Steps to Choosing a Military-friendly School
- Posted on: May 18, 2015
Colorado Technical University has a long-standing reputation for helping active duty, reserve, veteran service members and their families achieve their academic goals. This military-centric approach earned CTU multiple awards and recognition, and is something to consider when choosing a school to pursue your education. In this guide, discover the qualities that define a university as “military-centric”, so you can make an informed decision about the best school to pursue your academic goals.
What Makes A School Military-friendly?
You have a wide-range of options when it comes to choosing a university where you may pursue a degree. It can be overwhelming, but these 3 questions may help you narrow your options:
- Does the university offer an accredited degree you want to earn?
- Are you able to take classes when and where it best fits your daily life?
- Does the university offer transfer credit for prior training or eligible work experience?
Of course, current and former military personnel have another question to ask: Does the school have a reputation for being military-friendly?
As an active duty, reserve, or service member, you and your family have unique needs compared to traditional adult learners. Active duty military personnel must often contend with frequent moves or deployments. Veterans must manage the transition from military life to civilian life. Military spouses and children experience parallel challenges as they navigate a military lifestyle. Finding a university that offers the degree program you want and not only understands, but is staffed and structured to support your unique circumstances is essential to your academic success.
While there are many criteria that can define a military friendly school, here are the 5 that our military and veteran students report was most important in their decision to attend CTU:
- Does the university have a flexible learning platform and academic policies?
Whether you’re given transfer orders, sent on deployment or just lead an active and busy lifestyle, having the ability to complete degree requirements when, where and how you choose is important. One-third of CTU’s student population is active duty, veteran and military spouses. For many military students, online programs can be an ideal way to earn a degree. CTU offers over 100 career-relevant degree programs and concentrations online—from Associate to Doctoral level— across Business and Management, Security Studies and Homeland Security, Healthcare, Information Technology, Engineering and Computer Science, Criminal Justice and Project Management. As a CTU student, you can benefit from highly innovative classroom environment that leverages problem-based curriculum and adaptive learning technologies. This means that you can spend less time focusing on what you already know, and more time engaging in topics that build upon your existing knowledge and skill base. Best of all, you can access your CTU courses from anywhere with a computer and an Internet connection. About 80% of CTU’s student population studies online, but if you choose, you can attend classes on campus in Colorado Springs or Aurora. You can also attend as a hybrid student, attending a combination of classes both online and in person.
- Does the school have accreditation or awards?
Accreditation lets you know that a school has voluntarily sought accreditation and has met a specific standard that is carefully reviewed by a non-governmental agency. Your investment in college is important. You want to know that you are receiving the best education possible. While accreditation can’t guarantee your success in college, it can assure you that the school you attend has undergone a rigorous process to meet certain criteria and demonstrate quality standards that others have not. Accreditation may also be a requirement to receive military education benefits. Go to the U.S. Department of Education website to confirm the current accreditation of the school you are considering.
CTU has pursued and earned numerous accreditations, including the following:
- CTU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
- G.I. Jobs magazine named CTU one of its Military Friendly
- Schools for four consecutive years, from 2010-2014
- Military Advanced Education recognized CTU as one of its top universities serving the educational needs of the armed forces in 2008-2015
- Military Times ranked CTU among the Best for Vets 2 years in a row
- In 2008, the Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) Institution Award was granted to CTU in recognition of quality degree programs available to the Armed Forces and significant contributions to the cause of military education.
- Does the school use ACE recommendations for military training?
Your training and experience in the military may have academic value, which means you might be able to earn transfer credit toward a degree program. The America Council on Education (ACE) is a higher education association that provides universities with college credit recommendations based on military experience and training. A military-friendly school will usually accept these recommendations, letting you use your prior training toward degree requirements. Depending on your past training, you may be able to earn CTU credit for certain classes where you have already demonstrated knowledge and skills.*
CTU accepts ACE college credit recommendations, and works with military and veteran students to apply as many college credits as possible. Once you enroll, you will work with a member of the prior learning assessment team who is specially trained to determine the military training that may be transferrable.
- Does the school accept the Post-9/11 GI Bill or military tuition?
Military and veteran students may have access to educational funds through a variety of financial aid programs. Most common are Military Tuition and Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Both offer varying benefits depending on your branch of service, service time and other criteria. Schools that accept these and similar forms of financial aid are considered military friendly.
In addition to accepting Military Tuition and Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill, CTU also participates in the Tuition Assistance and Top Up, The Yellow Ribbon Program, MyCAA and the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) programs and more.
CTU also offers support through our Wounded Warrior Scholarship (www.coloradotech.edu/admissions/military/wounded-warrior-scholarship) program, which annually awards 25 wounded service members and 25 spouses of wounded service members a full scholarship to attend CTU.
Of course, you may also qualify for other military-related financial aid opportunities. Connecting with CTU’s dedicated military team will ensure your specific situation is reviewed for any financial benefits you may qualify to receive.
- Does the school have a department dedicated to the needs of military students?
CTU has a long-standing reputation for helping military and veteran students pursue their academic goals. The university has a dedicated staff of experienced and knowledgeable military specialists in the admissions and financial aid departments, as well as in career services. Some of CTU’s faculty members and university leaders have both served in the military as well as attended CTU, and are ready to assist military and veteran students. CTU also has a military-friendly deployment policy that allows students who are frequently deployed or transferred to continue their education online, or work with an academic advisor to determine a solution.
Earning your degree while juggling the demands of a military or post-military career, family and other personal priorities can be tough. But knowing you can reach out to someone on campus who understands your unique situation is invaluable in moving you past obstacles and toward a successful academic future.
Get Started: Experience The Difference At Ctu
Since 1965, CTU has been dedicated to serving the military community. Its first campus opened in Colorado Springs to meet the needs of students from five nearby military bases. Today, the university has expanded, offering degree programs at a second campus in Denver, and also online through its virtual campus. Of course, you can choose to study on campus, online or both. That’s part of what makes CTU unique—you can fit your education around your life, and for the 34% of CTU’s student population who are military members and veterans, that means having the flexibility to choose when, where and how to earn their degree.
Student Veterans Organization
CTU Student Veterans Organization is an organization designed to support and guide military veterans as they make the transition from the battlefield to the classroom and from military life to civilian life. Based in Colorado Springs, the SVO aims to keep veterans informed, encouraged and empowered.
Get Started: Connect With Us
If a college degree is part of your future goals, contact us to learn more about our degree programs—including Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees—in Business and Management, Criminal Justice, Engineering and Computer Science, HealthCare, Information Systems and Technology and Security Studies.
If you have questions along the way, we’re here to help. Call or visit us online to learn more.