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A Checklist for College Students as They Begin Their Education Journey  

Your College Degree “Pre-Launch” Checklist

Earning your degree and launching your next career requires focus, effort, and planning. The key to success comes down to five tasks that you need to check off before start.  The following five item checklist will ensure you don’t waste money, time, or effort in the pursuit of your college degree.

Determine Your Career Path and Education Goals

Know what you want from your education. Setting your career goals upfront will help you to make the most of your money, time, and effort.  Learn about choosing your career path to achieve your career goals.

Know Your Benefits

You need to have a deeper understanding of your GI Bill©, Military Tuition Assistance, Student Aid , ACE credits, and Scholarships before you commit to anything. Learn about the hundreds of thousands of dollars that available to help you pay for your degree. Click here to get the details you need on your military and veteran benefits.

Find the College that Fits Your Career Goals

Finding the school that fits your goals, finances, scheduling, and benefits isn’t as simple as it may seem. Learn how to find the school that meets all your needs.

Verify that You and the Degree Program are GI Bill Eligible

Be sure that you have your certificate of eligibility completed and confirm that the degree program you have chosen has been approved by the VA for use with the GI Bill. Not covering these bases before enrolling can set you back and could cost you benefits. Learn how and why this step is critical getting off to a good start.

Research schools with our School Search Tool, or find your perfect fit with our School Matcher.

Launch Your Education Journey

Enrollment processes and requirements differ from school to school. Many schools may require you to take specific placement exams to determine if there is a need for remedial courses. Learn to prepare for the enrollment process.

Remember earning your degree opens a world of possibilities and will set you up for success. While it won’t be easy, you have already proven you have what it takes to earn your degree.


NEXT STEP: Get Started Understanding Your Career  and Education Goals





About the author

Terry Howell is a retired Coast Guard veteran, where he served for 20 years.

He is currently the Executive Director for Veterans' Legacies, a non-profit that works to preserve veterans personal stories to help educate our youth.

Terry is also the author of The Military Advantage, an annually updated guide to military and veteran benefits.