest issue is for those in the middle of a program, such as the nursing program. Hopefully there will be other schools that will take their credits and allow them to continue the program there, so they will not have to repeat classes and can finish their education in a timely manner.





How to Maximize Your TSP Retirement Fund

Maximizing Your Thrift Savings Plan Retirement Fund

All government employees are uniquely positioned to set themselves up for a great retirement. How? Through the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The TSP offers the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations provide their employees under their 401-K plans. (Learn the full ins and outs of the TSP here.) Not sure how to best utilize your TSP? Here are some tips…

Why Is The TSP So Great?

The government doesn’t have a 401-K plan or normal retirement funds like an IRA or Roth IRA. (In 2020, the limit for contribution to your Roth IRA is $6,000.) However, the limit for contributions for the TSP in 2020 is $19,500.

Basically, the more you contribute to your TSP, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to tap into your retirement savings. If your retirement fund has a higher limit for contributions, you’ll be able to save more.

How to Make The Most Of Your TSP

‘Maxing out’ or contributing the full limit to your TSP ($19,500) year after year is the best way to make the most of your TSP retirement fund. Nothing seems to be guaranteed anymore and that is why we suggest taking matters into your own hands and preparing for retirement yourself by getting as close to maxing out your TSP yearly.

“I Can’t Afford To Put $19,500 Away”

Not everyone is going to be able to save $19,500 every year because of life situations, income level, etc. However, by starting to put away as much money per year into your TSP as early as you can is going to significantly help you when you are looking to retire.

Life situations change. This year might not be the year for you to start investing heavily because of car payments, but maybe next year you are getting a raise or a promotion. Put some or most (if you can) of that raise into your TSP instead of increasing spending.

How to Contribute Effectively

Set up automatic payments that transfer money from your bank account to your brokerage account regularly, such as every two weeks or once a month. This way, smaller increments of money are being put away as opposed to one large chunk of money all at once. This way you can also become accustomed to & comfortable with regularly saving smaller amounts, if you aren’t already.

Setting up these periodic contributions has another benefit, too. You’re adopting the practice of “dollar-cost averaging.” That’s when you buy investments in small periodic payments, rather than in one big lump sum. Doing this means you buy no matter what is going on in the market and over time (we’re talking long-term here) the differences in prices eventually average out.

The opposite of “dollar-cost averaging” is “market timing.” Market timing is when people try to figure out when prices are low, thus indicating the best time to buy. The problem is that no one will actually know when the best time is, so it’s best to dollar-cost average and set your sights on long-term retirement savings.

What Will $19,500 Saved Be Worth At Retirement Age?

The average return on investment over the long term for someone investing for retirement is 7%. (That means that some years will be better than 7% and some will be worse, but by the time you retire you are likely to have had an average of 7% return on investment each year.)

Let’s say you invest $19,500 in your TSP for 2020 and don’t touch it or add to it for 35 years. That $19,500 is projected to be worth $208,193.34 based on a 7% yearly return. That’s a lot of money. But if you can’t ‘max out’ or invest to the $19,500 cap that doesn’t mean that you can’t still reap major investment payouts. A single investment of $10,000 in 2020 that sits for 35 years is projected to be worth $106,765.81.

Investing in your future (literally) is extremely important to have a comfortable retirement. Why not take advantage of the ability to put more away for your future when given the opportunity?

What If I Wait 20 Years To Start Investing In Retirement?

Every year that you don’t put money in your TSP (even if it isn’t a lot), you’re missing out on money that your money makes for you by just being invested.

For example, if you invest that same $19,500 that we spoke about earlier and invest in into your TSP 20 years from now (we’re pretending that from 2020 you can retire in 35 years) it will only have 15 years to sit in the stock market. After 15 years, that one-time investment of $19,500 will be worth $53,801.12.

Compare that $53,801.12 to the previously mentioned $208,193.34 that your one time investment could be worth if you invest $19,500 into your TSP this year.

How Much Are You Putting Away For 2020?

Now is a great time to check your retirement investment totals as well as your disposable income. Could you increase your investments slightly to get you closer to ‘maxing out’ your yearly contribution? Tip: You have until the tax filing deadline, April 15, 2020, to contribute to your TSP for 2019 (whose limit is $19,000.) You have until the tax filing deadline, April 15, 2021, to contribute to your TSP for 2020.



How You Can Honor a Veteran This Holiday Season

Honoring Veterans During the Holidays

Before the holidays, you might see volunteers out adorning the graves of veterans with seasonal wreaths, most notably at Arlington National Cemetery. This isn’t just decorating for the sake of being festive, this is called Wreaths Across America and it’s a nationwide effort of coordinated wreath-laying ceremonies in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad. The best part? Anyone can get involved.

The Story Behind Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America began in 1992 when Morrill Worcester, the owner of Worcester Wreath, found himself with a surplus of wreaths toward the end of the holiday season. He remembered a very impressionable experience as a young boy when visiting Arlington Cemetery and knew that he had a lot to be thankful for because of the brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice. That year, he was able to lay those extra wreaths in a small section of Arlington Cemetery.

The annual tribute went on quietly until 2005 when a photo of the wreaths at Arlington got national attention. Since then the mission has spread across the country and around the world.

When it Takes Place: December 15th

The official Wreaths Across America Day is December 15th. Anyone can participate in a variety of different ways, through sponsoring a veterans’ wreath, volunteering to lay wreaths, or donating to a local wreath fundraising group.

Want to participate on December 15th at Arlington National Cemetery? Here are all the details.

Why a Wreath?

Each wreath honors the memory of an American hero. The Wreaths Across America group believes there is no better time to express our appreciation as a country for the sacrifices veterans made, than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, hence the holiday wreath. It is a wonderful way to show veterans and their families that we will never forget their sacrifices and we will continue to remember those who are gone.

Their mission statement is extremely powerful too, “REMEMBER the Fallen. . . HONOR those who Serve. . . TEACH our children the value of Freedom.”

Sponsor a wreath here, see all the locations where wreaths will be laid this year, & get full details on how you can get involved here.




Colleges Fully Covered by Military Tuition Assistance

Do you qualify for military Tuition Assistance (TA)? Are you looking to go to school online or use TA to pay for most (if not all) of your tuition costs? If you answered ‘yes’ then you’ll want to make sure your college is fully covered by Tuition Assistance. Not sure what we mean? Read on.

Colleges That Accept Military Tuition Assistance

Lists of Schools:

Note: Some of the schools included on this list have paid for promotional consideration.

Tuition Assistance Doesn’t Always Cover 100% of Your Costs

How can you avoid out-of-pocket costs when using Tuition Assistance?

If you qualify for Tuition Assistance and the school you intend to enroll at participates in this scholarship program, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your out-of-pocket tuition cost will be $0. 

Each branch will pay up to $250 per credit hour for Tuition Assistance. Some schools, however, charge more than $250 per credit hour. Other schools recognize this and charge the military only up to the maximum TA benefit.  For this reason, it’s really important to pay close attention to the program’s cost-per-credit hour.

List of Schools Fully Covered by Tuition Assistance

Schools That Cost $250 or Less Per Credit Hour. In order to help you best utilize the TA benefit, we’ve created this list of schools that offer degree programs that cost $250 or less per credit hour.

Amridge University

$250 per credit hour

Amridge University Undergraduate rates are $250/credit hour for active duty military and military spouses. However, that is not the case for veterans and veteran spouses ($365/credit hour, $475 comprehensive fee.)

Southern New Hampshire University Online

$225 per credit hour

At Southern New Hampshire University, the price for U.S. service members, both full and part-time, and the spouses of those on active duty is $225 per undergraduate credit hour.

Pensacola State College

$120.89 per credit hour for qualified in-state students at the Baccalaureate level.

Pensacola State College charges in-state students $120.89 per credit hour. However, they do not grant all military in-state tuition. Military that can get in-state tuition at PSC: Active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in or residing in Florida and active duty members not stationed in Florida but whose legal state of residence is Florida. (Out of state tuition is $486.49 per credit hour.)

Hawaii Pacific University

$250 per credit hour

At Hawaii Pacific University, active duty service members, Reservists, & Guard are eligible for tuition at $250/credit hour once they apply for the Service Member Tuition Waiver.

Their website says that eligibility applies so double-check if you are eligible.

Family members for military Retirees, active duty, and DoD civilians are also able to apply for tuition at the reduced $290/credit hour rate under the Family Member/DoD Employee Grant.

University of Alaska – Fairbanks

$223 per credit hour

The University of Alaska at Fairbanks charges $223/credit hour for in-state students at the 100-200 level. They will grant in-state tuition to active duty personnel, Reservists, Guard, & Veterans eligible for the VA educational benefit as well as all of their dependents.  (Out of state students pay $789/credit hour.)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach

$250 per credit hour

At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Daytona Beach, the military Undergraduate tuition rate is $250/credit hour. This rate applies to all service members on active duty or serving in the reserves of the U.S. Armed Forces while pursuing an undergraduate degree. This rate also applies to military spouses and dependents 26 and under.

Liberty University

$250 per credit hour

Liberty University is a private Christian university that has both a traditional campus and online school.

They offer a discount for military students and military spouses for their online program.

For undergraduate degrees, the cost will be $250 per credit hour, $275 for graduate degrees. The regular cost is $390 for undergraduate and $565 for graduate programs.

The discount is not suitable for post-grad or doctoral degrees except for the Doctorate of Education as well as Educational Specialist.

Bethune-Cookman University

$250 per credit hour

Bethune-Cookman University is a historically Black, United Methodist Church-related university offering baccalaureate and master’s degrees. The tuition for active duty military members is $250 per credit hour. The regular cost is $560 per credit hour.

Troy University

$250 per credit hour

Troy University is a regionally accredited, public institution of the State of Alabama. They offer a Military and Family Scholarship that reduces tuition to $250 a credit at the undergraduate or graduate level. Active duty and reserves, as well as spouses and dependent children, qualify. The regular tuition is $325 in-state, and $650 out-of-state for undergraduates and $425 in-state, and $850 for graduate students. For online, regular tuition is $338 for undergraduate and $494 for graduate.

Faulkner University

$250 per semester hour

Faulkner University is a Christian liberal arts university associated with the churches of Christ. They offer military qualified students (60 hours or less) $250 per semester hour. Regular tuition is $700 per semester hour, 1-11 credits.

St. John’s River State College 

$91.79 per credit hour

Saint John’s River State College is a public college in Northeast Florida with campuses in Palatka, St. Augustine, and Orange Park. The resident and non-resident rate is $91.79 a credit for Baccalaureate classes.

Palm Beach State College 

$122.85 per credit hour

Palm Beach State College is a public college in Palm Beach County, Florida. In-state tuition is $122.85 per credit hour and out-of-state is $558 per credit hour for Baccalaureate courses. Military can waive out-of-state tuition and pay the in-state rate.

Savannah State University 

$165.20 per credit hour

Savannah State University is a public historically black university in Savannah, Georgia. Their in-state tuition is $165.20 per credit hour for undergraduate classes, $196 per credit hour for graduate classes. They have a program called, Military Tigers, where those who are stationed in Georgia, their dependents, and members of the Georgia National Guard can attend classes at the in-state tuition rate. Out-of-state tuition is $601.07 for undergraduate classes and $726 for graduate classes.

University of Hawaii Maui College 

$131 per credit hour

The University of Hawaii Maui College is a public college in Kahului, Hawaii on the island of Maui. US military, their spouses, and their authorized dependents, up until age 23, pay the resident rate of $131 per credit hour during the period they are stationed in Hawaii as active duty, or as a member of the Hawaii National Guard or in a Hawaii based reserve unit. The non-resident rate is $345 per credit hour.

Boise State University

The equivalent of $250 per credit hour

Boise State University is a public research university in Boise, Idaho. Their costs are $350 per credit hour however, they have the Boise State Tuition Assistance Promise Program. This provides additional funding on top of TA for military students in select online undergraduate programs. This will bridge the gap between the TA rate of $250 and the online tuition rate of $350.

Online Schools Accepting Tuition Assistance

These are online schools that accept Tuition Assistance.  However, it has not been verified that these schools charge $250 or less per credit hour.  Those schools appear below.

For a full list of schools that accept Tuition Assistance visit CollegeRecon’s School Search tool. There are over 2,100 schools listed today.

Best Online Schools for Military Tuition Assistance

These are online schools that accept Tuition Assistance.  However, these schools do not charge more than $250 per credit hour.  This will ensure you don’t need to spend anything out-of-pocket in order to attend.

Southern New Hampshire University Online

$225 per credit hour

At Southern New Hampshire University, the price for U.S. service members, both full and part-time, and the spouses of those on active duty is $225 per undergraduate credit hour.

Liberty University Online

$250 per credit hour

Liberty University is a private Christian university that has both a traditional campus and online school.

They offer a discount for military students and military spouses for their online program.

For undergraduate degrees, the cost will be $250 per credit hour, $275 for graduate degrees.

Henderson State University

$231 per credit hour

Henderson State University is a public liberal arts university in Arkadelphia, Arkansas offering online classes. Their in-state tuition is $231 per credit hour. Out-of-state is $288 per credit hour. They, however, do not have a reduced rate for military.

Thomas Edison State University 

$250 per credit hour

Thomas Edison State University is a public university in Trenton, New Jersey with online classes. For non-nursing undergraduate classes, active duty military pays $250 per credit hour. The resident rate is $399 per credit hour, and out-of-state is $509 per credit hour.

Norwich University Online 

$250 per credit hour

Norwich University is a small, private, not-for-profit university located in Vermont. They offer active duty $250 per credit hour for Bachelor level classes. Regular tuition is $375.

Full List of Colleges That Accept Military Tuition Assistance

For a full list of schools that accept Tuition Assistance visit CollegeRecon’s School Search tool. There are nearly 2,100 schools listed today.  Not all schools in this tool are fully covered by Tuition Assistance.  Make sure to ask their veteran admission counselors before you enroll.

What is Tuition Assistance?

Tuition Assistance (TA) is a program where active duty, National Guard, & Reserves can get extra money to help cover their tuition costs. Your service branch will pay the tuition to the school, based on a few limits.

Find an in-depth explanation of what tuition assistance is here. Then depending on your branch, you’ll want to read the specific rules for Air Force, Army, Navy, USMC, Coast Guard, & National Guard/Reserve Tuition Assistance Programs.






Veteran’s Day Discounts & Deals

You’ve served your country and now businesses across America want to serve you. This is your comprehensive list of free and/or discounted deals at businesses nationwide as a small way to honor the sacrifice so many U.S. Military members make. Make sure to take advantage of these Veterans Day discounts & freebies.


Visit MyMilitaryBenefits for Veterans Day Discounts

Visit MyMilitaryBenefits for 25 Places With Free Meal for Veterans

Veterans Day Discounts 2021

The updated list appears at the link below.

>> 25 Places With Free Meal for Veterans

Note: Please call in advance to ensure that the location you plan to go to for this discount is in fact participating in the promotion.

Free Meals/Food for Veterans Day

Applebee’s  – Veterans and Active Duty Military can select a free meal from a limited menu on Veteran’s Day, November 11. Provide proof of service required. Check with your local Applebee’s to see what they offer. 

McCormick and Schmick’s Half-Priced Entrée – Veterans and Gold Star families (parents and spouse) can enjoy a half-priced entrée at McCormick and Schmick’s on Sunday, November 7th, 2021.

Golden Corral –  Golden Corral has offered a free sit-in “thank you” dinner for Military veterans, retirees, and active duty members on Veterans Day. 

IHOP/IHOB – Free red, white, and blue pancakes with blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts – Military and Veterans get 1 free donut and small coffee on Veterans Day.

Dunkin’ Donuts – On November 11, veterans and active duty military receive a free donut at participating locations.

Buffalo Wild Wings – Their “Wings for Heroes” means you’ll receive one small order of wings with a side of fries.

Outback Steakhouse – “Military Mates” and their families can get a free bloomin onion and drink.

Olive Garden – Choose from 6 popular entrees from Olive Garden’s menu for free on Veterans Day.

Red Lobster – Get your free appetizer or dessert on November 10th or 11th.

TGI Fridays – Get a free lunch menu item up to $12 from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Guests will also receive a $5 coupon for their next meal at Fridays. Offer for dine-in only.

Chili’s  – Visit a participating Chili’s to get your Veterans Day free meal if you are a veteran or on active military duty. They are offering one of these seven dishes: Chicken Crispers®, Margarita Grilled Chicken, Soup & Salad, Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas, Just Bacon Burger, Oldtimer with Cheese, Cajun Chicken Pasta. This offer is valid at all locations with proper ID for dine-in only.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – Get your free appetizer at Carrabba’s on Veterans Day.

Bonefish Grill – Bonefish Grill is giving out free Bang Bang Shrimp appetizers to military and veterans on Veterans Day.

On the Border – Choose two or three of your favorites to make a free create-your-own-combo meal with rice and beans, plus chips & salsa.

CiCi’s Pizza – Get your free buffet on Veterans Day, including pizza, salads, dessert, and more.

California Pizza Kitchen – You’ll get a free pizza, full-size salad, or pasta from the special Veterans Day Menu. Dine-in only

IKEA Restaurant  -Veterans get a free entrée from November 10 through 12.


Free Dental/Healthcare for Veteran’s Day

PanCare of Florida – Created by PanCare of Florida, the Stand Up for Veterans event provides free health and dental care to veterans. This year, this offer is valid on Friday, November 6, at several locations in Florida. Be sure to check that link above for more information, like to see if your location is offering the medical and/or the dental care, as well as to learn how to make an appointment.


>> Updated Veterans Day Discounts (@MyMilitaryBenefits)


John Fornetti Center – Veterans can get a free extraction, filling, or hygiene cleaning the day before Veterans Day, on November 10, at The John Fornetti Dental Center in Iron Mountain, MI. (This was in 2020, will update with any news of 2021)

Free Hotel Stay for Veteran’s Day

Bed and Breakfast Inns in the U.S. and Canada – Get a free stay with the 8th Annual B&Bs for Vets military specials. Get a free stay on or around Veterans Day. See site for participating B & Bs

Free Car Wash for Veteran’s Day

Grace For Vets – All veterans and service personnel get a free car wash at participating locations. Every year Grace For Vets, a non-profit organization, unites the car wash industry in 4 countries (U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia) with this program.

Free Haircut for Veteran’s Day

Great Clips Free Haircut – On Veterans Day, customers who come in for a haircut at any U.S. Great Clips salon will receive a free haircut card to give to an active/inactive/retired military member of any branch, including the National Guard. Veterans can also visit any U.S. Great Clips salon on November 11 to get either a free haircut that day or to pick up a free haircut card to use later. Haircuts are redeemable from November 12 through December 10th, 2021.

Sports Clips Free Haircut – Many Sport Clips locations will offer free haircuts to active-duty U.S. service members and veterans on Veterans Day. (This is still on their website but dated 2017.)

Free Entry on Veteran’s Day

US National Park Service Free Veterans Day Admission – The U.S. National Park Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites over the Veterans Day holiday weekend. Go online to find a national forest or grassland near you.

Newseum – The Newseum in Washington, D.C. once again will offer free admission to veterans and active duty members of the U.S. military, plus one guest. This promotion begins Saturday, Nov. 10, and continues throughout Veterans Day weekend, concluding on Monday, Nov. 12. Hopefully will be updated for 2021. 

SeaWorld – Military veterans and active duty military get into SeaWorld for free when they access the theme park website through Waves of Honor.

World of Coca Cola Museum in Atlanta – Members of the Armed Forces (active duty, reserves, and veterans) get free admission all year to the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta when they show their valid Armed Forces ID card. From November 5th through November 14th, 2021, members of the armed forces can purchase 4 tickets at 50% off for friends and family. These tickets must be purchased online. 

Harley-Davidson Museum – The Harley-Davidson Museum is offering free admission to active military, veterans and their families on November 10-12 in honor of Veterans Day.

National WWl Museum & Memorial – Admission is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, Thursday, November 11 through Sunday, November 14, 2021.

Retail Discounts for Veteran’s Day

Army & Air Force Exchange Service — The Exchange is offering 20% off featured brands for their Veterans Day sale. The sale is good until November 25th.

JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores – Past and present military members get 15% off their total purchase at JOANN’s every day of the year.

Publix — Veterans, military personnel, and their families save 10% on groceries on November 11.

World Market – Active Duty, Veterans, Reserve, and Military Spouses get 25% off their entire purchase in stores November 10 through 13. Hopefully will be updated for 2021. 

Target – For military personnel, veterans, and their families. Get 10% off two separate purchases when you join Target Circle and verify your military status from October 31st-November 13th.

Home Depot – A 10% discount is also offered to all other military veterans on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Veterans Day.

Under Armour – Get 20% off sitewide & in all Under Armour stores. Offer valid for Military, Veterans & First Responders Click for Details. Get 20% off year-round.

Lowe’s Military Discount Lowe’s Companies, Inc. will offer all active, reserve, honorably discharged, retired military personnel and their immediate family members a 10 percent discount on in-store U.S. purchases year-round. 

Bed Bath and Beyond — Veterans, active duty, Reserves, Guard, and spouses get 25% off their entire purchase through November 11th, 2021. In-store only. 

Brooks Brothers — Active duty military and veterans get 25% off in-store purchases November 8 through November 11. Hopefully will be updated for 2021. 

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. – In honor of Military Appreciation Month, active and retired military personnel and their families get 25% off all merchandise purchases between November 1st and 20th. Hopefully will be updated for 2021. 


Save big with military and veteran discounts direct to your inbox for free!


Best Students Discounts for Veterans & Military

Student Discounts For Veterans and Military

These students discounts are NOT exclusive to veterans or the military necessarily.  They ARE a big help to those serving or have served who are attending school and trying to save money.

As service members, veterans, and military spouses, you can receive military discounts at different places in your city or community. However, not everyone has a military discount. If you are a student too, that opens you up to finding student discounts.

List of Student Discounts

When you are going to college, you probably don’t have a lot of extra money. And even if you do, finding good discounts is essential.

There are quite a few discounts for college students that can help you save a little bit of money while you are going to school. While you can get military discounts if you serve or are in a military family, these discounts for college students can help you save even more.

Here is a list of many of the best student discounts you can use, that may or may have a military discount available.

Amazon Prime Student Discount

Amazon offers Amazon Prime Student, which is a useful subscription to have.

You will receive a six-month trial that includes free two-day shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and tv shows, prime music, and unlimited photo storage.

After your six-month trial, you will be able to receive a discount on your Amazon Prime which would be $6.49 a month or $59 a year.

After you graduate from college or after you hit the end of your fourth year of your Prime Student Membership, whatever comes first, you will change to a regular Amazon Prime account, which will be $139 a year as of this fall.

There currently isn’t an Amazon Prime military discount, so this is your only option as a Student Veteran.



>> For more great military and veteran discounts direct to your inbox free, sign up for the Military & Veteran Discounts Newsletter from MyMilitaryBenefits. Start saving today!


FedEx Student Discount

FedEx offers a discount for those with a student ID.

You can get 20-30% off, 20% off of packages, and 30% off of documents. All you need to do is show your student ID when you go to pay.

Penske Truck Rental Student Discount

Penske offers a student discount with a student ID. They offer 10% off their truck rentals but also a bit more. With Penske, you can get free unlimited miles on one-way moving truck rentals, a flexible truck rental reservation process, no underage surcharges for those ages 18-23, new, well-maintained and reliable trucks, over 2,200 truck rental locations, and 24/7 roadside assistance.

Microsoft Office Student Discount

Microsoft offers students Office 365 Education for FREE which includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, as well as other classroom tools.

You would need a valid school email address. You can also receive 10% off windows devices.  For more info, please go here.

RELATED: Microsoft Office Military Discount

Apple Student Discount

Apple has special education pricing for students, parents of students, faculty, staff, and homeschool teachers.

For example, while a MacBook Air might be $999 regular price, with the educational discount, you can buy one for $899. An iPad Air would be $499 at regular price, and $479 with the discount.

This will allow you to save a little bit of money when buying something you might need for school or maybe just for fun.

RELATED: Compare the Apple Student Discount vs the Apple Military Discount

Adobe Student Discount

Adobe has a significant discount for students.

To qualify you need to be at least 13 years old and enrolled in an accredited college or university, including community, junior, or vocational college that grants degrees requiring not less than the equivalent of two years of full-time study.

Students at primary or secondary schools, as well as homeschoolers, can get this discount too.

You can order the Creative Cloud Suite which includes more than 20 apps, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.

The regular price for this is $54.99 a month, but as a student, you can get it for $19.99 a month for the first year, $29.99 a month after that.

In addition to the Creative Cloud Suite, you also receive 100GB of cloud storage, your portfolio website, premium fonts, and social media tools. The Creative Cloud Suite can give you everything you might need to help you in your classes to help you create something new.

Dell Student Discount

Dell gives exclusive student offers and savings plus early access to special sales events. They offer free standard shipping and easy returns, Dell rewards, and offer financing. You can receive an extra $100 off when you purchase select PCs.


Squarespace provides software as a service for website building and hosting. They have an education program that offers a 50% discount for students or faculty members. You will receive 50% off your first full year of Squarespace by signing up with your academic email address.

You must be a current student or faculty member at an accredited college. The discount is good for a new website or commerce site, and you can get up to three sites for each academic email address.

USAA Student Discount

USAA has a good student discount if you have your auto insurance with them.

The student needs to be a full-time student in high school, college, university, or vocational-technical school. They also need to be at least 16 years of age and younger than 25 years old.

In order to get USAA’s good student discount, the student will need to maintain:

    •  At least a 3.0 GPA or B grades or higher
    • Ranked in upper 20% of their class OR included on the honor roll, dean’s list or similar.

The good student discount is not available in HI, NC, and NY.

If you or your child is getting ready to start college, remember to always look for those discounts. While not everywhere will have a student discount, it wouldn’t hurt to ask, and if they do have one, you can save money, which is always a good thing.


Cell Phone Services with Military Discounts

Offers 15% off plans to active duty, veterans, national guard, reserves. (@MyMilitaryBenefits.com)

Has the Magenta Military for $25/line or the Magenta Max Military for $35/line. (@MyMilitaryBenefits.com)

You can receive Unlimited data for $27/month per line when you get or buy 4 lines. Learn more. (@ MyMilitaryBenefits.com)

Discounted Flights and Travel for Military and Students

Several airlines with military discounts listed.

Greyhound is an intercity bus common carrier serving over 3,800 destinations across North America. They offer 10% off of their tickets and 15% off of shipping with the Student Advantage Discount Card.

There is currently no student discount listed!

Expedia.com is a website where you can book almost all aspects of your upcoming trip. Expedia has a student discount program that allows anyone who is enrolled at an accredited college or university to receive hotel coupons with a significant percentage of savings on select Expedia purchases. You would just need to verify your student credentials to qualify.

Find out more about Space-A Travel (at MyMilitaryBenefits.com)

News Websites with Student Discounts

RELATED: Military Discounts on Magazines, Newspapers & Cable


Music Streaming Services with Student Discounts


Spotify is an audio streaming platform and they offer Spotify Premium for Students which also includes Hulu and Showtime for just $4.99 a month. If you already have Hulu or Showtime you can change things over to take advantage of this program. This discount is available to US Title IV accredited higher education institutions in the US. They use SheerID to verify your student status.

RELATED: 9 Student Discounts & Deals For Streaming Services

Pandora Student Discount

Pandora has added a student discount (for more on that, please go here). With the student discount, you can sign up for Pandora Premium for just $4.99 a month, with a 60-day free trial, which is 50% off. If several members of your family would like to get Pandora Premium, they also offer a family plan for up to six family members for $14.99 a month.

Pandora’s military discount is Pandora Premium for just $7.99 a month, with a 60-day free trial. The regular price is $9.99 so this will be a 20% savings.  For more on that, please go here.

RELATED: Pandora Military Discount vs Student Discount: Which is Better?

Electronics with Student Discounts

Best Buy

Best Buy has student deals.   You will need to sign up for a “My Best Buy” account to receive them. After signing up for that you will be directed to sign up for the “Student Deals” and then receive the special pricing.  

Once signed up, you will receive these deals from Best Buy via newsletter as they come up.  They are subject to change.

You can purchase these products online or at any US or Puerto Rico Best Buy store.

RELATED: Student Discounts On Computers and Electronics

Places to Eat with Student Discounts


McDonald’s is an American fast food restaurant. You can receive a free cheeseburger, mayo chicken, or a McFlurry original when you buy any extra value or wrap meal, and show your valid student ID or Student Beans ID.

Pizza Hut, Burger King, the Waffle House, and Chick-Fil-A are also places you might be able to find a student discount in your local area.

Local Restaurants

Often times, local restaurants will give student discounts to those who attend college in that area. They want to bring students in and this is one way to do so. You should ask at any local restaurants if they do offer student discounts and you will probably need to show your student ID to receive them.

RELATED: Restaurants With Military Discounts for Busy Students

Places to Buy Clothes


Levi’s is an American clothing company known for its denim jeans. You can receive a 15% off student discount when you register and verify your student status with Sheer ID. Valid at Levi.com in the US only.


Dockers is known for its khaki garments and other accessories from Levi Strauss & Co. You can receive a 25% off student discount when you register and verify your student status with Sheer ID. Valid online only.


H&M is a Swedish multinational retail clothing company known for its fast-fashion clothing. You can receive a 10% off student discount when you register and verify your student status with UNiDAYS.


Groupon is an American worldwide e-marketplace connecting people with local merchants. They have a Groupon Student Program which can give you 25% off of food, drink, and fun for the first six months. After that, you can receive 15% off of local deals as long as you are a student. This discount is available to any student attending a US Title IV accredited institution located in the United States. You must have a Groupon account and get verified by SheerID that you are a student.  

In addition to these discounts, you can check out UNiDAYS and Student Beans, which are places you can be verified as a student and find discounts to many different places.

Between your student ID and your military ID, you should be able to find plenty of discounts to use on what you are already spending your money on.


Get great discounts for military & veterans in your inbox FREE!




How One Marine Found a Veteran-Friendly Master’s

Not sure what to study using your GI Bill? No worries! Some military affiliated students go into a degree program and discover their true calling while getting real world experience. That’s how it worked for Alyssa DeStefano, United States Marine Corrections Officer.

An Education + The Marines

DeStefano’s education started prior to joining the Marines. She majored in criminal justice and wanted to go into law enforcement. After getting her associate’s degree, DeStefano decided to go into the military to get real world experience in the field.

“Through the military and the corrections environment I came in contact with a lot of diverse individuals, a lot of whom struggled with mental health issues. I found myself more intrigued with the human mind and behaviors and decided to finish my undergraduate in psychology, as well as further pursue it with a masters.”

While stationed in Japan, DeStefano was briefed by the education department on military friendly schools broken down by state. She knew she would be relocating to the New Jersey area after separating from the Marines, so she explored those options first. She knew she needed to enroll at a university that had veteran friendly master’s degree options. It was from the list she received at the brief where she discovered the institution she would go to for her master’s.

Next Step: Master’s Degree

“Just about every college in the state (of New Jersey) was on the list for accepting the G.I Bill, but Rutgers University Camden was highlighted in bold for being in the top percentile for veterans. I was currently working on my undergraduate degree, but knew then that when I separated from the military that I wanted to apply to Rutgers for this very reason.” 

Rutgers Camden Office of Military & Veterans Affairs

Knowing that she would use her GI Bill, DeStefano wanted to get a leg up months before her first semester at Rutgers began. That’s where their Office of Veterans and Military Affairs came into play, led by Campus Director, Fred Davis.

“I wanted to have everything prepared for the semester in regards to my benefits and the support I received from the Rutgers- Camden Office of Veterans Affairs made that possible. Their support was easily accessible, they answered my questions in a timely manner, and got me set up within the first contact. The office administrator Fred Davis invited me for a tour, guided by one of the student veterans that worked in his office. They made starting my school experience pain free, and also gave me the opportunity to meet fellow veterans, which gravely helped in the transition to civilian life.”

When asked if she would recommend Rutgers-Camden to other student veterans, DeStefano responded, “Yes absolutely!” She then went on to highlight the networking events, available scholarships, and resources all tailored to veterans in all aspects of life.

Not only is Rutgers-Camden supportive of the military lifestyle, but it is arguably one of the most well-prepared military friendly universities. Their student veterans speak very highly of the well-rounded support they receive not just for academics, but in their personal and emotional lives as well. (Connect with Fred Davis, the Campus Director of the Office of Military & Veterans Affairs, to learn why Rutgers Camden is ranked so highly time and time again as one of the top veteran friendly universities in New Jersey.)

Life After Graduation

After graduation, DeStefano plans to continue working within the veteran community. “I would like to contribute to improving quality of life in veterans, whether it be through mental health, counseling, or aiding them in finding other resources they need to transition and fulfill their life goals outside of the military.”

Connect With Rutgers-Camden

Does Rutgers-Camden sound like a place where you could see yourself thrive? Don’t just take Alyssa DeStefano’s word for it, connect with their campus today and see what they can do for you!












5 GI Bill Memes You Can Relate To

5 Memes Only GI Bill Users Can Relate To

There are some pretty funny memes out there & there are also those that hit close to home. We’ve seen more and more GI Bill memes that couldn’t be more true. That’s why we are sharing GI Bill memes that you can relate to.

1. You worked & sacrificed so that someday you could the educational benefits you earned.

2. You feel slightly out of place.

3. You can’t relate to your fellow classmates when they freak out over how stressful finals are. You know what a stressful situation is, and finals just don’t compare.

4. You really dislike when people say that you are going to school for “free.” You paid with years of your life & commitment to the military. That doesn’t sound free to us.


RELATED GI Bill Links:








How to Become a Nurse as a Military Spouse

Nursing can be a career that is both fulfilling and easily transportable; two things that are not easily achieved by military spouses in their career pursuits. If you are interested in a nursing career, here’s an introduction on how to become one as a military spouse. 

Military Spouse How-To on Becoming a Nurse

Nursing Programs for Military Spouses

Finding a job that meshes well with your military life is a challenge that military spouses face daily.  Frequent moving and a lack of a local network can present hurdles to you as you try to achieve your dream job or career. Nursing is one of the careers that by nature is in high demand all over the country and as a result, is easily transferable.

>> Find nursing programs and nursing schools with CollegeRecon’s Program Matcher tool.

RELATED: A nursing degree is one of the hottest degrees you can earn right now. Learn why here.

How to Become a Nurse as a Military Spouse

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2.7 million registered nurses (RNs) are employed in the United States, and approximately 60 percent work in hospitals.

RNs may also find themselves in clinics, physician’s’ offices, home health care settings, critical and long-term care facilities, governmental organizations, the military, schools, and rehabilitation agencies. The demand for registered nurses is expected to continue growing swiftly.

You have two options when it comes to starting on the path to becoming a nurse….

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) vs. Registered Nurse (RN)

The difference between a vocational or practical nurse and a registered nurse is significant.  Note: some states refer to practical nurses as ‘vocational’.  These are essentially the same thing: entry level nurses with practical education & training.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) generally have a year of nursing education. Registered Nurses (RNs) have at least a 2-year degree or 3-year diploma, although many have a bachelor’s degree.

Registered nurses are more likely to be employed at a hospital whereas LPNs are more likely to work at long-term care facilities. Although both fields are continually growing, the registered nursing field is growing faster.

Becoming an LPN requires less training than what is required to become an RN. A screening process as well as background check is required to become a nurse in either field. Additionally, to become either an LPN or RN one must take the NCLEX exam. There are versions for both LPN’s and RN’s.

How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

  • Step 1: Complete high school
  • Step 2: Complete a year of full-time nursing education

**Important note: You must attend a program that is board approved in order to be licensed. Accreditation is not as important as being board approved.

  • Step 3: After graduating, you must take the NCLEX-PN (A national exam that you don’t have to take in the state that you wish to be licensed in.)
  • Step 4: Once the candidate receives his/her license, they will find it relatively easy to be licensed in other states. (For military spouses, this is especially important considering how often military families move.)

For more details on the process of becoming an LPN, click here. 

Before getting into the details of how to become a Registered Nurse (RN), read this quick post on why an RN degree is one of the hottest degrees right now.

How to Become a Registered Nurse (RN)

  • Step 1: Complete high school.
  • Step 2: Complete either an ADN or BSN program. (The ADN is an associate’s degree and the BSN is a bachelor’s degree. The BSN has more academic learning and coursework involved as it is a longer program. If the option of getting a higher degree after this to advance your nursing career is a thought, getting a BSN will get you closer to that goal. Nurses who already have an LPN usually have an option to do an LPN to RN bridge program.)
  • Step 3: Take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. 

Once applicants pass the exam they become licensees.  Similar to LPN licenses, RN licenses are highly transferable. This is incredibly important for military spouses and their families.

Connect With Top Nursing Schools

Learn about and connect with some of the top nursing programs in the U.S. below.  Some schools listed below have paid for promotional consideration.

Duke University

Duke University offers a few pathways to BSN programs through its nationally recognized nursing school. The most popular option is the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing, which helps students complete the program in four consecutive semesters, or within 16 months.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia is home to one of the top three nursing schools in the nation and provides some of the top BSN programs. It is also one of the only universities in the country that allows medical professional students to gain dual degrees, such as a dual degree in Nursing and Healthcare. 

Trinity Washington University

Trinity Washington University offers a pre-licensure BSN degree, as well as a completely online B.S.N. nursing program with advanced placement for Registered Nurses holding an Associate’s degree or a diploma in nursing. Designed for adult learners, R.N.s in the program may receive up to 32 credits for previous nursing courses.  In addition, you may also receive credit for previous general education courses.

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University is perhaps one of the best nursing schools for students interested in becoming nurses in the ER or in high-risk medical situations.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University has one of the best nursing schools in the country and is home to a variety of BSN programs, providing students assorted options for admittance into its nursing programs.

University of California – Los Angeles

The University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) is heralded as one of the top nursing schools in America by U.S. News and World Report. It is the home to some of the top BSN programs in the country and is nationally rated at both the undergraduate and graduate levels for its academic excellence.

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

The traditional top BSN programs that University of Michigan Ann Arbor offers are nationally rated for both their academic standards as well as for their ability to help students find work even before they have left school. Students who choose to come to the University of Michigan over other nursing schools have access to internship and fellowship opportunities through the University of Michigan Health System, which is known for being one of the largest health science center systems in the country.

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh has traditional BSN programs, as well as the second degree BSN program, an accelerated program geared toward students who already hold a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree. 

Explore These Nursing Programs

Licensed Practical Nursing Programs – Partner Schools

Registered Nursing Programs – Partner Schools

Partner schools are paid promotional partners.  CollegeRecon may be compensated by these schools in exchange for promotional consideration.

You can use CollegeRecon’s Program Matcher tool to find other nursing programs and nursing schools.

How to Pay for Nursing School as a Military Spouse

There are many scholarships available to military spouses.  Go here to find a list here of scholarships for military spouses.

You can also use MyCAA, a scholarship for military spouses that can be used to help pay for nursing programs. You can visit our MyCAA page to find out if you’re eligible to receive up to $4,000 in funds for this program.

You may also use transferred GI Bill benefits.  Learn more about the Post 9/11 GI Bill and transferring to spouses and/or dependents.





12 Questions Veterans Need to Ask College Admissions Reps

College-bound veterans have a lot on the line when they enroll in a degree program. They have a fixed amount of education benefits so enrolling in the right program is crucial.  Connecting with the Veteran Affairs Coordinator or College Admission reps at prospective colleges and universities is the most efficient way to get all military-related questions answered.

Questions to Ask College Admissions Reps as a Military or Veteran Student

The following are 12 questions prospective student veterans should ask Veteran Affairs Coordinators to determine exactly how the school assists military-related students and if it would be a good fit:

Is there a full-time veteran counselor or advisor on campus?

Veteran counselors have the job of supporting veterans on their academic, personal, and career paths. Having a veteran counselor on campus is a sign that the school puts an emphasis on supporting its student veterans.

Prospective students can also find out key information from talking to the veteran counselor, like how many student veterans are currently enrolled at the university, what the popular degree programs are among military-related students and veteran graduation rates.

Is there a Student Veterans of America chapter or any veteran-related clubs on campus?

SVA chapters are great resources for student veterans and offer an opportunity to connect with other like-minded students on campus. Having a support system like an SVA chapter or veteran club offers military-related students a safe place to connect with others who have shared experiences, shared struggles, and similar needs when it comes to finding success on campus.

Connecting with the veteran club president would be a great place to learn more invaluable information on the school and how it serves student veterans.

Does your school award college credit for military experience, the CLEP, or DSST Exams?

Follow up: If so, who should I contact to schedule a meeting for an informal credit evaluation?

There are a few ways that you can translate the experience and knowledge that you acquired through the military into college credit. They are through your ACE Credits, CLEP Exam, and DSST Exam.

This is extremely important to find out at the beginning of the college search process because starting a degree program with college credit already under your belt will save time and money. It’s important to know before enrolling exactly how those credits are awarded though. Do they go towards elective credits or will they count for actual classes that count toward your specific degree program?

Does your school participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?

Follow up: If so, is there a limit? How much can student veterans expect to receive from Yellow Ribbon funding?

Degree-granting institutions of higher learning participating in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program agree to make additional funds available for your education program without an additional charge to your GI Bill entitlement. This is important from a financial standpoint and could save thousands of dollars in tuition-related costs.

It is important to understand that Yellow Ribbon Program schools CAN make the cost of a degree free for eligible veterans. But, that doesn’t mean that every school has the funding to make that happen. For this reason, it’s extremely important to ask what the most recent awards were to student veterans enrolled at the specific institution and what you can expect to receive if you enroll there the following semester.

Is your school approved to accept Tuition Assistance?

Follow up: If so, how much do credit hours cost for active duty personnel?

The military’s Tuition Assistance is a benefit for active duty personnel to help pay for their education without using their GI Bill benefit.

The maximum that Tuition Assistance will pay is $250 per credit hour.

Unfortunately, many schools that advertise that they are “Tuition Assistance Approved” but actually charge more than $250 per credit hour. This can be misleading as some military personnel is under the impression that Tuition Assistance Approved Schools are free for them. Not the case. That is why it’s very important to find out exactly how much each credit hour will cost if you enroll at the school and expect to use your TA benefit.

RELATED: Colleges Fully Covered by Military Tuition Assistance

What is your policy for accepting transfer credits from other colleges?

You’ve spent time and money to acquire the credits that you already have and you want to put them to good use in your new degree program. Great! However, don’t just expect that those credits will count.

Not all schools treat credits equally, especially credits that weren’t acquired at that specific institution. This is why it’s really important to talk to the office that is directly in charge of processing transfer credits. Have all of your credits ready to send to them and ask how those would count toward the completion of a degree program at their institution.

When can I enroll?

You’ll find that schools enroll at different times.  Some schools offer rolling enrollment versus fixed start dates for others.  Check with the school to see what they offer.

Are scholarship or grant options available to military or veterans to help bring down the cost?

Schools will sometimes provide financial benefits to help active duty, military, and dependents bring down the cost of school if the cost of tuition, fees, and/or books exceed your available funding.

>> Find scholarships for military and veterans with the CollegeRecon Scholarship Finder.

Do you waive any fees for the military?

Sometimes schools waive fees for military and veterans.  Check with your school to see if they’ll waive any of the following fees:

  • Application fee
  • Book fees
  • Tech or Lab fees

Does your school offer priority enrollment for the military?

Some schools will prioritize veterans and military for enrollment.  This can be an advantage for you to attend the university of your choice.

Do you offer career services or have a career center?

Follow up: Does your career center help with internships while going to school?

Schools will often offer career services to assist you once you’ve graduated.  Additionally, some schools will offer career services to assist you with internships while you’re in school.  You’ll want to know when you can take advantage of their career services, as well as what percentage of graduates they place.

>> Find jobs with agencies looking for separating military, veterans, and spouses with CareerRecon.

Do my transferred credits expire?

Some schools have timeframes for which transfer credits must be utilized or else they will expire.






Are “Best Value” Schools Also Military Friendly?

US News & World Report just came out with their Top Colleges & Universities lists for 2018. Among those lists is one called Best Value Colleges & Universities. Since we are all about getting the most out of a degree program, we set out to research if these best value schools are also military friendly colleges.

U.S. News: Best Value Schools for 2018

#1. Princeton

#2. Harvard

#3. Yale

#4. Stanford

#5. MIT

#6. Columbia University

#7. Dartmouth College

(Courtesy: DVIDS)

How Do You Measure Value In Schools?

Which colleges and universities offer students the best value? The calculation used here takes into account a school’s academic quality, as indicated by its 2018 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2016-2017 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included, because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that are above average academically. — U.S. News

A deeper look into each school & what they offer military students…


BAH – $2,250

Tuition – $43,450

Highlights – They have a full-time veteran counselor on campus. This is huge! Having someone on campus whose sole purpose to is support military affiliated students is the first step in ensuring those students succeed on campus. Without an on campus counselor, who is going to stand up for this group of students, or help them navigate this new environment?

Negatives – Princeton only has 6 of 16 different military/veteran programs in place. We wouldn’t classify Princeton as a military friendly university.


BAH – $3,045

Tuition – $45,278

Highlights – Harvard does have a full-time on campus veteran counselor. It is almost impossible for student veterans to feel supported and find success when they don’t have someone in their corner.

Negatives – Harvard only has 4 of 16 different military/veteran programs in place ranking putting it in last place out of all of these top universities. (Definitely not a military friendly university.)


BAH – $3,177

Tuition – $47,600

Highlights– With 6 of the 16 military/veteran programs in place, Yale comes in at the middle of the road in comparison with the rest of the list. One thing that does stand out is that they have a Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter which many of the other universities do not.

Negatives– They don’t offer any means for veterans to use their previous knowledge, education, and experience to count toward credit hours. (They don’t accept the CLEP Exam, DSST Exam, or military experience for credit.)


BAH – $3,045

Tuition – $46,320

Highlights– Stanford has a full-time veteran counselor on campus AND a Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter! This is the only school out of this list that has both.

Negatives– They only have 6 of the 16 different military support programs in place. This puts Stanford in a tie for #3 in our ranking of military friendly universities.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

BAH – $3,045

Tuition – $46,704

Highlights – MIT offers the ability for students to come onto campus with credit under their belt. How? They accept college credit for military experience. It is important to note, that students should make sure that those credit hours count toward requirements and aren’t just additional hours the school adds onto your total credit hours.

Negatives – With only 6 of the 16 veteran programs in place, MIT comes in the very middle of the pack on our ranking of these schools.

Columbia University

BAH – $3,669

Tuition – $53,000

Highlights – Columbia University ranks #1 on our list because they have 7 of the 16 veteran programs in place! (Although they aren’t even close to offering all that they can, this is still the top ranking school on this list.) They also have an on campus Student Veterans of America chapter. SVA chapters are a huge factor in contributing to the success of student veterans on campus because it gives these students a community support system of other likeminded individuals.

Negatives – Columbia doesn’t offer any means of allowing military affiliated students to arrive to campus with credit under their belt.

Dartmouth College

BAH- $1,512

Tuition- $49,506

Highlights – Dartmouth accepts the CLEP exam for college credit. This is an advantage considering the majority of these schools don’t accept any form of exam or military experience to count toward college credit.

Negatives – Dartmouth College only has 4 of the 16 different veteran and military assistance programs in place. (That is wayyyyy low, and puts them in a tie for last place in terms of military friendliness on this list.)

(Courtesy: DVIDS)

How the Best Value Schools Rank In Terms of Being Military Friendly

#1. Columbia University

#2. MIT (tie for 2nd place)

#2. Stanford (tie for 2nd place)

#4. Yale (tied for 4th place)

#4. Princeton (tied for 4th place)

#6.Dartmouth College (tied for last place)

#6. Harvard University (tied for last place)

How did we rank the Best Value Schools?

We looked at how many veteran & military assistance programs they have in place as well as which programs they have. The fewer the programs, the lower on the list.

When it came to deciphering how to rank schools who had the same number of programs in place, we then looked at the programs that made them stand out. MIT allows students to come onto campus with credit under their belt from military experience.

Also, having a student veteran counselor and SVA chapter on campus is really impressive and shows the long term desire to serve student veterans.

Student veterans & military affiliated personnel are only going to succeed on campus if they have people “in their corner” so to speak. People whose job is to be a voice for military-affiliated students. Individuals who understand what the transition from military to campus is like and who can relate and help these students.

(Featured Image Courtesy of Columbia University)



How “Top” National Universities Serve Veterans


Every year, US News and World Report comes out with a list of the top schools in the USA. They just rolled out their latest lists for top colleges and universities in the United States for 2018, and we want to know, are any of them military friendly universities too?!

Like we have done previously,  we’ve stacked up their   Top 5 National Universities against our standards to see just how well these top institutions serve student veterans and military personnel. (Basically, are there any military friendly universities in this list?)


(The complete list names more than just five schools so be sure to check it out. You’ll also notice there are more than five schools listed below. That is because there were a few ties in US News’s findings.)

US News & World Report’s Top National Universities

#1. Princeton

#2. Harvard

#3. University of Chicago (tie)

#3. Yale (tie)

#5. Columbia University (tie)

#5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)

#5.  Stanford (tie)

We looked deeper into each university in just how they serve military and veterans on campus. How? We looked specifically at just how many military/veteran assistance programs they have and which ones. We included the hyperlink to each university’s full profile so you can fully explore which military & veteran programs they do/don’t have in place. (Learn more about the veteran assistance programs colleges and universities are offering, here.)


(Courtesy: Princeton University)


BAH – $2,250

Tuition – $43,450

Highlights – They have a full-time veteran counselor on campus. This is huge! Having someone on campus whose sole purpose to is support military affiliated students is the first step in ensuring those students succeed on campus. Without an on campus counselor, who is going to stand up for this group of students, or help them navigate this new environment?

Negatives – Princeton only has 6 of 16 different military/veteran programs in place. We wouldn’t classify Princeton as a military friendly university.




BAH – $3,045

Tuition – $45,278

Highlights – Harvard does have a full-time on campus veteran counselor. It is almost impossible for student veterans to feel supported and find success when they don’t have someone in their corner.

Negatives – Harvard only has 4 of 16 different military/veteran programs in place ranking putting it in last place out of all of these top universities. (Definitely not a military friendly university.)


University of Chicago 

BAH – $1,956

Tuition – $51,351

Highlights – University of Chicago has the most veteran/military support programs in place out of everyone on this list! They rank #1 on our list of top national universities that also happen to be military-friendly.

Negatives –  University of Chicago doesn’t allow any means of coming onto campus with credit under your belt. What does that mean? They don’t accept CLEP or DSST exams or military experience to be counted for credit. This is a shame as that is one of the things we recommend most for college-bound military-affiliated students. Arriving on campus with credit under your belt will help you to finish your degree sooner.


(Courtesy: Yale University)


BAH – $3,177

Tuition – $47,600

Highlights– With 6 of the 16 military/veteran programs in place, Yale comes in at the middle of the road in comparison with the rest of the list. One thing that does stand out is that they have a Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter which many of the other universities do not.

Negatives– They don’t offer any means for veterans to use their previous knowledge, education, and experience to count toward credit hours. (They don’t accept the CLEP Exam, DSST Exam, or military experience for credit.)


Columbia University 

BAH – $3,669

Tuition – $53,000

Highlights– Columbia University ranks #2 on our list because they have 7 of the 16 veteran programs in place! Although that is under half of the programs, it is still the second best when comparing this list of schools. They also have an on campus Student Veterans of America chapter. SVA chapters are a huge factor in contributing to the success of student veterans on campus because it gives these students a community support system of other likeminded individuals.

Negatives– Columbia doesn’t offer any means of allowing military affiliated students to arrive to campus with credit under their belt.



Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

BAH – $3,045

Tuition – $46,704

Highlights– MIT offers the ability for students to come onto campus with credit under their belt. How? They accept college credit for military experience. It is important to note, that students should make sure that those credit hours count toward requirements and aren’t just additional hours the school adds onto your total credit hours.

Negatives– With only 6 of the 16 veteran programs in place, MIT comes in the very middle of the pack on our ranking of these schools.


(Courtesy: Stanford University)


BAH – $3,045

Tuition – $46,320

Highlights– Stanford has a full-time veteran counselor on campus AND a Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter! This is the only school out of this list that has both. 

Negatives– They only have 6 of the 16 different military support programs in place. This puts Stanford in a tie for #3 in our ranking of military friendly universities.



Our Ranking : How Top National Universities Rank As Military Friendly Universities

#1. University of Chicago

#2. Columbia University

#3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)

#3. Yale (tie)

#3. Princeton (tie)

#3. Stanford (tie)

#5. Harvard (tie)



Before accepting published “Top” lists for truth, know that every ranking institution is searching for different factors. We are searching and ranking based on military-friendliness & military-supportiveness. US News & World Report ranks on a whole host of other criteria.

If you are a military affiliated individual looking to start the college search process… start here. This tool highlights all of the programming that colleges and universities do and don’t have. Don’t end up at a school that isn’t prepared to support you as a veteran or military personnel! Do your research!


(Featured Image Courtesy DVIDS)


How To Make Connections On Campus Before Arriving

Arriving to campus for the first time is daunting. Usually, students don’t know anyone on campus (maybe other students, but definitely not any administrators or staff).

This automatically makes everything a little scarier. Students don’t have anyone ‘on their team’ or who understands where they are coming from, what their goals are, or what they want to make of these years on campus. For those reasons, we urge students to make meaningful connections on campus before arriving. But, how?


(Courtesy: DVIDS)

How to Make Meaningful Connections on Campus Before Arriving


 Start Conversing With Admissions Counselors Early 


But, how?  The college and university search tool built for military affiliated personnel, CollegeRecon.com, helps you navigate & explore the college search process. It also makes it easy to start conversations with admissions personnel without having to give out your personal information (email address, phone number, etc.) Why is that important? So often military-affiliated students are weary of giving out their personnel information (for good reason) because admissions personnel want to connect with military students and could take that contact info and run with it.


CollegeRecon lets you reach out to admissions personnel at the 3,000+ not-for-profit schools that are in its database. All conversations take place on the platform which is how it protects you and your contact info. By starting the conversation here, you can learn more about schools and also gauge if you want to take the relationship to the next level and ask for introductions to college counselors and or professors on campus. By making your dreams, goals, and current situation very clear in initial communication, you can also decipher if that school is the right fit for you.

(Courtesy: DVIDS)

Communication = Key

Basically, communication is key. Communication begets discovery, relationships, and answers. Why wouldn’t you want all three of those as you embark on a new adventure of going back to school?


Start Conversations Today


There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. Start conversing with admissions personnel at schools that interest you today. Simply go to CollegeRecon.com and begin exploring, learning, and making meaningful relationships for when you ultimately arrive on campus.


(Featured Image Courtesy, DVIDS)



If You Want To Succeed at an Online Degree Program, Here Are 5 Steps You Need to Take First

5 Steps to Succeeding at Your Online Degree Program

In a perfect world, we would all have the luxury of enrolling in an on-campus degree program. Being on campus and attending class on a regular basis promotes a sense of ownership of the degree program. Putting in the effort to attend class, take notes, and get to know your professor will put you in “school mode” which will make the process more fluid. However, on-campus programs aren’t viable for everyone. 

Choosing the right program for you: Online vs. On Campus

There are many different reasons that keep students from being able to physically be on campus. For military-affiliated students, one of the main factors is that they are constantly picking up and moving while they serve. For that reason, on-campus degree programs many times aren’t even an option. Living miles and miles from a brick and mortar university or college makes that impossible.

We set spoke to students who have successfully completed online degrees and asked them what helped them to succeed.

RELATED: Online Colleges for the Military

5 steps that will help you not only survive, but succeed in your online degree program:

  1. Connect With Your Instructor Early
  2. Make A Schedule
  3. Get Organized
  4. Find An Accountability Buddy
  5. Designate Study Space

RELATED: What Veterans Need to Succeed in College

Connect with Your Instructor Early

Going back and forth between a military and degree environment can be tricky. That is why you need to establish mentors at the beginning of your program.

You are actually paying your professors to be a resource for you. You pay them for their knowledge and expertise on the topic. Therefore, you should reach out to your professor early on, introduce yourself, inform them of your lifestyle (being involved in the military), and ask them if they have any guidance or tips on how to do your best in their class.

At the end of the day you want to acquire knowledge and learn. But, also your professors are the ones grading you (unless it is multiple choice exams for the entirety of the course.) You should therefore make an effort to learn how they grade, and also tell them a little about yourself so they can better understand you as they grade your work.

Make a Schedule

When enrolled at traditional on-campus program, students have a consistent schedule with classes meeting on certain days. However, that’s not always the same with online courses. Sometimes it’s a matter of having to perform on 2 key tests during the semester and that is it. Other online courses have some sort of schedule to them. Regardless, to succeed in an online degree program, you must create a schedule for yourself. Set aside time for when you will go online to watch/listen to lectures, when you will read each day, when you will study, and most importantly when you will take breaks.

Many professors will help you with an outline in the form of a syllabus or even give advice on how students have succeeded in the past and what their habits were. If none of this is given to you for a specific class, then it is the perfect opportunity for you to connect with your instructor and ask.

RELATED: 5 Tips to Ensure a Solid Start to Your College Experience


Get Organized

Starting out the semester organized and on track is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, you’ll spend the entire course trying to play catch up. Purchase books before the course begins so that there’s no option for them to arrive late and put you behind. Make a plan for how you are going to stay on top of your course work. Will you study daily? Or will you study the entire week’s worth of knowledge for the entire weekend? Make goals for yourself at the beginning and hold yourself to them. (Which brings us to our next point..)

Related: Tips To Save Big On Textbooks

Find an Accountability Partner

Just as having a gym buddy makes going to the gym and working out easier, having a study buddy or accountability partner will help you stick to your educational goals.

Whether that is someone that you met from both being enrolled in the same course, a local friend who is also enrolled in a degree program, or even someone you know who is trying to reach a goal that requires a lot of dedication, time, and hard work. Keep each other on top of your work. Don’t let them slip, and they won’t let you slip.

Designate Study Space

If you’re taking classes online, chances are you are using your kitchen table or coffee table as work spaces. (This is exactly what we suggest not doing.)

In order to ‘turn on & off’ your ‘school mode’ you need to have a designated study space(s) where you do your school work. That way you can better delineate when you are studying and when you aren’t so as to not get distracted in environments that aren’t conducive to concentration. We suggest having a go-to coffee shop, library, or home office space where you only go to, to study or complete school work.

Haven’t decided on a degree program yet?

If you are still undecided on which online degree program is the best for you and your lifestyle, this helps map out the different degree options you have and the pros and cons of each. It gives great insight into what each degree program can do for you.










How Veterans Successfully Start The College Search

The college search. A process that many don’t look forward to or thrive in. There are so many schools out there, how on earth could you find THE one?

Most online college search let you search for schools based on the normal things one looks for: tuition range, private vs. public, location, degree programs, etc. However, choosing a school as a military affiliated personnel comes with a list of other criteria that an institution should offer. (Ex: Does it have an on campus veterans group? Is there a specific veterans counselor? Are there options for using military experience as college credit?) 

Until now, there hasn’t been a search tool that also lets you search for those programs that are specific to military affiliated students. Thankfully, now you are just 3 steps away from finding a college that fits your military specific needs & interests.

(Courtesy: DVIDS)

Introducing CollegeRecon.com…


CollegeRecon.com was created specifically for military & veterans embarking on the college search process. With just a few clicks, you can get a list of not-for-profit schools that fit the different veteran program criteria you select. Then, begin the conversation with admissions counselors to find out if their school fits your lifestyle and needs. (It’s that easy? Yes! Let me further explain each step…)


The three step process of how veterans successfully start the college search with CollegeRecon…

1. Search For Your Ideal Schools

The CollegeRecon database includes over 3,000 not-for-profit colleges and universities. It’s database is wired to be able to search through those 3,000 schools depending upon the specific veteran programs you want your college or university to have. 

While searching, you need to consider what you need/want at your ideal college or university. Exploring all of the veteran & military assistance programs that schools are offer is important so that you can then search for schools that have those desirable programs. This article will teach you all about each program, and maybe even teach you about some you didn’t know existed.

On top of the ability to search for military assistance programs, the tool also allows you to search for the usual college search criteria: tuition, location, 2-year or 4-year, private vs. public, specific degree programs, etc.

(Courtesy: DVIDS)

2. Make Yourself Stand Out

To fully take advantage of all that this tool has to offer, you want to quickly make a profile. Input your background and experiences so that admissions personnel have the best idea of who you are. Keeping your profile up-to-date can cut down on the time you put into searching for schools because schools can then reach out to you on the platform. (Which I will expand on in #3…)


3. Engage With Schools

You can actually engage with and reach out to schools through this platform. If you see an interesting school, but have questions, simply message the school on the platform and their admissions personnel will get back to you shortly. 

Going back to #2 above, craft your profile to give the best picture of who you are and how you stand out from other college-bound veterans and military personnel. Why? Because admissions personnel can also reach out to you via this platform, but they will never have your e-mail address or contact information. Giving them the best picture of you will help them know if their institution is a good fit for you. This is a great way to begin discussions without handing out your contact info!

(Courtesy: DVIDS)

Begin Today…

CollegeRecon.com is a one-stop-shop: Search for schools, learn about the assistance programming you need, & engage with admissions personnel. Explore the platform today and see if it is a good fit for you and your college search!


(Featured Image Courtesy of DVIDS.)

Prepare for Your Best Interview Yet in 5 Steps

5 Steps to Prepare for Your Best Interview Yet

You’ve landed an interview. (Congrats!) Although there are many different types of interviews (job, scholarship, promotion, athletic) they can all be boiled down to the same root… You’re looking to take that next step.

Everyone has their own tips and tricks to prepare for interviews. But, these five interview tips are going to help prepare you for any kind of interview out there!

List of 5 Steps

  • Prepare 5 Questions
  • Know What’s On Your Resume.. Don’t Read It!
  • Maintain Good Posture
  • Know The Type Of Interview You’ll Be On
  • Define Three Stories Of Yourself

1. Prepare 5 Questions

So the end of the interview comes and the interviewer asks you.. “Do you have any questions?” The worst possible answer you could have is “No, I think you covered it all!” Although it might seem like that makes you sound informed and educated, it actually makes you seem like you are uninterested, didn’t pay attention during the interview, or didn’t do your homework. Have at least five questions prepared in case a few are already answered during the interview. Coming with questions proves you are prepared & interested!

2. Know What’s On Your Resume

Always, always bring copies of your resume… but not for yourself. (You should already know what is on there.) Bring extras to give to your interviewer(s) and when questioned about certain aspects on your resume you shouldn’t have to look at it to refresh your memory of your life experiences. Also, make sure that your resume is in tip-top shape.

3. Maintain Good Posture

Keep good posture, but also make sure your back is touching the back of the seat. Sitting so far off the seat comes off as very rigid and like you are uncomfortable. (Have you ever caught a glimpse of someone sitting a mile away from the back of their chair just hanging off of the front of the seat? It’s awkward for everyone.)

(Courtesy: DVIDS)

4. Know The Type Of Interview You’ll Be On

Don’t ever assume the type of interview you will be going on. There are MANY types: one-on-one interviews, group interviews, behavioral interviews, skype interviews, and phone interviews to name a few. Ask the person who is scheduling your interview what type it will be so that you can prepare appropriately. If it is a group interview, ask the name of the other interviewers so that you can do your homework on each interviewer you will come in contact with.

5. Define Three Stories Of Yourself

Instead of wasting time preparing 20 answers to 20 possible interview questions, go through your resume and choose three work experiences or accomplishments with concrete results. Among these stories you should touch at least once on your strengths and weaknesses. These stories should be versatile enough to expand on in multiple different interview question situations. Also, pick stories that are interesting! That way you don’t have to worry about memorizing, and most likely your interviewer will be more engaged.


Again, congratulations on landing an interview and best of luck!

(Featured Image Courtesy: DVIDS)




The Exam That Helps Translate Your Military Job Into A Civilian Career


The test you take before enlisting in the United States Armed Forces will also give you great insight into what civilian career would be a good fit. What better way to start your career?!

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test gives insight into what civilian career would be a good fit for you

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB) is a test created in 1968 with the intention of mentally preparing soldiers with knowledge that identifies with the following:

  • Space perception
  • Numerical operations
  • General information
  • Tool knowledge
  • Coding speed
  • Attention to detail

The test has since been changed and updated to test the following areas:


  • General Science – measures knowledge of life science, earth and space science, and physical science
  • Arithmetic Reasoning – measures ability to solve basic arithmetic word problems
  • Word Knowledge – measures ability to understand the meaning of words through synonyms
  • Paragraph Comprehension – measures ability to obtain information from written material
  • Mathematics Knowledge – measures knowledge of mathematical concepts and applications
  • Electronics Information – measures knowledge of electrical current, circuits, devices and electronic systems
  • Auto and Shop Information – measures knowledge of automotive maintenance and repair, and wood and metal shop practices
  • Mechanical Comprehension – measures knowledge of the principles of mechanical devices, structural support and properties of materials
  • Assembling Objects – measures ability with spatial relationships

Is It An IQ Test?

The test is not an IQ test, but rather measures knowledge and ability in the aforementioned areas. It helps the Department of Defense to decipher what your strong suits are and in which jobs you will best perform. 

Preparing for the Test

There are 2 different formats of the test: Computerized Test Format and Written Test Format. They each have different amounts of questions and time per section. (Learn about the different formats explained here.)

If you are thinking of taking this test, you need to familiarize yourself with the exam, decide on which format you are going to take, and take lots of practice questions! There are loads of free practice quizzes here.. & here…. 

Insight Into Civilian Careers Post Service

What about outside of the military? If you’re looking down the line and also want some insight into what you would be good at in the civilian world, this test can help. Interestingly, The ASVAB test is also used as an indicator of what you would be good at in the civilian world. The skills and aptitude that you test highly for now can help you translate your military to civilian career later in life.

Career Exploration Program

The ASVAB Career Exploration Program was developed with input from a panel of career-development experts and designed to encourage students to increase their level of self-knowledge and to understand how that information could be linked to civilian and military occupational characteristics.

ASVAB Career Exploration Program helps you figure out what you’re good at, what is important to you, and the jobs that match your skills and interests. After you take the test, you will participate in a series of activities to help you understand your scores, yourself, and your options. 

Higher Education After The Military

Maybe the career you’ll be best suitable for after service also requires extra education. In that case, search for schools with a degree program that will lead to your desired career path here. By educating yourself of the opportunities that are available to you before you begin your military career path, you will be far ahead of others. Having a direction will lead to success. Start carving your path to success today by exploring the educational opportunities you have available to you right here. 

Best of luck transitioning from your military to civilian career!

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#ForeverGIBill: The Biggest GI Bill Changes

It’s been over a week since the House unanimously voted to approve a new GI Bill, and the Senate has since sent it onward to the President’s desk. Still confused on what specific changes will be brought about with this new #ForeverGIBill if President Trump signs it into law? Let us explain…

Big GI Bill Changes

“The new GI Bill closes loopholes that had left some deploying reservists and Purple Heart recipients without any educational benefits. It also increases aid to survivors of deceased service members, restores benefits to victims of for-profit schools, expands the programs that educational assistance can be used on, and — most significantly — allows future service members to use their GI Bill benefits at any point in their lifetimes, doing away with the old 15-year “use it or lose it” limit.”   –Task&Purpose


That last part is huge!! If passed, vets who become GI Bill eligible after Jan. 1, 2018 will be able to use their education benefits at their leisure, for life! The truth of the matter is that not everyone is at a point in their life where jumping into a degree program is right. For some it could be within that 15-year limit, but for others is isn’t.

These are some pretty significant changes that could turn some veterans’ lives around for the better. These increased benefits will open doors and increase opportunity. (Win, win!)

What else would change?

Aren’t you pretty confused about the difference between “Post 9/11 GI Bill” vs. “Montgomery GI Bill”? (Ya, us too!) If this bill passes, the name will also change. There would no longer be a “Post-9/11” or “Montgomery” GI Bills. If passed, it was just be “GI Bill”, thus signalling that it is “one GI Bill for all generations of veterans” and no distinctions otherwise.

The new bill would also extend Yellow Ribbon eligibility to survivors and dependents of GI Bill veterans.

Changes Tied to Recent News…

Remember all that hype that came out about Purple Heart recipients and reservists not being eligible for full GI Bill benefits? Well the proposed GI Bill would close that loophole and restore benefits to hundreds of veterans, Purple Heart recipients and reservists included.

Think back to the summer of 2016 when for-profit colleges and universities seemed to be closing and losing their accreditation left and right… The proposed bill would help those veterans who were burned by for-profit schools and restore their benefits. 

It’s a lot to take in a digest, I know. But, big chances could be on their way to the GI Bill. Stay tuned!

(Featured Image Courtesy of DVIDS)

RELATED GI Bill Links:




Latest Updates: 

Here’s the latest on the Forever GI Bill and Post 911 GI Bill transferability



A Community College for Airmen & Women

How Airmen & Women Can Enroll at The Community College of the Air Force

Being active duty in the Air Force means that you are also afforded opportunities to continue your education while serving. How? Through the Community College of the Air Force.  The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) is a worldwide multi-campus community college established to meet the educational needs of the Air Force’s enlisted personnel.

CCAF partners with over 108 affiliated Air Force schools, 82 Education Service Offices located worldwide, and more than 1,500 civilian academic institutions to serve approximately 300,000 active, guard, and reserve enlisted personnel. This makes CCAF the world’s largest community college system. The college annually awards over 22,000 associate in applied science degrees from 68 degree programs.

CCAF is The Only Degree-Granting Institution of Higher Learning in The World Dedicated Exclusively to Enlisted Personnel

The CCAF strives to meet the demands of the Air Force’s expeditionary environment and at the same time help airmen achieve their educational goals by capitalizing on job-related training and education as part of flexible degree completion programs.  

“Offer and award job-related associate in applied science degrees and other academic credentials that enhance mission readiness, contribute to recruiting, assist in retention, and support the career transitions and professional growth of the Air Force enlisted corps.” – CCAF Mission

Diverse CCAF Programs

There are countless programs under the CCAF umbrella that cater to the different needs of airmen & women. One of them being General Education Mobile (GEM).

GEM is a partnership between the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) and accredited civilian academic institutions that offer freshman/sophomore general education courses.  These courses are offered via distance learning format and meet the CCAF Associate in Applied Science (AAS) requirements.   

What is a General Education Mobile (GEM) Program?

  • A GEM program is a partnership between CCAF and civilian academic institutions
  • GEM offers general education courses to meet CCAF AAS degree requirements
  • Courses are offered in distance learning formats: anytime and anywhere
  • GEM reduces the CCAF educational impact of deployments, PCS, and family commitments

Why Enroll in a CCAF Program?

Enrolling in a CCAF program while enlisted in the Air Force could be the catalyst to set you up for a bright and successful future. As a result of keeping up your academic skills while serving, your transition into a bachelor’s degree program is likely to be smooth.

Depending upon your service, you could have full GI Bill benefits to pay for a 4-year bachelor’s degree program. The biggest hurdle to tackle when going to school after serving, is getting back into academic shape. (You won’t have that hurdle to tackle if you get an associate’s degree with the CCAF.)

Continuing your education through an associate in applied science degree will set you up for success. You’ll learn from real world experiences in the military while also learning in the classroom and staying ‘academically fit’. (Win, win!)

Enroll Today

Learn more about the opportunities that the CCAF can afford you, here.








4 Things Veterans Transitioning Out Need to Know Before They Start Their Journey

Separating from the Military?  4 Things You Should Know

Are you approaching a transition from the military to a civilian lifestyle? Feeling a bit anxious? Where on earth do you begin?! The following post is all about the four things all transitioning veterans should know.  Taking them into consideration early on in your transition will help set you up for success.

1. Don’t expect it to be easy

“I’m just going to take classes online while sitting on my recliner in my PJs.” That mentality is not going to cut it.

It’s really easy to let your studies slip when you don’t take a serious approach.

Train yourself to get into the studying mode by attending a local college in person, not online.

Although it takes more time and effort, you will be more focused and successful in the long run. (We all know there are a million distractions at home!)

** Not sure where to start searching colleges? This tool makes it easy.

(Courtesy: DVIDS)

2. Start building your network a year before leaving the military

Create an account on LinkedIn and start making personal connections on college campuses to see which could be a good fit for you.

Don’t you always feel more comfortable walking into a new situation or office when you already know a familiar face there?

It’s the same way with starting your degree program. Build relationships before stepping foot on campus! One way to easily make connections on campus is by starting conversations with admissions counselors at non-for-profit institutions. You can easily do that here.

(Courtesy: DVIDS)

3. Play up your strengths when applying and interviewing

You have a very different professional background from most applicants. You need to play those strengths and experiences up and make them applicable to the civilian world.

There are plenty of ways to do this. Think about those small tasks within your military experience and what they required of you as an individual.

How did you overcome obstacles, contribute to your team, help another individual achieve their goals?

What were some especially difficult trainings and schools that you experienced, and how did you succeed there?

You accomplished a lot during your time in service. It’s time to let schools know about it.

4. Seek out other veterans

Don’t force yourself to feel like you’re doing this transition alone. Reach out and connect with other veterans on campus, on LinkedIn & Facebook, and with people you served with. Let them know your transition plan. Ask them if they have any advice if they too have transitioned onto campus before?

Having others who know what you are going through is a big factor in creating a successful transitional environment for yourself. If you are acting without others knowing what you are doing and experiencing, there is no way for them to support you.


At the end of the day, this transition is going to be what you make of it. Start now and make your transition a success.

(Featured Image Courtesy: Wesleyan)








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