Programs offered online by many colleges and universities provide a solid educational foundation for people of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences. Last year, the U.S. had over 1.4 million active military members who offered their skills to support defense. As many of these personnel expand their education, retire, or leave active duty, online studies are often the best path to completing a degree. Online programs offer veterans a number of tuition discounts, credit for previous military training, scholarships, flexibility in scheduling, and other educational benefits. Due to the number of educational options available to military personnel and veterans, we’ve created a list to assist in the selection process.
Note: These schools are not endorsed by any branch of the military or the United States Government. They were selected by our editors after careful consideration and based on an assortment of criteria defined below.
1. Columbia College
Columbia College has offered military members, their family, and veterans access to high quality education for almost 40 years. Columbia offers online and evening classes to service members and veterans through 23 online degree programs approved by the Veteran’s Administration. The College also provides transfer credit for military training, start and stop flexibility to accommodate deployment, and a number of scholarships and tuition discounts to active service members and their spouses. Columbia also has over 18 campuses located on military bases and is dedicated to providing quality education through to the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges network. The University also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Project and GI Bill tuition program.
2. Strayer University
Strayer University’s commitment to meeting the educational needs of military service members
through internationally recognized, accredited, online undergraduate and graduate programs. Strayer provides maximum flexibility to military service members as they pursue their degree within high demand online programs like health administration, business, criminal justice, accounting, and other technical fields. The University also offers a number of scholarships, tuition assistance programs, and veterans benefits to active duty military personnel, their spouses, and their dependents. Strayer participates in the Yellow Ribbon project, the GI Bill, and even supplements military tuition assistance programs with 100% tuition coverage for all undergraduate tuition and most graduate tuition. As a Service Members Opportunity College program affiliate, Strayer is one of the best options for military members as they expand their educational foundation.
3. Northcentral University
Northcentral University’s online classes provide efficient, practical, and flexible instruction to active and retired military personnel and their dependents. The University offers online certificates, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through its well known School of Business and Technology Management, School of Education, and School of Behavioral Health Sciences. Additionally, the University was recognized by G.I. Jobs magazine as a “Military Friendly School for 2010” for its unique ability to meet the educational needs of active duty military members, retirees, reservists, and their dependents via online learning platforms. Northcentral participates in the GI Bill, Reserve Educational Assistance Program, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment for disabled veterans, and Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance for children and spouses of deceased service members.
4. Cappella University
Cappella University assists service members, their families, and military veterans means of advancing their educational aspirations with a number of quality, affordable online programs. The University’s awareness of the unique complexities active and former duty military members manage caused the University to offer specifically tailored many of its online programs based upon its dedication to support, affordability, and flexibility. Cappella offers studies within numerous degree programs ranging from certificate programs to doctoral programs in many fields. The University also provides tuition discounts, transfer credit/s for military experience and previous training, and participates in the Yellow Ribbon project. The University was recognized from 2007 until 2010 by Military Advanced Education Magazine as one of the Military Advanced Education Top Military Friendly Colleges and Universities and continues to provide some of the best means of cultivating and propelling skills for military personnel and their dependents.
5. Excelsior College
Excelsior College provides online courses based in the liberal arts, business, technology, health sciences, nursing, and information literacy to undergraduate and graduate students from nearly any location. The College offers classes through online formats and CD ROM formats to ensure course materials are delivered even without an internet connection. Excelsior has a tradition of providing military members, veterans, and their families high quality educational experiences with maximum Military Tuition Assistance programs, Veterans Affairs Benefits, Military Vocational Rehabilitation, maximum credit for previous credits and military training, and a flexible service member friendly deployment policy. The College received a Top 20 Military Friendly College designation by the Military Advanced Education magazine and was recognized as a Military Friendly College by the G.I. Jobs Magazine for its capabilities in extending affordable online education to active duty, reservist, and retired service members.
6. Drexel University
Drexel University has a long standing tradition of providing veterans, active duty military members, and their families affordable and flexible online education to meet the busiest schedules. The University has provided world renown Internet based online education for working professionals since 1996. As an innovator of distance learning programs, Drexel’s highly ranking degree programs are recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as one of the Top 100 of America’s Best Colleges. Online courses offered through the University maintain virtually the same accredited, quality instruction as its on campus tradition of educational excellence. Additionally, Drexel has consistently provided recognition to past and present military personnel with a number of financial options including military tuition reduction plans, participation in the GI Bill Yellow Ribbon program, undergraduate transfer credit for military experiences and previous learning, and offers programs based in the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES).
7. Walden University
Walden University’s longstanding tradition of offering accredited online instruction to military service members is proven by its enrollment of over 1,700 veterans and active duty military personnel. Listed among G.I. Jobs’ 2011 list of Military Friendly Schools, Walden provides affordable access to higher education through distance learning programs certified by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. The University offers degrees of all levels in education, health, management, psychology, public policy and administration, counseling and social services, and nursing programs. As a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium, Walden offers many financing options for military members and veterans includes: tuition reimbursement through educational assistance allowances, participation in the Montgomery and Post 9/11 GI Bills, tuition assistance, the Yellow Ribbon Enhancement Program, disabled Veteran’s benefits, and the VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program.
8. Kaplan University
Kaplan University is a reputable institution of higher education offering many high quality online degree programs to undergraduate and graduate students. Veterans, active duty military service members, and their spouses gain specially tailored educational and financing options. As a member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges, Kaplan participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a change of orders withdrawal policy for deployed service members, reduced tuition and fee waivers, and a credit transfer program offered through the DANTES program. Kaplan has been listed as a Top Military Friendly College & University by Military Advanced Education magazine and G.I. Jobs’ 2011 Guide to Military Friendly Schools.
9. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University is committed to meeting the complex learning needs of active duty service members, veterans, and their dependents through high quality and flexible online programs. CTU’s Colleges of Business and Management, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Information Systems and Technology, and Security Studies offer associate through doctoral degrees. CTU has a team of Military Education Benefits Specialists and Prior Learning Assessment Advisers who maximize the benefits available to military members. The University is well known for its familiarity with military protocols and procedures and is affiliated with the Service Members Opportunity College and DANTES programs. It also waives the cost of application fees and books. CTU offers limited areas of academic study yet provides an exceptional amount of support to military members.
10. Ashworth College
Ashworth has provided military service members and veterans means of accessing quality instruction while maximizing educational benefits for over 20 years. The school features some career diplomas and college degrees from associate to master’s level programs within dynamic fields like health, computer information technology, marketing, business administration, human resources management, and other disciplines. A dedicated staff of Military Advisers ensure military personnel receive proper transfer credit, financial assistance through governmental programs like DANTES, the GI Bill, and other tuition reduction programs. Ashworth also offers accelerated learning formats and programs which accommodate deployment or change of station. As a member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges, Ashworth’s unique student paced learning environment is great for students as they manage responsibilities beyond education.
So that is our ranking of the 10 best online military friendly schools for 2012. Any of these schools are a great choice for current military personnel, as well as veterans, looking to take advantage of the GI Bill and other military friendly opportunities.
The preceding list was created with the following methodology factors, some of which are subjective:
- Quality of instructors
- Academic Quality
- Convenience of scheduling
- Student Satisfaction
Rankings such as US News and World Report and other online compilations were used in the creation of this list.