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Online Schools for Military

Veterans transitioning from military service to a civilian career may face a challenging journey. Thankfully, there exist a multitude of programs and initiatives to help veterans gain access to educational, vocational, and career opportunities. The most prominent of these is online learning.
Online schools often get a bad rap as being “degree mills.” In fact, degree mills have been a pervasive problem since the GI Bill was introduced post-WWII. Problems with degrees from these pay-to-play degree mills include inadequate training and substandard education. This equates to a worthless degree that is of no value to the student and offers zero assistance in securing a job.

Determining the Best Online Schools for the Military

The following features are common practices among the best online schools for active duty military
  • Accreditation: the best schools will be regionally accredited or, in some cases, depending on a student’s long-term goals, nationally accredited.
  • GI Bill Acceptance: top schools will accept the GI Bill and follow the Principles of Excellence. This program requires schools that get federal funding (through programs such as the GI Bill) to follow certain guidelines.
  • Additional Tuition Assistance: schools should take part in additional assistance for tuition, such as the Yellow Ribbon Program or Tuition Assistance for active duty military, which can help pay for school costs not covered by the GI Bill.

Additional Considerations for the Best Online Schools for the Military

The following factors should also be considered when deciding on the best online schools for the military.

    • Graduation Rates: schools will be transparent in their graduation rates. Typical graduation rates are around 50%. Even 30% is considered acceptable, but lower than that should raise doubts.
    • Job Placement: top schools will have an excellent network to help students succeed in their chosen careers after earning their degrees. Effective job placement can be found in programs such as internships, apprenticeships, strong alumni connections, etc.
    • Program Availability: the best schools will have a consistent availability for the chosen degree, including classes and any other program requirements. This allows students to effectively use their time to complete their degree while still fulfilling other obligations such as military service and family commitments.

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.

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.


Best Online Schools for the Military

A Leader in Online Education

Colorado State University Global

One of the best online schools for active duty military is CSU Global. CSU Global is the first 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States. CSU Global has a 50% graduation rate and has consistently received high-ranking accolades including:

CSU Global is a GI Bill approved school and is approved for Tuition Assistance.

Top Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

University of Florida

UF has been offering online degrees since 2001 and boasts a 60% graduation rate for its undergraduate degree-seeking programs. UF is consistently ranked as one of the best public universities and ranks high on “Best of” lists including US News and World Reports rankings:

UF is a GI Bill approved school, participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, and is approved for Tuition Assistance.

Best Online Master’s Degree Programs

Pennsylvania State University World Campus

Pennsylvania State University World Campus offers over 120 Master’s degrees and graduate certificates. Penn State World consistently ranks high in national “Best of” lists including US News and World Reports rankings:

Penn State World Campus is a GI Bill-approved school, participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, and is approved for Tuition Assistance.

Same Excellent Programs Online and On Campus

Arizona State University

One of the best campus-based schools is also one of the Best Online Schools for Active Duty Military. ASU has a 60% graduation rate, offers over 80 online bachelor’s degree programs and nearly as many master’s programs. ASU offers the same excellent curriculum and instruction on campus and online. Arizona State University consistently receives top national accolades including:

ASU is a GI Bill-approved school, participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, and is approved for Tuition Assistance.