Should I Take Courses Offered Through the AKO or Enroll in Online College While on Active Duty?

soldier_at_computerArmy Knowledge Online is a program started by the United States Army that allows its active duty personnel to take affordable courses. With this option available, many wonder whether they should take classes through AKO or enroll in online colleges outside of the military. The decision must be based upon finances, future goals, and how much time you have to dedicate to the process. Taking classes through AKO can create some problems, and people with the time, money and ability to do so should think about enrolling in an online college instead.

Transferring Credits with AKO

One of the primary problems associated with AKO is that it can be difficult to transfer those credits to a college. If your plan is to take AKO classes during active duty in hopes of moving on to a university after your service is up, then you need to make sure that any classes will transfer to those universities. The smart move is to contact each university to ensure that the AKO classes will work for them. This can be a tremendous hassle, though, and it can take too much time for people who are busy with a military schedule. In some cases, it might be better to just enroll in an online college.

Transferring Credits with Military-Friendly Online Colleges

Online schools are much more likely to offer classes that will easily transfer when you’re looking to move on from the military. If you enroll in an associate’s degree program at one of these schools, then you won’t have to go through the hassle of ensuring that your future destination will accept the credits. The reason this is important should be obvious to any person who has gone through the process. When you are taking those preliminary classes, you may not know which college you’re going to choose in the future. It helps if you have some assurance that all of your hard work will not be thrown away.

The Convenience Factor of AKO

There are plenty of positives associated with taking classes through AKO. One of the most important reasons comes down to convenience. Because the program is run through the Army, you can be sure that the classes take into account the requirements of your service. Many online colleges are currently billing themselves as being military-friendly. Though this might be true, there is no friendlier system than the one that is actually put on by the Army.

Paying for Classes Outside of AKO

Some active duty soldiers might wonder about the cost factor. The good news for these people is that they will have some assistance in paying for online college outside of the AKO system. As a recent Huffington Post article suggests, military tuition assistance is still alive and well, at least for now. Many active duty soldiers pay for their online schooling with a check cut by the government. This is a huge factor that makes online schools a better option than AKO.

Should you take courses through the AKO or should you enroll in an online college? If you want to be sure that your classes will transfer, then online colleges are the best option. If you can find one that is willing to accommodate your busy schedule, this can be a much better choice.