What are Some Tips for Veterans Transitioning to College Life?

As a veteran, have you ever wished you had some tips to help transition from the service to college life? If you are a veteran, you’ve probably thought about this, especially as you gear up to go back to school. With the tips below, you are well on your way to making school the next step to a successful civilian life.

Resource: Top 15 Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill 2015

You have Benefits Beyond the GI Bill

If you’re a veteran who needs help transitioning to school, research other educational benefits that might be at your disposal. Along with the GI Bill, the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program was designed to help disabled military members make their university dreams a reality. The program can help members get personalized guidance for their career paths and how university might fit into that. Be aware, though, that not all members will qualify and that portions of the program can be used alongside the GI Bill while other parts are used as a substitution for the bill.

Military Scholarships are Available

If you’re wondering how you’re going to pay for your education, look into scholarships that are offered to servicemembers. These can vary by state, but finding one that you qualify for can lower the cost of tuition, books, or even housing. Many military scholarships are offered for disabled members as well, so make sure to look into the requirements for all the scholarships you find to ensure that you have the best chance of getting awarded one.

Try Non-Traditional Programs for Flexibility

Online learning can be an isolating experience but it doesn’t have to be. You can try online courses or blended programs, both of which can keep you connected to classmates and professors. Online courses give you the benefit of working from home while you transition to civilian life; blended courses allow you to go to a traditional campus a few times a week while taking online classes, easing the transformation to civilian life by allowing you to balance face-to-face encounters with online work. Other non-traditional programs, such as programs delivered by the American Council on Education, provide programs that assess your education and help you find a school that might take your military experience as credit.

Traditional Campus can Help the Civilian Transition

If you’re not excited about online education, try heading back to school as a traditional student: take classes on campus. This is a great way for you to get accustomed to civilian life because you will be faced with classmates, professors, and campus life. If you are looking to immerse yourself in civilian life, also give living on campus a try. Choosing to live on campus will give you a chance to also work alongside professionals in your field, making the process of finding a job easier because you’ve been interacting with civilians throughout your entire university career.

Be Patient

Patience is going to be key to transitioning to university life. Remember, as a veteran, you are probably at least a few years older than your classmates who just finished high school. But your experience doesn’t mean that younger classmates don’t have anything of value to add to a conversation. Be patient with classmates, professors, and the entire university experience; school isn’t the military, and the more you relax and try to understand the process, the better off you will do in school.

The transition back to civilian life is hard, but when you’re trying to put your life together, it can also be stressful. By answering what are some tips for veterans transitioning to college life, you are setting yourself up for success while moving forward with your life after your military service.