Employers typically will be more likely to consider hiring those with least a bachelor’s degree, particularly when filling job positions in engineering, architecture, aerospace, and other fields. Undergraduate degree holders have the academic edge over their peers without a degree, and the former is usually viewed as a better fit for most jobs because of the training and knowledge that they obtain from accredited colleges or universities.
The undergraduate hiring preference applies to all who seek high-paying careers, including veterans who have served the country. Hailed as modern heroes, today’s veterans can earn their chosen degree with a full suite of military education benefits. Upon graduation, they—just like non-military individuals—land jobs in the healthcare, law enforcement, engineering, and psychology industries.
Veterans may find it a real challenge to obtain a degree successfully while on active duty. More and more, academic institutions are making online learning possible. That’s right: the online degree programs being offered are not limited to working professionals and adult learners. They are also provided to veterans who seek higher education to develop skills in their field of expertise or pursue a career path other than military work.
- What college education programs and benefits do veterans have access to?
- How do veterans find the best online college for them?
- Do veterans get college credit for their military training?
- Does the VA pay for Online classes?
- Which states offer free tuition for veterans?
- Does the VA pay for out of state tuition?
- Do military spouses benefit from the GI bill?
- What is the Post 9/11 GI Bill?
- Are there other ways to take advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill?
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the 30 Best Online Degrees for Veterans and Military Personnel featuring the online schools that have laid out their programs for today’s modern heroes. The list of the best online colleges for veterans emphasizes how, in earning an online degree, a veteran may utilize the credits earned from military work. Transferring credits from experience will increase a veteran student’s chances of obtaining their desired degree faster, easier, and at a much cheaper rate.
This list also highlights the significance of finding accredited schools that have earned recognition by the Higher Learning Commission, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. They were also chosen based on the following:
- Participates in programs that are designed to assist veterans and active military personnel in obtaining the best online degrees for veterans through the Veteran’s Administration or GI Bill,
- Easily accepts transferable credits,
- Offers Career Placement Services upon graduation,
- Displays and maintains proper accreditation,
- Offers convenience and flexibility through 100% online distance learning, accessible 24/7,
- Provides benefits for military or veteran spouses and/or dependents through the GI Bill,
- Allows previous military experience to transfer into college credits,
- Provides Financial Assistance, if needed,
- Offers Student Help Centers, experienced faculty, and positive student reviews.
To learn more, please check out our Methodology page!
Daytona State College
At Daytona State College, veterans and active duty workers can apply for eligibility of transfer credits from the Veteran’s Administration. You may also enjoy GI Bill benefits upon admission to the online school. You can opt to have your tuition waived if you have a Purple Heart or other superior combat decoration. The programs being offered in Daytona have a 2+2 model wherein students are required to take an associate of science during the first two years and spend the remaining two years earning the baccalaureate degree. The Career Resource Center for Veterans also makes it easier for students to transition from military work to civilian life. This institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Explore the best online degrees for veterans at Daytona State College.
Fort Hays State University (FHSU)
From business to criminal justice, Fort Hays State University also caters to veterans who want to upgrade their degree or take on a different career path by opting to learn from a different field of study. Through their Virtual College platform, veterans can choose from Accounting, Business Education, Criminal Justice, General Studies, Health Studies, Marketing, Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Education, and Psychology to name a few. Military programs are available for veterans, active personnel as well as their spouses. Affordable tuition costs are available for online degrees at roughly around $218.67 per credit hour for bachelor’s degrees. Educational benefits such as Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Post 9/11 – Chapter 3 Benefits, GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill-Active duty, and Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) are some aspects students can look into with FHSU. The Virtual College degrees are acknowledged by the Higher Learning Commission and North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Get to know more about the online classes for veterans at Fort Hays State University.
Georgia Southern University
This university provides some of the best online degrees for veterans, active military personnel, and family members. Designed for convenience and flexibility, various bachelor and graduate degrees can be accomplished entirely online. Qualified participants that meet the criteria can avail of fee waivers or scholarship opportunities to help students earn their chosen degree. Veterans can select from their comprehensive list of undergraduate and graduate programs. Transfer credits from military experience may be credited towards your preferred course to lessen the time needed to accomplish your degree. Georgia Southern University is acknowledged by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
Learn about the online degree programs for veterans at Georgia Southern University.
North Carolina Central University
Students with a military background can opt for a full-online degree at North Carolina Central University. Veterans and actively working military personnel looking to earn a higher education can choose from their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Veterans who accomplished Military Basic Training may receive credit transfers for HEDU 1531 and PEDU 1541. Take full advantage of the Post 9/11 GI BILL and VA Benefits if you’re eligible. This university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
See the online programs for veterans offered at North Carolina Central University.
American Public University (APU)
Through its American Military University, veterans and active military men can pursue a course to enhance their current military training or jump towards a different profession. APU advocates the G.I. Bill Yellow Ribbon program that provides individuals with military background credit transfers (from military experience), financial assistance, and suitable degree options should you want to pursue higher education within or outside your field. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited this university.
Find out more about the best online school for military veterans at American Public University (APU).
East Carolina University (ECU)
Through the ECU Online, distant learners and working adults can earn their degree entirely online. Individuals with a military background can also opt for an undergraduate degree on top of an associate’s degree or have credits transferred from the navy, army, or air force experience. This university’s online platform offers courses under Business, Communication, Education, Industrial Technology, University Studies, and Health (Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing). Graduate degrees are also available for veterans who already earned their undergraduate degrees and want to achieve a higher education. Military personnel can take advantage of the Credit for Prior Learning (CLEP) exam to transfer credits and cut the downtime and money needed to finish earning the degree. Financial aid such as FAFSA (Federal Financial Aid) is also available for eligible enrollees.
Discover the best online master’s programs for veterans at East Carolina University.
Southeast Missouri State University
Veterans and distant learners can take advantage of the Southeast Online platform to finish a degree online. Veterans can take advantage of their Military Package including maximum credit hours granted for those in the military service, at least 24 transferable credits from the college experience, and delayed tuition and enrollment fees until the end of the term for recipients of CH 31 and CH 33 VA Education Benefit. Online degrees are available for undergraduate and graduate programs. Students can choose from these courses: Applied Technology, Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Criminal Justice, Family Studies, General Studies, Healthcare Administration, Healthcare Management, Interdisciplinary Studies, Nursing, Psychology, Social Science, and Technology Management. If you’re pursuing higher education from your previous undergraduate degree, you can choose from graduate degree courses such as Applied Behavior Analysis, Applied Computer Science, and Criminal Justice to name a few.
Find your online program options for veterans offered at Southeast Missouri State University.
Granite State College
This is a military friendly college that serves active duty personnel and veterans. From undergraduate degrees to certification, Granite State College provides veterans the opportunity to accomplish their degree using credit for your training of at least 64 credits from CCAF (Community College of the Air Force). Students with previous college credits or those taking the DANTES or College Credit by Examination (CLEP) may be eligible for enrollment. Students on active duty can also get a discount ($250/credit for undergraduate degrees and 15% on cost per credit for graduate programs). This institution is also widely acknowledged for its Post 9/11 Yellow Ribbon program.
See the online academic programs at Granite State College.
University of Wisconsin (UW)
Veterans and those actively serving the U.S Air Force can take advantage of the UW Colleges Online to get their degree. CCAF students can also use this platform to accomplish their general requirement. UW acknowledged CLEP credit only after finishing 16 college credits. Veterans can choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses such as General business Liberal Studies, Finance, and Environment Safety and Health. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited UW Colleges Online.
See about the best online master’s programs for military veterans at the University of Wisconsin.
Utah State University (UTU)
Through the UTU-Online Degrees, veterans and active duty military personnel can earn their degrees entirely online. Backed with military experience and with previous associate’s degree or college credits, eligible individuals choose from undergraduate and graduate courses to enhance or pursue a different career path. There’s a dedicated office specifically catered for veteran affairs, free tutoring to facilitate an easier transition from military service to student life, and liberal withdrawal policy. UTU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Find out about the online degrees at Utah State University for veterans.
University of Southern Mississippi (USM)
Considered as one of the ‘top military-friendly online college’ according to Guide to Online Schools, USM provides student veterans and military personnel the opportunity to take a different degree or enhance their education by earning it online. There are over 45 undergraduate, graduate, and certificates available for eligible students. USM also has a Center for Military Veterans, Service Members, and Families to help and prepare them for a viable career through the VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC). Eligible credits from military education and previous college credits are acceptable for transfer. USM is an accredited Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges institution.
Explore one of the best online schools for veterans at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Saint Leo University
Active-duty military including family members and veterans can take advantage of the online learning programs to earn their desired degree. Active-duty military personnel are often ‘on-the-go’ hence the need for flexibility provided by Saint Leo University. Students can take up the weekend or evening classes in 8-week terms for six times per year to fast-track their learning experience. Students also have up to seven years to complete their degree. Military benefits such as Post 9/11 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon Program, and Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation is available for eligible individuals. Students with previous military and college credits can apply for transfer.
Ready to find out about online degree options for veterans? Check out Saint Leo University.
Military students planning to take on a degree using an online platform can look into a list of military-friendly degrees from Webster University. Eligible students can go the VA (Veteran Affairs) administers to see if they are eligible for certain educational benefits. Military personnel and veterans planning to enroll for a graduate degree must take more than the minimum credit hour required for the program. Students who earned prior military training and programs can opt for credit transfers tested by the school. Webster University is also an accredited institution of the Higher Learning Commission.
Check out the veteran academic programs at Webster University.
The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs from this institution provides some of the best degrees for members of the armed forces. The Interdisciplinary Studies Program is a customizable degree based on your professional goals, skills, and previous military experience. Credits are convertible to degree credits if your military service is eligible for your chosen degree. Veterans of various military backgrounds can also enjoy VA (Veteran Affairs) education benefits when they enroll at Troy University. This institution is also recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Learn more about the online degree program for veterans at Troy University.
University of Idaho
Veterans planning to go back to school or earn a different degree can opt to enroll in the University of Idaho from their list of online learning programs. Veterans and military servicemen can fast-track their degrees by having their military training and experiences converted to credits. Eligible students also get to lessen their tuition cost using their VA education benefits such as the GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon Program, and Choice Act Waiver.
Check the online degree programs for veterans at the University of Idaho.
Park University’s online platform is also ideal for individuals with a military background or retired from service. Their list of degrees available in this platform can help aspiring students to take their studies wherever they are in the globe. To get into an accelerated program, you can use previous military experience such as the Joint Service Transcript which can instantly earn you 75 credit hours towards your degree. VA education benefits would depend on the evaluation of your military experience. Expect tuition fee to start at $346 per credit hour. This school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Consider your online degree options for veterans at Park University.
University of Florida (UF)
Military servicemen and veterans looking to aim a higher education to enhance their career outlook further can check UF online. Choosing from their list of fully online programs, military students based in Florida can avail of in-state tuition while out-of-state students can avail of a waiver under this category. Eligible students can avail of the federal Tuition Assistance (TA) with $250 per semester hour with a $4,000 per annum limit. Other education benefits and financial aids are available for active-duty personnel, and veterans enrolled in UF. You can use military experience and training to transfer credit to your degree hence speed up the learning duration.
Check out the University of Florida’s online degree programs for veterans.
Murray State University
Through the Murray State University’s Distance Learning program, military students and veterans can accomplish their degrees entirely online. Eligible students have the privilege to waived admission application, tuition, graduation, and online fees and the remaining costs not covered by the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance. Veterans also get a renewable fund needed to purchase textbooks through the Operation Graduation Scholarship. Military training can also be transferred as credits depending on the degree chosen.
See Murray State University‘s online programs for veterans.
University of Central Florida (UCF)
Using VA educational help, UCF Online also provides veterans and military servicemen the opportunity to pursue their desired degree whenever and wherever. Eligible students can look into the Veterans Academic Resource Center (VARC) to assist them with the financial assistance, benefits, and working schedule. Transfer credits may be available for previous college credits or military courses that they took. This school is approved by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.
Earn an online degree as a veteran at the University of Central Florida.
Colorado State University Global (CSU Global)
Individuals with a military background can earn their degree fully online through CSU-Global Campus. CSU-Global offers a streamlined admissions process for military and veteran students, as well as their families, to make applying easy. Additionally, CSU-Global covers the regular application fee for these service members. CSU-Global offers a number of military-specific services, as well as a discounted military tuition rate for active duty service members, military spouses and dependents, and veterans.
Check out CSU-Global’s, one of the best online universities for veterans, degree programs here.
Iowa State University
Military-affiliated students and veterans can partake in Iowa State University’s online programs. VA education benefits are available to financially assist students throughout their program. In-State tuition benefit is available for eligible students from the U.S. Armed Forces. It’s an advantage if you have previous military credits earned from short courses to shorten the learning period.
See the online degree options for veterans at Iowa State University.
This institution has a dedicated Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Servicemembers (CAVS) assists individuals to transition from military to civilian life, finding a program suitable with their experience, and help with veteran educational benefits. Military students can also have a seamless transition using credits earned from college or military courses taken in as transfer credits.
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 and is offered at Northeastern University.
Find out more about Northeastern University’s veteran-friendly online degree programs.
Penn State World Campus
Military students and veterans enrolled in any online degree programs at Penn State can take advantage of its benefits and financial aid. Aside from the VA benefits, other scholarships and waivers are given to eligible individuals. You can also use your previous military credits as transfer credits (subject for evaluation). Acing a CLEP Exam lets students earn credit by examination. This institution is approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Explore your online academic options as a veteran at Pennsylvania State University-World Campus, one of the best online schools for military veterans.
Dallas Baptist University (DBU)
Active service members and veterans can finish their degree through Dallas Baptist University’s online platform. Eligible individuals have the privilege of DBU Opportunity Scholarship and Yellow Ribbon program as part of their veteran benefits. Through the American Council on Education (ACE) credit, you can trade your experience as credit transfer to your desired degree and get into a fast-track program. This is a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredited institution.
Check out the veteran-friendly academic programs offered by Dallas Baptist University.
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Veterans and active duty personnel can take their degree online with this institution. Whether you are planning to take on a different career or enhance your education in your current profession, eligible students get to enjoy VA education benefits, veteran education assistance, and Minnesota State Tuition Reimbursement. While you can’t use military experience as transfer credits, your previous college credits while in the military should offer the same learning experience in this institution for it to be credited.
Find out about the online veteran programs at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Veterans and military personnel planning to pursue a degree can take advantage of Columbia College’s online platform. Veterans are given VA education assistance such as the Post 9/11 Bill, Selected Reserves, National Guard, and Veterans Vocation Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) to name a few. Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) evaluation is available for active duty members. Military transfer credits can be utilized for veterans and military personnel with training and experience depending on the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations.
See the academic options for veterans at Columbia College.
Adult learners and working individuals can earn their degree online with this school. For veterans and active military service members, Viterbo University provides ease of credit transfers depending on the American Council on Education (ACE) standards using military training, experience, and previous college credits. Students looking into organizational management and accounting degrees are also given a special discount. Credit by Examination (CLEP) and Credit for Prior Learning programs are also available for individuals with a military background looking to earn credits before enrollment. Students also have the privilege to look into other military-based opportunities such as the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and La Crosse Area Services.
Earn a degree as a veteran at Viterbo University.
University of Southern California (USC)
Through the USC Online, adult learners, veterans, military personnel, and its dependents can choose from its vast array of programs from undergraduate to doctorate. Veteran education benefits are available for eligible students. You can also apply for scholarships, low-interest loans, and Federal Work-study assistance should you need additional financial aid. Military transfer credits may only apply for training and coursework done during active duty.
Explore the adult learning option for veterans at the University of Southern California.
University of Maryland University College (UMUC)
With flexible programs and reduced tuition rate, military students and veterans can fully maximize their chosen degrees with UMUC’s online platform. Veteran benefits and financial assistance are also available for eligible students. You can have your military experience and education transferred as credits depending on evaluation to fast-track your program. This school is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Learn about distance learning for veterans at the University of Maryland University College.
Students with a military background can take advantage of the various degrees offered in Duquesne University online. Veterans and military personnel have the privilege of using VA education benefits and military service scholarship award to cut down tuition costs. However, the military service scholarship only applies in Master of Science in Leadership, Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Technology, and Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. Military training may be transferred as credits towards your preferred degree depending on evaluation.
Learn more about Duquesne University’s online programs for veterans.
What college education programs and benefits do veterans have access to?
When you enroll in a military-friendly college, you get access to government-funded programs such as GI Bill and MyCAA program. However, there are other benefits that veterans are not familiar with. Accredited American Council on Education (ACE) institutions provide credit transfers from military experience to college credits. These institutions also get to assess your previous training with a suitable degree in line with your experience. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES) External are two assessments that will help veterans get into an accelerated program if their experience meets the program requirement or help provide an alternative learning method for active-duty personnel.
Military Tuition Assistance is a service from the Department of Veterans Affairs that provides added financial support apart from the standard military tuition assistance. The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) is specifically geared towards unemployed veterans from ages 35 to 60 years old to avail up to 12 months of retraining assistance without a cost. Military training credit will vary from institutions with some awarding credit for military courses but not for military work.
How do veterans find the best online college for them?
In selecting an online college, consider your capacity to learn and use technology. Most online colleges do boot camp-style programs more suited for self-starters. However, specific requirements such as the RN to BSN program will require you to do clinical experience in your local hometown or a nearby state. It is best to talk with an admission representative before enrollment. Consider asking how these institutions handle ‘absences’ and technical challenges. Ask around from fellow veterans who also earned their degree online. Search for online reviews from graduates of your chosen program and school and compare with other institutions offering the same program.
Do veterans get college credit for their military training?
Institutions with Yellow Ribbon programs may accept military training and convert it as college credits. Ask the admissions counselor for veterans to assess whether your experience may be credited towards your desired degree. When you’ve decided to enroll, it’s essential to have your transcripts of the courses you took when you were still active in the military as these may also be credited. Keep in mind that the nature of your credits will vary depending on the state, school, federal law, and nature of your practice.
Does the VA pay for Online classes?
If you would like to attend online distance learning classes, you may use the GI Bill. The Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay your tuition directly to the school.
Which states offer free tuition for veterans?
There are several states that offer their veterans free tuition to attend colleges, such as:
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Dakota
Does the VA pay for out of state tuition?
No, through the Post 9/11 GI Bill, they will only pay for in state tuition.
Do military spouses benefit from the GI bill?
Yes, like veterans, spouses and their dependents can receive similar benefits to help them pay for their education through several assistance programs.
What is the Post 9/11 GI Bill?
For veterans, these benefits include tuition and fees, a stipend for supplies and textbooks for up to 36 months, and a monthly housing allowance. However, you will want to check with your desired school to see to what extent they participate.
Are there other ways to take advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill?
Yes, they can:
- Provide a tutor for you,
- Help you start your own business,
- Provide benefits toward an apprenticeship or flight school program,
- Provide extended benefits for STEM fields that require more than the standard four years of college,
- Help you with testing costs, such as certification, admission tests, as well as SAT or LSAT, and licensing programs,
- And much more!