Best Military-Friendly Online Colleges (2024)

Overview of Military-Friendly Online Colleges

Many online colleges and universities welcome military students. According to a 2020 demographic report, over 190,000 active-duty officers had a bachelor's degree or higher. The flexibility of online learning is particularly well suited for active duty military personnel who frequently change locations due to deployment or changes in work assignments.

Can You Be in the Military While Going to College?

You can be in the military while attending college, but only about 6% of undergraduate and graduate students are active-duty service members. However, approximately 10% of all college students are veterans.

Individuals who want to serve their country and go to college simultaneously have two options:

  • Become a full-time student who serves as a paid reservist or a National Guard member on select weekends and other limited periods of time.
  • Enlist in a branch of the military and enroll in a college near your base or an online degree program, using tuition assistance to pay for school.

However, you do not have to do both concurrently. You have two other options for serving in the armed forces and receiving college funding as one of your military benefits:

  • Enlist in any branch of the military and serve a full term, and then use your veterans' benefits to pay for college afterward.
  • Apply for a Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship and, if accepted, enter into an agreement with a branch of the military that will pay for your college education first in exchange for your commitment to serve a three- to six-year term after you graduate.

Gaining Credits for Military Experience

In many cases, the training and education you have received as a military service member can be converted into college credits. This can save you both time and money by giving you a head start on fulfilling some of the requirements for earning your online degree.

There are several ways schools go about evaluating your previous life experiences to see if you might qualify for any credits:

  • Conducting a prior learning assessment (PLA) to determine how many credits your experience is worth. The PLA process varies from school to school, but it usually begins when you request a transcript of your military experience. A college faculty member and/or a representative of the American Council on Education will then review your transcript and assess the learning outcomes related to your service and training.
  • Asking you to take one of several standardized examinations.
  • Inviting you to present a portfolio of work for review, facilitated by a faculty member or trained evaluator.

The school will then inform you as to which, if any, required courses are considered complete and how many college credits you can receive for your military experience.

Financial Assistance for Online Military Students

One of the most important benefits available to military service members is financial assistance for college. There are two primary types of military benefits:


Tuition assistance provided by the various military branches for active duty service members.


GI Bill benefits provided by the Veterans' Administration for active duty military personnel and veterans.

Below, we provide an overview of these programs and answer some common questions about military benefits, especially when used for online college.

What Online Colleges and Degrees Will the Military Pay For?

Under the GI Bills and other programs, active duty and veteran service members can receive financial assistance for getting an education, whether through traditional means or through online schools. However, not all schools accept veterans' benefits, so prospective military students will want to focus on military-friendly colleges that do.

The Veterans' Administration provides a search tool that will tell you which schools accept veterans' benefits.

These benefit programs allow current and former military service members to pursue accredited associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in all subjects — as well as certificates and vocational training — on a full- or part-time basis. Funding may also be used for continuing education courses needed to maintain professional certification or licensure.

Not only does the government offer assistance with tuition costs, it may also provide funding for school supplies and other expenses, including fees for college entrance exams, such as the SAT, ACT, GMAT, or LSAT, and certification exams. Many service members are eligible for housing stipends — known as the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) — as well, although these stipends are reduced by half if the student is pursuing an online degree.

It's important to note, however, that there are caps on how much money the government will provide. For example, the current maximum amount of annual tuition at a private school that is reimbursable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill is over $26,000. This will not be enough to cover the annual tuition costs at many of the more prestigious private universities, such as Ivy League schools. If students wish to attend schools like Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia, they may need to apply for additional federal financial aid and other sources of college funding.

GI Bill

Enacted during World War II and administered by the Veterans' Administration, the original Montgomery GI Bill was established to encourage veterans to go to college or pursue formal job training. The terms have been revised and updated over time, and an additional program, known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, was signed into law in 2008. Today, some veterans are eligible for benefits under just one of these bills, while others are eligible under either one. Active duty military personnel, reservists, and National Guard members may also be eligible for GI Bill funding. Benefits typically cover tuition, books, housing, and other expenses.

Your eligibility for benefits under either GI Bill, as well as the amount of benefits, depend on when and how long you served. In general, if you have served on active duty for at least 90 days since September 10, 2001, and you received an honorable discharge, you are eligible for benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Veterans who have served for more than three years, received a Purple Heart, or served for less time but were discharged due to a service-related disability are all entitled to 100% of the available benefits. Veterans should contact the VA directly to determine their exact benefits before applying to online military-friendly universities or trade schools.

If you are eligible for GI Bill benefits, you'll find you have many options for pursuing an education at a military-friendly college. You can study full-time or part-time at online schools or on traditional college campuses, and you can enroll in an associate, bachelor's, master's, or certificate program in any subject you choose.

If you are eligible for either the Montgomery or Post-9/11 benefits, you may want to consult with a VA advisor. Both programs are complex, yet distinctly different, and you may want to get input from an informed advisor before determining which one best fits your plans and goals. You can only use one at a time, and you cannot switch once you've made your choice.

Tuition Assistance

Active duty, National Guard, and Reserve service members are also eligible for the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance (TA) program. As with the GI Bill programs, service members must meet certain requirements to be eligible for TA.

Here's what you need to know about the TA program:

  • Benefits can be used at accredited online and bricks-and-mortar schools for courses leading to academic or technical degrees or certificates.
  • The program covers up to 100% of tuition expenses and course fees at schools charging a maximum of $250 per credit hour.
  • TA can only be used while you are still on active duty, although you can use it in conjunction with any GI Bill benefits you may be eligible for.

Additional Funding Through Yellow Ribbon Schools

Due to the limits on how much funding is available, some military students may find they face a gap between their military benefits and the total cost of attending their school and program of choice. To address this issue, many military-friendly colleges participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Yellow Ribbon schools provide additional benefits to military students that may include tuition discounts and scholarships in varying amounts, depending on the school. Military students may also be eligible for federal financial aid, such as Pell grants, state-sponsored scholarships, and school-funded grants and scholarships.

Online College for Military Families

The spouses and dependent children of active duty military members and veterans are entitled to a number of benefits that can make earning an online college degree more affordable. In some cases, military family members who demonstrate significant need may be able to attend online college for free or at minimal cost.

All five major branches of the U.S. military provide education-related financial assistance to spouses, and in some instances to dependent children as well. For example, the Army provides the Mrs. Patty Shinseki Spouse Scholarship Program for spouses of active Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard service members. Families of Navy and Marine Corps service members may be eligible for Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Education Assistance. Additionally, service members who are eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits may be able to transfer some or all of their education benefits to a spouse or dependent.

Military family members should check with the appropriate military branch to determine the eligibility requirements for the various types of assistance available. Explore our site for more tips on how to save money in college or student loan advice.

Financial assistance is also available from private organizations, states, and colleges. For example, private scholarships include the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship, which provides up to $4,000 for spouses pursuing associate degrees, continuing education programs, or licenses and certifications. Additionally, the National Military Family Association offers a range of scholarships for college students at all levels.

Here are some additional funding sources for military family members:

  • Most U.S. states offer scholarships and grants for military and National Guard family members, especially for families of service members who were injured or killed in action.
  • Many military-friendly schools, especially those designated as Yellow Ribbon schools, offer financial assistance to eligible spouses and dependents.

Eligibility requirements for these programs vary, so prospective online college students should check with their schools and their state's Department of Veterans Affairs office to discover all possible options.

Best Military-Friendly Online Colleges (2024)


What colleges take the most military credits? ›

What Schools Accept Military Credits for Undergraduate Programs?
  • Penn State World Campus - University Park, Pennsylvania.
  • Regent University - Virginia Beach, Virginia.
  • City University of New York - Brooklyn, New York.
  • Northwestern Health Science University - Bloomington, Minnesota.

Is University of Texas Military Friendly? ›

The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) is designated as a Purple Heart University. The school participates in the VetSuccess on Campus and the Veterans Upward Bound programs.

Is Liberty University a good school? ›

Liberty University is ranked #331-440 out of 443 National Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

What is the easiest military college to get into? ›

The maximum you can score on these tests is 99, but there are distinct minimum score thresholds for each military branch. The Army requires at least 31, the Navy 35, the Marine Corps 35, and the Air Force 31. Hence, by this token, the easiest branch of the military to get into is the Army or Air Force.

What degree is best for military? ›

Find out which degree is right for you
  1. Strategic Intelligence. ...
  2. Criminal Justice. ...
  3. Management Information Systems (MIS) ...
  4. Political Science. ...
  5. Healthcare - Nursing, Biology, Radiology. ...
  6. Philosophy. ...
  7. Psychology. ...
  8. Theology (military chaplains)

Does the military pay for 100% of college? › highlights, “Not only does the military pay up to 100 percent of college tuition while you serve on active duty,” but it “also offers the GI Bill (about $36,000) to use for college up to 10 years after leaving the service.” The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing, up to ...

Will the military pay for online college? ›

You can use the GI Bill for independent and distance learning online. If you're using your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits while taking only distance-learning courses, we'll pay a housing allowance based on 50% of the national average.

How many college credits is my military training worth? ›

Military experience alone could be worth up to 20 college credits! Most colleges grant 4 semester hours in physical fitness for recruit training. In addition, colleges usually give credit for other service schools attended, as long as those courses are longer than two weeks and are not of a classified nature.

What college in Texas has the lowest GPA requirement? ›

Wiley College tops the list with an average reported GPA of 2.53. Note that not all colleges report GPA for their incoming class. Those with asterisk(*) denote a predicted GPA by the CollegeSimply AI algorithm. GPA Data is reported by participating colleges to Wintergreen Orchard House and is reproduced under license.

Which is better UT or A&M? ›

Key Insights: While both schools offer above-average Salary Scores overall, UT Austin leads by ten points with its score of 83, compared to Texas A&M's score of 73.

Can civilians go to War College? ›

U.S. Civilian Students

U.S. government civilian students attending NWC will be professionals in their parent organizations and comparable in rank and potential to their military student counterparts. In addition, they should possess a graduate degree and demonstrate potential to serve at the senior executive level.

Is Capella University any good? ›

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Regional accreditation is considered better than national accreditation, mostly because the education tends to be of higher quality.

What happens if you fail a class at Liberty University? ›

Students who are enrolled full-time (nine or more hours for Master's-level students and six or more hours for post-Master's and Doctoral students) and fail all courses will be Academically Suspended.

Can I get a job with a liberty degree? ›

In general, most employers accept degrees from Liberty University. This is especially true for those who are aware of the fact that it's a regionally accredited institution.

What GPA to get into military? ›

The minimum high school GPA allowed is 2.5. You must score no lower than a 920 on your SAT and at least 19 on your ACT.

What's the hardest military to get into? ›

The hardest military branch to get into in terms of education requirements is the Air Force. The military branch with the toughest basic training is the Marine Corps. The hardest military branch for non-males because of exclusivity and male dominance is the Marine Corps.

Can a drill sergeant hit you? ›

The military's drill sergeants and instructors are prohibited from hitting their recruits.

What is the best career in the military? ›

What are some of the highest paid military jobs?
  1. Military police. National average salary: $41,245 per year. ...
  2. Pilot. National average salary: $43,482 per year. ...
  3. Drone pilot. National average salary: $44,858 per year. ...
  4. Combat engineer. National average salary: $46,201 per year. ...
  5. Interpreter. ...
  6. Translator. ...
  7. Army officer. ...
  8. Captain.
8 Mar 2021

What degrees is the Army looking for? ›

What Degrees Do the Military Look for? 2022 Updated
  • Degree in Law.
  • Degree in Psychology.
  • Degree in Intelligence.
  • Degree in Business.
  • Degree in Medicine/ Degree in Pharmacy.
  • Degree in Nursing.
  • Other Degrees in the Medical Field.
  • Degree in Foreign Language(s)
3 Oct 2022

Is fafsa free for military? ›

"Believe it or not, the most important aspect of the financial aid process for members of the military and student veterans is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Do I get free college if my dad was in the military? ›

Under the War Orphan program, children of military members who died or were MIA during their military service can qualify for a $500 benefit for each of up to four years of college. Additionally, surviving dependents of Air National Guard soldiers and airmen may also qualify for free tuition at state schools.

How long is college free for military? ›

Those who have served at least 36 months or 30 continuous days prior to discharge for a service-connected disability can get maximum tuition and fees, a monthly housing stipend, and an annual stipend for books and supplies.

How do military get free college? ›

Some college students get their entire tuition tab picked up through ROTC and have an opportunity to serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps after they graduate. With the tuition assistance program, most of your tuition and fees are covered. Military on-the-job experience may translate into college credit.

How can I go to college for free in the Army? ›

Gi Bill. The GI Bill helps current and former Soldiers pay for college, trade school, technical school, licensing, certification programs, on-the-job training, online schooling, and more. Many Soldiers using the GI Bill receive full tuition for their service.

Which military branch has the best benefits? ›

The Marines, Coast Guard, and Space Force are the branches of the military that have the best benefits. They also are the branches of the military that have the best pay. Nearly all branches of the military pay new recruits relatively the same pay ranges and benefits plans.

How much money do you get for completing bootcamp? ›

In This Article:

Marine Corps recruits earn pay as an E-1 with less than 4 months of service during Recruit Training. Many will graduate boot camp as an E-2, but while training as a recruit, everyone is paid the same. In 2022, Marine Corps Boot Camp pay is $1,833.30 per month, or an annual salary of $21,999.60.

How many college credits is an E-2 in the Army? ›

If you have at least 24 college credit hours, you can enlist with the rank of E-2, and with at least 48 credit hours as an E-3. If you have 1 year of Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) you can enlist with the rank of E-2, and with 3 years or more as an E-3.

How do I convert military training to college credits? ›

As an active-duty service member, Veteran, or member of the Reserves, you'll need to request your transcript from your branch of service and share it with schools. Each school then decides how many credits they'll accept.

Is a GPA of 1.0 good? ›

Is a 1.0 GPA Good? Considering the US national average GPA is a 3.0, a 1.0 is far below average. Generally, a 1.0 is considered a dismal GPA. Raising a 1.0 GPA to an acceptable number is extremely difficult, but possible with diligence and determination.

What colleges will accept a 1.5 GPA? ›

Sadly, a 1.5GPA entails that there are no colleges that you can use as safety schools, so you will be taking a risk no matter where you apply. The only way to increase your chances is by raising your GPA.

What college accepts a 2.0 GPA? ›

What colleges can I get into with a 2.0 GPA? With a 2.0 GPA, you can get into Voorhees College, Metropolitan College of New York, and Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico-Miami. You may also want to consider attending a 2-year institution to raise your GPA before applying to a 4-year institutions.

What is the number 1 ranked college in Texas? ›

Here are the best colleges in Texas
  • Rice University.
  • University of Texas at Austin.
  • Texas A&M University.
  • Southern Methodist University.
  • Baylor University.
  • Texas Christian University.
  • The University of Texas at Dallas.
  • University of Houston.

Can you get into UT Austin with a 3.5 GPA? ›

UT-Austin External Transfer Admissions Recommendations

UT reads and scores all transfer applications. Generally speaking, competitive applicants have at least a 3.5 GPA for all college courses.

Who is Texas AM biggest rival? ›

The Texas–Texas A&M football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Texas Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies.

Can college kids get drafted for war? ›

Under the current draft law, a college student can have his induction postponed only until the end of the current semester. A senior can be postponed until the end of the full academic year.

How do I join Army War College? ›

Matriculation pass or equivalent from recognized Board with proficiency in Barber‟s trade job. Matriculation from a recognized Board or Institution. Matriculation pass from a recognized Board or Institution. Matriculation (10th class Board Examination) from a recognized Board or Institution.

How hard is it to get into war college? ›

The Odds Are Against You. It's really hard to get into a military service academy. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 41,989 people applied to the five military academies for the Class of 2023. However, there are only about 4,100 slots available each year.

Which is better Capella or Strayer? ›

Strayer's degrees are largely concentrated in business and IT, while Capella has a broader portfolio including education, health care, and criminal justice. Strayer has a number of physical campuses for classroom or blended learning, while Capella is focused on fully online.

Is Strayer University legit? ›

Strayer University is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Strayer University's accreditation status is Accreditation Reaffirmed.

Is Capella a degree mill? ›

One thing is true: Capella University is not a diploma mill. Such is due to the fact that it is accredited. However, its accreditation is not just any accreditation. It is regionally accredited, which is more widely recognized and prestigious than national accreditation.

Is it better to fail or drop out? ›

Croskey notes that dropping a class is better than withdrawing, but withdrawing is better than failing. “A failing grade will lower the student's GPA, which may prevent a student from participating in a particular major that has a GPA requirement,” Croskey says.

How much will my GPA drop if I fail a class? ›

Depending on your college's GPA scale, that can mean anything below a 1.0 or 0.7 GPA counts as a failed class. If you fail a class, you'll get a 0 on your transcript — and that can bring down your GPA. Failed classes count toward your GPA, though some colleges do not count pass/fail classes in your GPA calculation.

Is it normal to fail in college? ›

Failing a class in college happens to even the best of students, and it's unrealistic to expect that you'll be able to do everything perfectly in college. You messed up. You failed a class. But in most cases, you probably didn't ruin your life or put yourself in some kind of disastrous situation.

Is Liberty Online respected? ›

A degree earned from Liberty University is respected by graduate schools and employers. It's a selective school (51% acceptance rate) with conservative Christian proclivity. Liberty University also has regional accreditation, which is widely regarded as more prestigious than national accreditation.

Is an online degree from Liberty University respected? ›

Liberty's accreditation, as we mentioned above, is the same as other brick-and-mortar institutions, meaning that a degree from Liberty will largely be seen as legit in most fields. Not all online universities carry this accreditation.

Is Liberty University fully accredited? ›

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor's, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees.

› blog › online-college › lib... ›

If Liberty University is a school that you're considering for your online education, you're probably wondering if it's a good use of your tuition do...

Liberty University Reviews › colleges › liberty-university › colleges › liberty-university
"I recently graduated with my doctorate in education in curriculum and instruction. First, I am a female minority and not religious. Although this institut...
As one who has earned an advanced degree from a respected public institution- and who would never personally consider Liberty as an educational choice- I do hav...

Can you do online college while in the military? ›

Online. Finally, as a military service member, you have the option of earning your degree online while you're on active duty. This is the most flexible option, as online courses are typically asynchronous, meaning that you can log in to your class at any time to complete your coursework.

Can you do online college in the military? ›

Online colleges provide a variety of enrollment options for military students. Learners can enroll full-time or part-time, depending on their schedule. Many online schools also offer accelerated programs. These programs help degree-seekers graduate in less time.

Does the military pay for online college? ›

You can use the GI Bill for independent and distance learning online. If you're using your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits while taking only distance-learning courses, we'll pay a housing allowance based on 50% of the national average.

Can you do online school in the military? ›

Online learning is a strategic career move for any member of military service, no matter what degree they want to earn or where in the world they currently are. If you're a member of the military and want to earn a college degree, consider online education at ECPI University to suit your unique needs.

Can I be deployed if I'm in college? ›

Is it possible that you're active duty in the military as well as in college and still be deployed? Yes.

Does military get free college? › highlights, “Not only does the military pay up to 100 percent of college tuition while you serve on active duty,” but it “also offers the GI Bill (about $36,000) to use for college up to 10 years after leaving the service.” The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing, up to ...

Is it hard to get a degree while in the military? ›

Keep in mind that getting a degree while on active duty is not easy. You have many things vying for your attention with your military career and that leaves little time for your education. You may need to slow down your timeline for degree completion.

Is Snhu military Friendly? ›

Manchester, N.H. (March 7, 2022) In recognition of its commitment to support military-affiliated learners, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has been named a top 10 Military Friendly® School for 2022.

Does the military accept homeschool diplomas? ›

yes, homeschoolers are accepted into any branch of the military! In 2012 and 2014, Congress amended the National Defense Authorization Act, which makes it clear homeschoolers may enlist in the military just like any graduate from a public or private school.

How long is Air War college Distance Learning? ›

Trip durations range from 3 to 13 days.

Which branch in the military pays the most? ›

The highest pays by branch are:
  • Army: $646.
  • Marine Corps: $750.
  • Navy: $750.
  • Air Force: $520.
  • Coast Guard: $805.
3 Oct 2022

How long is college free for military? ›

Those who have served at least 36 months or 30 continuous days prior to discharge for a service-connected disability can get maximum tuition and fees, a monthly housing stipend, and an annual stipend for books and supplies.

Do I get free college if my dad was in the military? ›

Under the War Orphan program, children of military members who died or were MIA during their military service can qualify for a $500 benefit for each of up to four years of college. Additionally, surviving dependents of Air National Guard soldiers and airmen may also qualify for free tuition at state schools.

Can you go to military school with ADHD? ›

If your son has either ADHD or ADD, and you're looking for an alternative to conventional academic options, the distraction-free setting of a military school may help improve his mental focus.

Is military school a real thing? ›

The Military offers unique educational opportunities for students who plan to pursue a college degree. These options — service academies, senior military colleges and maritime academies — offer world-class education and a deeper understanding of military culture.

How can I join the military without high school? ›

The Army National Guard will pay you to get your GED when you enlist. If you don't have either a high school diploma or alternate education credentials (GED, National Guard Youth Challenge, Correspondence Diploma, etc) we can help. You can enlist under the "Army National Guard GED Plus Program".

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Patricia Veum II

Last Updated:

Views: 6137

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Patricia Veum II

Birthday: 1994-12-16

Address: 2064 Little Summit, Goldieton, MS 97651-0862

Phone: +6873952696715

Job: Principal Officer

Hobby: Rafting, Cabaret, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Inline skating, Magic, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Patricia Veum II, I am a vast, combative, smiling, famous, inexpensive, zealous, sparkling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.