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Active Duty Education

By Ruthie Longley

As an active duty member, you have an exciting job and a career you love, so why think about furthering your education with a college degree? For starters, earning a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree can help you advance within the military as well as the work world by adding valuable points to your promotion packet. Secondly, it demonstrates to your chain of command that you have a drive to succeed.

Thanks to accredited online degree programs and universities, service members can complete their degrees in courses designed specifically to deal with the unique lifestyle and background of military personnel. The following six educational program benefits will point you in the right direction.

6 Programs to Assist Service Members

The Department of Defense wants you to go as far in your education as possible. There is a long list of benefits and programs (both through military and civilian) available to help.

  1. Tuition Assistance for Active Duty – Each service has guidelines and eligibility procedures, but the Department of Defense will actually fund your tuition costs and some fees while you are serving your country (up to a certain limit).
  2. Tuition Top Up Program – This program allows service members to use the Montgomery GI Bill to cover the costs and fees of educational programs that regular tuition assistance does not meet.
  3. DANTES – The Department of Defense and American Council on Education (ACE) collaborated to form DANTES, a system to translate military experience into civilian credits. DANTES keeps a running transcript of military training and civilian translations, CLEP test scores, college entrance exams and other educational highlights.
  4. Base Education Offices – Military bases for each service have specific offices with trained counselors to educate active duty service members about their military benefits, educational options and available vocational programs.
  5. Portable Degree Programs – Recognizing the need for degree programs that work with the military lifestyle, online colleges and universities developed accredited degree programs that can be completed online. This allows service members to complete a degree at one college, despite PCSs, deployments and unpredictable schedules.
  6. Testing Out Options – Online degree programs in particular are eager to help military students identify areas where valuable time can be saved by applying test scores toward college credits. CLEP test options are not only funded by the DANTES program, but kept on your DANTES transcript so all education information is in one convenient place.

There is a wealth of information out there for active duty military members to reach educational goals and utilize their benefits. Earning a degree through an online college or university has never been easier or more convenient, and deployment does not have to interfere with this process, causing you to lose valuable time and credit hours.

Now you can have your degree funded through military programs and have continuity no matter how many times your schedule and duty station change.

The Military Family Series:

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