We’ve come to see a pattern that some military affiliated students enroll in a 2 year associate’s degree program after getting out of the military. It has gotten us to think, why? Why limit yourself to a two-year program when (depending upon your service) you have the opportunity to enroll in a 4 year bachelor’s program paid for with your GI Bill benefits?

“The only person standing in your way is you.”


So we got to talking to different college-bound veterans to find out their reasoning. The most common reasons were,

  1. Based on how I performed in high school, I wasn’t convinced I could succeed at a 4-year bachelor’s program.
  2. I’m only looking for a skilled trade for my career pursuits (welding, masonry, plumbing, etc.)
  3. I want to get my feet wet again in the education space before starting at a 4 year program.
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(Courtesy: DVIDS)

Why You Shouldn’t Discredit a Bachelor’s Degree

While we aren’t here to discredit those concerns and reasons, we wanted to address them. At the end of the day, a bachelor’s degree is going to set you up for success in the civilian world, and if you have the opportunity to enroll in a 4-year program at no added cost, why not? We’ve address each of the aforementioned concerns below:


  1. We are all basically still children in high school. (Don’t let your high school experiences dictate your future.) Military service forces individuals to grow up. After years of service you have learned, grown, and matured. You are uniquely positioned to use the skills you’ve acquired through service and apply them to a degree program. Also, you can explore how to turn your military experience into college credit through the Joint Services Transcript, CLEP Exam, or DSST Exam. (Don’t let your past dictate your future.)
  2. While the world can’t function without welders, plumbers, and masonries, the world also can’t keep spinning without highly educated individuals. Don’t limit yourself by only seeking out a trade-school. You never know the doors & opportunities that a university campus and bachelor’s degree can open for you.
  3. We totally understand! Going from military service straight into an academic setting is one of the toughest transitions. Thankfully there are different ‘academic bootcamp’ programs to get you back in ‘academic shape’! Learn about them here… 
associate's degree bachelor's degree GI Bill student veterans military friendly collegerecon college recon

(Courtesy: DVIDS)

Where To Search For Bachelor’s Programs

So where should you start your 4-year bachelor’s search? Here. This tool will let you select from loads of different search criteria to give you results that only match what you are looking for. But, the best part is that every college and university that appears in your search is not-for-profit! (Don’t worry about being preyed on by for-profit schools who only see you as a number and your federal benefits as a major ‘cha-ching!’ in their bank account.)


At the end of the day you have to do what is best for you and your post-military lifestyle. However, maybe you should consider a bachelor’s program one last time before completely tossing it out.

(Featured Image Courtesy: DVIDS)