Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Military Members Can Get Their College Degrees Using the G.I. Bill

Here is a guest post from written by Cyn Brinks:

The G.I. Bill makes it easier than ever to get an education if you’re in the military. Whether you’re on a Navy ship, working overseas or simply stuck in the barracks in the night, you have a lot of time on your hands to do something greater for your future.

You can start working on a real college degree even if you’re not finished with your service. Your full tuition and fees can be paid for, and you receive a stipend for books and housing.

You can also start a degree at any time while you’re in the military thanks to the development of online degree programs by public and private universities.

There are all sorts of viable online courses and programs for military personnel even if you don’t have any college experience or you just want some vocational training to help transition into civilian life.

There are also some major benefits to registering for online courses and degree programs while still in the military or if you have veteran status.

Online courses and programs are just like those that you find at a traditional school. You still have to put in the work, which includes reading, lectures, taking texts, turning in assignments and talking to your professors.

The only difference is that you don’t have to report to a specific classroom, change your schedule or live in a certain area to go to school. Sophisticated technology has allowed online education to transcend multiple barriers.

For instance, you can talk to face-to-face with professors and other students, receive online tutoring, and schedule study groups with other students over the Internet. You simply follow the syllabus, turn in your work and finish your exams at the end of the semester, like any normal class from your own computer.

There is some finesse to doing well with online degree programs. For one, you have to be self-motivated and hardworking, otherwise you simply won’t get the work done on time.

In addition, you have to keep up with discussions and continue to read, studying when you have a chance.

You won’t spend all of your time in front of the computer. The class will still require book reading and completion of assignments, some of which may need to be turned into a professor by mail or campus visit, though this is becoming a thing of the past.

Not all degree programs are created equal, and some institutions do not have the same accreditation. You should make sure to research a degree so that you know exactly what you’re getting into and what kinds of colleges offer your degree.

There are plenty of military service members who share concerns about the validity of an online program. But both public and private universities make these accommodations for military personnel because it’s understood that you have extreme circumstances that require flexibility from a work-anywhere atmosphere.

For that reason, many fully accredited and prestigious schools offer business, healthcare, computer and engineering programs over the web. It is simply a question of do you want to wait to get a degree or do you want to distinguish yourself now?

Students who are in the military can come out with so many advantages, already graduated and on to a career or heading straight into a higher degree program and starting a civilian life once finished with active duty. These students didn’t put their futures on hold to get started on an education.

Now there is some complexity surrounding G.I. Bill Benefits, who is eligible for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill and the Montgomery G.I. Bill. And more importantly what is the difference between the two?

Simply speaking, your Post 9/11 benefits kick in after your honorable discharge, and no other discharge is applicable for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. On the other hand, the Montgomery G.I. Bill is available to active duty solider who contribute $100 a month into the Montgomery G.I. Bill fund.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the eBook technothriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her posts at the company's social media marketing blog.

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