If you are active duty military and want to further your education, you have options.
You can take classes online, go to a local college or university, or you can attend classes on installation.
Here we’re exploring on base options for college for active duty military.
The option to attend college at your duty station can be the right one. But if you want to explore all your options, try our College Search tool to find the right school for you.
What are the benefits of going to school at your duty station?
- Shorter classes – you should be able to get the same credits done in a shorter amount of time. This is helpful so that you can take more classes in between training and deployments. This gives you more flexibility over other schooling choices.
- Military Friendly – your military experience will be valued. The classroom will be military friendly as they will know what it is like to be active duty military.
- Shorter commute times! It will simply be easier to get to class. You can attend right after you get off work or even during other times of the day depending on your schedule. This will be easier than having to commute or drive into a city to attend classes.
What if you are stationed overseas?
There are also colleges and universities that have contracts to be able to have classes at overseas military installations. If you are overseas, you can check and see what is available where you are. Being able to take classes there means you won’t have to put your education on hold while you are stationed overseas.
Can you go to school like this if you are deployed?
Yes, the University of Maryland University College was awarded a 54-month contract offering undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate classes in 9 locations downrange.
This will allow service members to attend classes and further their education while they are deployed.
They also have locations in Europe and North Africa, including seven in Italy and 19 in Germany.
What if you are a military spouse?
Military spouses can also attend classes on a military installation.
That will make things a little easier for them as they support their service member and continue their education at the same time.
With easy access to CDCs (Child Development Centers) on the installation, going to school there will make the whole process a bit easier for the spouse.
Are there any downsides to going to school this way?
Unfortunately, not all classes or programs are offered on military installations. In some cases, you would have to figure out another way to go to school. They also might have smaller class sizes that fill up faster which is something to keep in mind. You might not be in a traditional looking classroom if space is limited and that will depend on your duty station.
Why get a degree when you are active duty?
Going for your degree as an active duty service member is a good idea.
Not only will you be taking advantage of the VA benefits you receive from joining the military but you can be working towards a successful future at the same time.
For some, going to school is the road they have to take to become an officer. For others, going to school will help them after they ETS and start a new career.
Remember to Stay Flexible
When you go to get a degree while serving in the military, things will not be as streamlined as they would be if you were not in the military.
You should remain flexible. You may not have a choice!
You may have to take a lot of pauses before you are able to complete your degree.
Finding a flexible way to get your education is a must.
What do I need to do to get started?
If you would like to see what your options are, start with your installation’s education center. They should be able to tell you what schools are available, what classes you can take, and what you need to do to get started.
Make sure you develop a good plan and stay organized through the process of going to school while serving as active duty in the military.
The following are related topics for each branch of the service: