How to Prepare for College After the Military

After serving in the military, it can be difficult to apply to college.

It’s not just a matter of thinking about what classes you want to take or what degree you want to pursue. There are many other factors such as accessing financial aid and maintaining your mental health that must be taken into account.

We’ve put together a college advice guide to help ex-service personnel prepare for college. Read more to learn all about the opportunities and support that’s available.

Understanding Financial Aid Options For Ex-Servicemen and Women

There are a lot of different sources of financial aid for ex-military personnel who want to go to college. Perhaps the most well-known is the GI Bill, which provides financial assistance for those who have served in the military.

It’s a government program that provides financial assistance. It supports military veterans who want to pursue higher education. The amount of money you can receive from the GI Bill depends on your length of service, educational level, and type of school you attend. You can apply for the GI Bill online at Veterans Affairs website.

The GI Bill Application Process

Wondering how long it takes to apply for and receive the GI Bill?

The application process for the GI Bill can be lengthy, so it’s important to start early. The first step is to apply for education benefits through the Veterans Affairs website. You’ll need to provide your personal information as well as information about your military service. After you submit your application, you’ll need to wait until you receive an eligibility letter from the VA.

Once you have your eligibility letter, you can apply for the GI Bill through the Veterans Affairs website. You’ll need to provide information about the school you’re attending and your course of study. After you submit your application, it will take approximately two weeks for the VA to process your request and send your benefits to your school.

The Benefits of Applying for the GI Bill

So, what are the benefits of the GI Bill? The GI Bill provides up to 36 months of education benefits. They can be used for undergraduate or graduate degrees, vocational training, on-the-job training, and more. It also includes a monthly housing allowance and a stipend for books and supplies.

If you’re thinking about going to graduate school, the GI Bill can be a great option. The Post-911 GI Bill provides up to $24,000 per year for graduate students.

There are also other sources of financial aid for ex-military personnel. For example, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) offers interest rate relief for those who have served in the military.

The SCRA caps interest rates for loans taken before active duty at six percent. It also offers protection from eviction, foreclosure, and repossession.

You can learn more about financial aid options for veterans at the FinAid website.

Were You Injured In The Military?

If you have a disability as a result of your service, you may be able to get help from the VA to pay for college. The VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program can provide funding. It can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and other costs.

The Department of Veterans Affairs also offers several scholarships. They are specifically for veterans. These include the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship. It provides full-tuition and fees at any public university or college for children of servicemen and women who died in the line of duty. 

There is also the Veterans’ Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. VOW offers tax credits to businesses that hire veterans.

Private Scholarships For Veterans

There are also some private scholarships available for veterans. Some examples include the Pat Tillman Foundation. It provides scholarships to military veterans and their spouses. Then, there’s the American Legion Legacy Scholarship. It awards scholarships to the children of deceased or disabled veterans.

Still in the military and unsure whether you want to leave in order to study? Well, you could apply for Tuition Assistance. 

Are you are still in the military or have recently left? If so, you may be able to get assistance paying for college tuition through your branch of the military directly. Each branch has its own rules and regulations for Tuition Assistance. So, be sure to check with your specific service.

In some cases scholarships veterans and seniors may be interested in are also available. 

Academic Support for Veterans in College

Once you’ve decided on a school and started the application process, it’s important to make sure you are academically prepared. That’s why The Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) offers an academic boot camp for veterans. The WSP is a non-profit organization that provides free, week-long residential programs. They help veterans prepare for college.

The program offers activities such as workshops on how to write college essays and apply for scholarships. You can also spend time with current college students who can share their experiences and advice. There are also sessions with admissions officers from some of the top universities in the country.

The National Association of Veterans Upward Bound (NAVUB) is another great resource. It’s for any veterans who want to pursue a college education. 

NAVUB is a non-profit organization. It provides free academic support services to help veterans and their families prepare for and succeed in higher education.

Services include test preparation, tutoring, assistance with your college application, and financial aid. They also host campus visits and more.

Mental Health Support for Veterans in College

Leaving the military can be a difficult transition, both mentally and emotionally. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have access to mental health support while you’re attending college.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers many programs and services to help veterans. They focus on tackling mental health issues and promoting psychological wellness.

Their initiatives include the Vet Centers program. It provides counseling and other social services to veterans and their families. They also offer the Mental Health Treatment Services Locator, which helps veterans find mental health care in their area.

There are a number of student veteran organizations based on college campuses across the country. For example, Student Veterans of America (SVA) and the Veteran Student Association (VSA).

These organizations provide support, social activities, and networking opportunities for veterans attending college.

If you’re a veteran who is thinking about going to college, be sure to check out all of the resources available to you. There are many programs and services available to help you make the transition to college life. And, don’t forget to reach out for help if you need it, there are plenty of people who want to see you succeed!

Other Support for Veterans in College

In addition to the programs and services offered by the VA, there are several other organizations that provide transition tips!

One example is Scholarship America. They operate several programs specifically for military veterans and their families. These include the Dream Award Scholarship, which provides scholarships to high school seniors.

Have you heard of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)? 

They provide resources such as a peer-to-peer counseling program, a hotline for crisis support, and local chapters nationwide.

They also have connections with the Give an Hour organization. It provides free mental health services to military personnel and their families.

Once you’re at college, help will also be available directly from student support services.

Studying Overseas For Ex-Army Students After Military Service

Wondering if your GI Bill will enable you to study overseas? The answer is yes! The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers some programs and services to help veterans pursue higher education. That includes the ability to study overseas!

The VA’s Go Overseas website provides information on how to use your GI Bill benefits to study in countries around the world. Information on the website explains tuition reimbursement, housing assistance, and more.

What Are The Most Popular Areas of Study For Ex-Military Students?

Wondering what other ex-army personnel most like to study at college?

Well, here’s a rundown of the most popular subjects among veteran students…

Business Administration

A career in business administration is good for an ex-military individual because it allows you to use the skills developed while in service. Many veterans have experience leading teams, organizing and planning logistics, and handling budgets.

All of these skills can be put to good use in a business administration career.

Computer Science

Veterans are well-suited for careers in computer science because they often have strong technical skills, experience with teamwork, and a willingness to learn new things.

Computer science offers many opportunities for veterans, including jobs in software development, network administration, and information security.


Veterans often make great nurses because they are compassionate individuals who have experience working under difficult conditions. They also have the discipline needed to complete a rigorous nursing program.

Many veterans choose to go into medicine because they want to help other people and make a difference in their lives.

Nursing is just one of many medical careers that are perfect for veterans. There are also opportunities in fields such as radiology, physical therapy, and emergency care. So if you’re looking for a career that will put your military skills to good use, consider studying nursing or one of the many other medical fields.

Criminal Justice

Perhaps a criminal justice career appeals to ex-servicemen and women because of the opportunity to serve their country once again. In this field, veterans can use their leadership and problem-solving skills to work in a variety of positions such as law enforcement, corrections, or security.

There are many opportunities for veterans in criminal justice, and they can find jobs in local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies.


Engineering is a popular subject for veterans to study at college after working in the army. Perhaps that’s because it allows them to use the skills they’ve developed while in service.

Engineers can work in a variety of fields such as aerospace, civil, chemical, and electrical engineering.

There are many jobs available for engineers, and they often have high salaries and good benefits. So if you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career after the military, consider studying engineering.


History is another popular study choice for ex-military personnel. Why?

Veterans often choose to study history because they want to learn more about the world and how it has been shaped by war. They also have experience with critical thinking and analysis, which are important skills for historians.

History offers many opportunities for veterans, including jobs in museums, archives, and research institutions.


Psychology is another area of study that is very popular with members of the ex-military who choose to go to college following their period of armed service. Perhaps this is because veterans often have experience with trauma and stress, which are two of the main focuses of psychology.

Veterans can use their skills and experiences in psychology to work in a variety of positions. Ex-military personnel can work as therapists, counselors, or researchers.

There are many opportunities for veterans in psychology. They can find jobs in hospitals, clinics, or research institutions.

So, if you’re looking for a college major that will use your military skills and experiences, consider studying psychology. These are just a few of the many options available to veterans who choose to go to college after the military. The important thing is to find a program that suits your interests and allows you to continue using the skills you’ve developed in the armed forces.

We Hope This Blog Helps You To Prepare For College 

Are you an ex-serviceman or woman and trying to prepare for college? College can be a great place for veterans to thrive and get ready for a fulfilling and rewarding civilian career.

College is the beginning of the rest of your life and an opportunity to start over in a new and exciting way. We hope you take advantage of all that college has to offer, academically, socially, and emotionally.

If you enjoyed this blog please keep reading and exploring our other articles.

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