Continuing one's education after high school is the dream of millions of people every year. However, the cost can leave many students feeling like it is an impossible dream without accruing debt. For some, they choose to serve in the military following high school. That leaves the question, how do you make use of the GI Bill and attend college while serving?
Flexible Learning Options
One of the most important aspects to consider when selecting education while in the military is flexibility. Many universities are now offering classes at various times for non-traditional students. When you are looking for college options, you will want to find a university that has the most flexible learning option for you. This means not only classes at night or on the weekend but also classes online. These courses will allow you to study when you have time and not miss lectures. When researching schools, talk to the guidance counselors to discuss what your needs are and what they have available to make your graduation possible.
Set Realistic Goals
The military will take the majority of your time, making it important to set goals before enrolling at a university. Talking to the guidance counselor will give you an outline of the courses that are required and the order they need to be taken in. However, not all classes need to be taken, as some of the introductory ones can be tested out of. This means that instead of taking the class, you take a test. If you score high enough, you get a pass on the course. After discovering which classes you must take, you can create an education plan that will allow you to handle both class and service needs.
Create a Support Circle
When you combine education and military service, it will be important to create a support circle that will help you obtain your goals. You will need to make sure your supervisors are aware of your plans because they might change your work hours around the class schedule. Having family and friends that are there to help you study or pick up the slack around the house will decrease the stress you incur.
College makes everyone change their priorities, but even more so when you are taking non-traditional classes. Online college classes will require you to make sure you use your downtime studying and watching videos instead of social activities. However, these classes are often available on mobile devices as well. This will allow you to take your device to the gym or park and access textbooks while exercising. When you are looking at priorities, you will want to keep education right under your service and family. Let your support circle help you keep your priorities straight.
Education while in the military is not impossible, especially now that an online college is an option. It is difficult and requires a lot of discipline on your part. Make sure you find a credible university and discuss how you want to use your GI Bill before making any decisions.
To learn more, reach out to an online college for military members.