Despite a steady downsizing in personnel since the mid-1950s, the U.S. military remains one of the largest armed forces in the world. According to data from the Council on Foreign Relations, roughly 1.29 million men and women served in the military in 2018. A recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau also reveals there are 18.2 million veterans of the armed forces.

What are the best military-friendly colleges of 2020? Here are our top 10:

  1. University of South Florida - Sarasota, FL
  2. University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
  3. University of Central Florida - Orlando, FL
  4. Florida International University - Miami, FL
  5. University of South Florida - Tampa, FL
  6. North Carolina State University at Raleigh - Raleigh, NC
  7. Florida State University - Tallahassee, FL
  8. Texas Tech University - Lubbock, TX
  9. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, NC
  10. Arizona State University-Skysong - Scottsdale, AZ

In response to these high numbers, the federal government has launched several programs and initiatives aimed at veterans and active-duty military personnel who wish to attend college and earn an accredited degree.

In 2017, there were 755,476 GI Bill users, which was a decline from previous years. The three years prior, there had been over 790,000 GI Bill users.

One provision of this bill -- known as the Yellow Ribbon program -- is designed to reduce out-of-pocket tuition costs for individuals who have enlisted since 9/11.

ARE ALL COLLEGES MILITARY FRIENDLY?

No. Not all schools participate in special programs or provide financial assistance specifically for members of the military, which means not all schools are military friendly.

WHAT IS A MILITARY FRIENDLY COLLEGE?

Aside from participating in government programs such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon Program, and MyCAA, military-friendly colleges may provide special benefits such as military tuition assistance, credits for training or prior learning experiences, and military discounts.

WHAT ARE MILITARY SPOUSE FRIENDLY SCHOOLS?

These schools may extend the same or similar benefits to spouses of military members in the form of financial assistance, scholarships, and/or military discounts.

WHAT MAKES A SCHOOL MILITARY FRIENDLY?

A military-friendly school typically does more than participate in government-funded programs. They may provide credit for military training, special financial assistance, easy transfer credit options, and flexible class formats.

DO VETERANS GET ACCEPTED TO COLLEGE EASIER?

No. While being a military member is a valuable experience that will impress most admission committees, military applicants typically must meet the same admission requirements as other prospective students.

Online degree programs offer an ideal academic pathway for many of today’s military servicemembers and veterans. The asynchronous (or self-paced) curriculum of most online courses is conducive for active-duty personnel and reservists who must balance their schoolwork with service-related commitments. This flexible format is also helpful for Armed Forces veterans who are seeking a college education in order to transition from the military into civilian life. And like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, online colleges and universities provide services and resources aimed at military and veteran students. These include personal counseling, academic advisement, and career planning -- all delivered within a convenient virtual setting.

This ranking of the best online schools for military servicemembers and veterans takes all of these programs and services into account. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive academic resource for military veterans, active servicemembers, reservists and military dependents across the country.

2020 Top Accredited Military-Friendly Colleges for Service Members and Veterans

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

The University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee offers fully online bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity and information technology as well as communications sciences and disorders. The school offers several other majors 80% online, including criminology, professional and technical communication, and risk management and insurance. USFSM’s undergraduate online programs include opportunities for hands-on experience, such as internships.

Graduate students may select from fully online programs in criminal justice, hospitality management, and online teaching and learning. USFSM offers comprehensive support services to veterans, including career counseling, mentoring, and employment assistance. USFSM also waives out-of-state tuition fees for veterans and active-duty military.

Roughly 92% of USFSM graduates report being satisfied with their experience. The middle 50% of admitted freshmen in 2017 earned GPAs between 3.9 and 4.4. USFSM holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 5 bachelor’s degrees; 3 master’s degrees

Tuition: $186/credit in-state; $550/credit out-of-stat

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (813) 974-3350

Email: admissions@usf.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

University of Florida-Online

Gainesville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 90%

The University of Florida offers more than 200 fully online programs, including 21 majors and seven minors that undergraduates may complete at their own pace. Degree options include biology, criminology, and digital arts. UF Online also offers graduate and undergraduate certificates, professional development programs, master’s degrees, specialist degrees, and doctorates.

Online students may socialize with other UF students and alumni through local Gator Clubs or meet other online students virtually through the 24/7 UF Online Student Plaza. Online students who live near Gainesville may opt to pay student fees and gain access to on-campus facilities, events, and services.

UF sets its online tuition rate for Florida residents at 75% of standard in-state tuition and offers out-of-state fee waivers to veterans, dependents, and active-duty military. UF Online holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 20 bachelor’s degrees; 79 master’s degrees; 3 education specialist degrees; 8 doctorates

Tuition: $129/credit in-state; $553/credit out-of-stat

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (352) 273-4478

Email: info@ufonline.ufl.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

The University of Central Florida offers more than 220 degree programs, including 24 online bachelor’s degrees in fields such as hospitality management, psychology, and legal studies. Graduate students may select from 32 online master’s degrees, including five civil engineering programs, and three online doctorates in nursing.

Online bachelor’s students may choose from traditional liberal arts majors such as anthropology and political science or applied degrees like senior living management and technical education and industry training. Learners may also enroll in online minors and certificate programs

UCF helps student veterans access financial benefits and academic resources through a specialized resource center. Prospective students must apply online and submit transcripts and ACT/SAT scores. UCF holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 24 bachelor's degrees; 32 master’s degrees; 3 doctorates

Tuition: $179/credit in-state; $716/credit out-of-stat

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (407) 823-2000

Email: admission@ucf.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Florida International University

Miami, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

Florida International University offers more than 250 degree programs, including 39 online undergraduate majors in areas such as Asian studies, computer engineering, and international relations. Bachelor’s degree options include six specializations in hospitality management and six business majors including international business and finance.

Graduate students at FIU may select from 27 online degree programs offering career preparation in information technology, healthcare administration, education, hospitality management, business, and public health. The university qualifies as Florida’s only R1 research institution.

Students with fewer than 12 credits apply as freshmen. Applicants with fewer than 60 credits must submit transcripts and SAT/ACT scores. FIU offers military-affiliated students access to campus, community, and financial aid resources. FIU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 39 bachelor's degrees; 26 master's degrees; 1 doctorate

Tuition: $206/credit in-state; $619/credit out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (855) 572-9126

Email: onlineprograms@fiu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University of South Florida-Main Campus

Tampa, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

University of South Florida undergraduates may select from more than 180 majors, including six online bachelor’s degree completion programs in applied sciences, nursing, criminal justice, and information studies. Students may complete their upper-level courses online and any required field experiences at locations in their community.

A university that emphasizes research and innovation, USF offers 37 online master’s degrees in education, engineering, public health, and medicine. Additional online program offerings include a Ph.D. in career and workforce education and master’s degrees in global sustainability and cybersecurity.

Fall 2019 freshmen at USF posted average SAT scores of 1286 and an average GPA of 4.13. The university offers veteran students tutoring from other veterans. USF holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 6 bachelor's degree completion programs; 37 master’s degrees; 1 education specialist degree; 1 doctorate

Tuition: $214/credit in-state; $577/credit out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (813) 974-2011

Email: admissions@usf.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Raleigh, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

North Carolina State University at Raleigh educates more residents of North Carolina than any other university. The school’s online undergraduate programs, graduate degrees, and certificates include a bachelor’s completion program in leadership in the public sector (LPS) with an optional track designed for military students to accommodate military orders

NC State also offers more than 50 online and hybrid master’s degrees and an online doctorate in design. Graduate degree options prepare students for careers in science and engineering, agriculture, education, and business

Active-duty military and their dependents may qualify for in-state tuition. The LPS program does not require an entrance exam, and military-affiliated students may transfer certain military credits into the program. NC State holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 1 bachelor’s degree; 56 master’s degrees; 1 doctorate

Tuition: $237/credit in-state; $916/credit out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Asynchronou

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (919) 515-2434

Email: undergrad-admissions@ncsu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 81%

Florida State University offers five online bachelor’s programs in computer science, criminology, social sciences, and public safety. Some undergraduate programs include internships and fieldwork. Learners with an associate degree may qualify for direct admission into an online bachelor’s program. FSU boasts a four-year graduation rate of 72% and a retention rate of 93%

Online master’s program options at FSU include law enforcement intelligence, public administration, and social work, as well as three business degrees and four degrees in education. FSU’s Student Veterans Center offers a variety of resources, events, and access to academic support.

Veterans, dependents, and active-duty military may qualify for out-of-state tuition waivers. FSU also waives and reduces some fees for distance students. FSU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 5 bachelor’s degrees; 16 master’s degrees; 2 specialist degrees; 3 doctorates

Tuition: $180/credit in-state; $686/credit out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (850) 644-6200

Email: admissions@fsu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

Texas Tech University offers 17 online bachelor’s degrees in subjects such as wind energy and applied leadership as well as one hybrid bachelor’s in multidisciplinary studies. Other undergraduate degree options include plant and soil science, architecture, and political science

TTU also offers online master’s degrees in a wide range of content areas including dance studies, healthcare engineering, and environmental sustainability. The university provides resources for military students who need financial aid and academic support through its military and veterans programs

TTU guarantees admission to the top 10% of high school graduates according to class rank with no minimum test scores. All online students pay the same tuition rate as Texas residents. The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 18 bachelor’s degrees; 37 master’s degrees; 11 doctorate

Tuition: $11,320/year in-state and bordering counties; $23,770/year out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (806) 742-7227

Email: elearning@ttu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers nine master’s programs online and doctoral programs in public health and physical therapy. While UNC does not offer any online bachelor’s degrees, the school does provide an undergraduate core certificate for veterans and active-duty members of the military. This nine-course program prepares graduates to enter degree-completion programs.

UNC’s School of Public Health offers more online programs than any other UNC school, including six graduate certificates, three master’s degrees, and an executive doctorate in health leadership. Other online graduate offerings include business, public administration, and digital curation.

Applicants to the UNC core certificate program must submit high school and joint services transcripts. Application requirements for online graduate programs at UNC vary by school. UNC holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 9 master’s degrees; 2 doctorates

Tuition: $3,509/semester in-state, $17,099/semester out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (919) 966-3621

Email: unchelp@admissions.unc.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Arizona State University-Skysong

Scottsdale, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 89%

Arizona State University-Skysong boasts numerous online programs, including 10 bachelor’s degrees in business and 13 healthcare-related degrees. Other undergraduate options include urban planning, user experience, and sustainability. Undergraduates may also select from more than 30 online minors, such as engineering management and project management.

ASU also delivers more than 80 online graduate programs, including master’s degrees in biosecurity, community resilience, emergency management, and cybersecurity. The university enrolls more than 7,200 military-affiliated students online and on campus and directs military students toward research opportunities and internships.

Applicants with fewer than 24 credits must meet freshman admission requirements. Roughly 85% of ASU undergraduates receive some financial aid. ASU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 89 bachelor’s degrees; 78 master’s degrees; 3 doctorates

Tuition: $607/credit

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (855) 278-5080

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers an online bachelor’s degree in earth, society, and environmental sustainability (ESES). Students with a science background may enter the science in the earth system track, while others may complete the society and environment track. UIUC offers courses required for the major online every two years.

UIUC offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs online or mostly online, including graduate degrees in more than 35 subjects such as social work, engineering, education, and computer science

Veterans at Illinois qualify for in-state tuition, while state residents with family incomes of $61,000 or less receive free tuition. Within six months of graduation, 89% of graduates enter employment or graduate school. The university holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 1 bachelor’s degree; 37 master’s degrees; 8 doctorates

Tuition: $409/credit

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (217) 333-1462

Email: online-info@illinois.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

Stillwater, OK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 84%

Oklahoma State University Online offers 11 bachelor’s degrees, including three business majors and six multidisciplinary programs. OSU’s flexible degree options enable online students to tailor their majors to suit their career goals. Other undergraduate degree options include nursing and early childhood development

Graduate programs available through OSU Online include four master’s degrees in agriculture, master’s and doctoral options in fire and emergency management, and master’s degrees in business. Other programs prepare graduates for career advancement in fields such as aviation, engineering, and agriculture. OSU reports that 87% of graduates find full-time employment with average annual earnings of $45,000.

Applicants with seven or more college credits must apply as transfer students. OSU offers information about veterans benefits through its registrar. OSU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 11 bachelor’s degrees; 26 master’s degrees; 1 doctorate

Tuition: $445/credit in-state; $962/credit out-of-state; $496/credit active-duty militar

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (405) 744-1000

Email: brenda.dawes@okstate.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

The University of North Florida offers online degrees and certificates in nursing and healthcare, American Sign Language (ASL), nutrition, education, and criminal justice. UNF provides two undergraduate programs online: an accelerated RN-to-BSN program and a 23-credit educator endorsement in ASL. Online graduate certificates include healthcare informatics and early childhood education.

UNF’s online graduate programs include master’s degrees in health administration, nutrition, educational leadership, ASL, and criminal justice. Nurses can select from two online doctorates in nursing practice, and nutritionists may enroll in a doctor of clinical nutrition program. UNF’s veterans center connects military-affiliated students with resources, counseling, and financial services.

Roughly 87% of seniors take part in internships and other field experiences. UNF holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 1 bachelor’s degree; 6 master’s degrees; 3 doctorates

Tuition: $285/credit

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.8 minimum

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (904) 620-1000

Email: admissions@unf.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

University of Alaska Southeast

Juneau, AK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Located in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, University of Alaska Southeast offers online classes year-round, enabling students to accelerate their program completion. UAS boasts generous transfer-credit policies and online bachelor’s completion programs that work well for active-duty military. The school also offers a community platform where students may gather online in study and social groups.

Online undergraduate programs at UAS include degrees in education, Alaska native languages, business, social sciences, and liberal arts. Online programs at UAS typically offer opportunities for independent research or field experience. UAS also offers seven master’s degrees in education online

Applicants must select a degree program and apply online. Nonresidents may take up to four credits at the resident rate each semester. UAS holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 12 bachelor’s degrees; 7 master’s degrees

Tuition: $223/credit in-state; $789/credit out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (877) 465-4827

Email: uas.admissions@alaska.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 36%

Florida Atlantic University offers undergraduate programs fully online in interdisciplinary studies, business, social inquiry, computer science, nursing, and geoscience. Business degree options include accounting, marketing, and management. The College for Design and Social Inquiry offers online bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, public safety, and public management and online minors in criminal justice and disaster management.

FAU also offers fully online master’s degrees in education, information technology, engineering, computer science, nursing, and geoscience. The university gives online students access to online academic, financial aid, and career support services; library services; and a distance learning student advocate

Transfer students must submit proof of completion of lower-division requirements and prerequisites for their major. Veterans and active-duty military may qualify for in-state tuition. FAU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 12 bachelor’s degrees; 22 master’s degrees

Tuition: $201/credit in-state; $720/credit out-of-stat

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (561) 297-3000

Email: fauonline@fauelearning.com

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

California State University-Northridge

Northridge, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

California State University - Northridge offers career-focused online degrees for working professionals, including bachelor’s degrees in liberal studies and public sector management. The university offers these two fully online, 60-credit bachelor’s degree completion programs in a cohort format that typically takes between 2 and 2.5 years to complete. CSUN’s online programs feature on-time graduation rates above 70%.

Online graduate programs available at CSUN include master’s degrees in assistive technology, engineering management, and social work. An online master’s in public health offers specializations in health administration, nonprofit sector management, and public sector management. Program support coordinators serve as a point of contact for online students enrolled in CSUN programs.

Veteran students may contact the CSUN Veterans Affairs Office regarding benefits and resources. CSUN holds accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 2 bachelor’s degrees; 11 master’s degrees

Tuition: $681/credit

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (818) 677-1200

Email: collexl@csun.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Texas A & M International University

Laredo, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Texas A & M International University offers one undergraduate program online: an RN-to-BSN degree designed for working nurses. The program typically takes 1-2 years to complete, and students may transfer up to 90 credits. The university reports that all BSN graduates receive employment offers by graduation

TAMIU provides online master’s degrees in business, bilingual education, criminal justice, education, nursing administration, and public administration. The online MBA program offers five tracks, including international business. Some master’s programs provide thesis and non-thesis options.

Online students may access library, tech support, and career services and may also graduate in person. The university’s Office of Veterans Affairs assists military-affiliated students with benefits and payment issues. TAMIU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 1 bachelor’s degree; 7 master’s degrees

Tuition: $281/credit in-state; $794/credit out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (888) 489-2648

Email: adms@tamiu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

LeTourneau University

Longview, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

A private, Christian polytechnic university, LeTourneau University offers online degrees taught from a Christian perspective to more than 800 online students. Undergraduate degrees available online include computer science, criminal justice, business, psychology, and theology. An online bachelor’s degree in aviation management includes specializations in aircraft dispatch, homeland security, maintenance, and pilot training.

LeTourneau also offers online master’s degrees in business administration, clinical mental health counseling, education, healthcare administration, and strategic leadership. Education degree options include curriculum and instruction, administration, teacher leadership, and teacher certification.

LeTourneau accepts military transcripts and considers course completion and occupational experience to determine the maximum allowable transfer credits. Online students have access to online tutoring. The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Number of Online Programs: 19 bachelor’s degrees; 13 master’s degrees

Tuition: $355-$475/credit

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (866) 873-5388

Email: enroll@letu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

California State University-Fullerton

Fullerton, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

California State University - Fullerton offers three-year, online degree-completion programs in business, sociology, and humanities/social sciences. Designed for working professionals, these programs run in a cohort format with students taking one eight-week class at a time. Applicants must meet transfer-credit prerequisites.

The university also offers several professional certificates online, including credentials for educators. Out-of-state residents should consult the school’s state regulations page to verify eligibility. CSUF connects military-affiliated students with support services, internships, mentoring, and other resources through its Veterans Resource Center.

CSUF offers professional development programs such as workshops, corporate training, and online certificates. The university holds accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 3 bachelor’s degree

Tuition: $425-500/credit

Credit Requirements: 120 credits

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact

Phone: (657) 278-2011

Email: admissions@fullerton.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

University of Houston-Clear Lake

Houston, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

University of Houston-Clear Lake offers fully online bachelor’s completion programs in anthropology, business, and public service leadership that students can complete in two years. The school also provides a hybrid bachelor’s degree in addictions counseling

Graduate students may select from online master’s degrees in business, education, environmental science, and occupational safety, for example. Other master’s degree options include human resource management and software engineering. New military-affiliated students can receive support through the university’s office of veterans affairs

Roughly one-third of UHCL’s learners identify as Hispanic, qualifying the school to receive additional federal support for Hispanic students. Texas residents graduating in the top 10% of their high school class gain automatic admission to UHCL. UHCL holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 4 bachelor’s degrees; 11 master’s degrees

Tuition: $150/credit in-state; $472/credit out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (281) 283-2500

Email: admissions@uhcl.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

The extended campus of the University of Texas at Austin provides professional and academic education on-site and online. This includes coding boot camps, career training in information technology, and online courses and certificates. Undergraduates seeking online courses may select from college core, business foundations, and language courses that may apply toward a bachelor’s degree.

Several of UT’s departments and schools offer master’s degrees online, such as engineering and education. UT offers online engineering degrees in computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering. Other online graduate degree options include master’s degrees in computer science, sport management, technology commercialization, and nutritional science.

UT offers a 10% discount to active-duty and veteran students for classes and certificate programs. The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 0 (online courses only, not full programs)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (512) 475-7399

Email: admissions@austin.utexas.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

The University of North Dakota offers 17 bachelor’s degrees online, including nine engineering degrees in subfields such as civil engineering, geological engineering, and petroleum engineering. Additional undergraduate majors include education, computer science, and social work. Graduate degree offerings include aviation, biomedical engineering, and public health.

UND boasts generous transfer policies; the school accepts all credits earned at accredited institutions, and most incoming students average more than 84 transfer credits. UND also offers automatic scholarships to all eligible transfer students and a $250 per-credit tuition rate to undergraduates on active military duty enrolled in many programs.

Military-affiliated applicants should follow the military application process to ensure they receive benefits. UND reports that 93% of recent graduates hold jobs or are pursuing graduate or professional degrees. UND holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 17 bachelor’s degrees; 49 master’s degrees; 10 doctorates

Tuition: $342/credit in-state; $383/credit MN residents; $513/credit out-of-state

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid (online/on campus)

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (800) CALL-UND

Email: UND.info@UND.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

Regis University

Denver, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Regis University offers 21 online undergraduate degrees, all of which students may pursue at an accelerated rate. Several program options are available for learners seeking a business degree, including programs in marketing, finance, and accounting. Other undergraduate options include communications, cybersecurity, and applied psychology

Regis offers military students preferred tuition rates of $275 per credit for most undergraduate programs and a 10% discount for certain graduate programs. Graduate programs available online include health informatics, software engineering, and secondary education. Regis offers seven online graduate nursing degrees, including a doctorate in nursing practice

Applicants should complete the Regis Application or the Common Application. Approximately 93% of Regis graduates get a job within six months of graduation. Regis holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Number of Online Programs: 21 bachelor’s degrees; 1 BS/MS; 33 master’s degrees; 2 doctorates

Tuition: $530/credit

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (800) 944-7667

Email: ruadmissions@regis.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

La Crosse, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse offers two online bachelor’s degrees -- in health and wellness management and health information management and technology -- in partnership with UW-Extension and the UW consortium of campuses. UWL also offers a fully online BS in political science. Online graduate degree programs include student affairs administration, healthcare administration, recreation management, and data science.

UWL offers a variety of services to veterans, including priority registration and assistance with applying for educational benefits. The school’s Veteran Advisory Committee works to meet the educational needs of veterans, dependents, and active-duty military

The average ACT score of incoming freshmen at UWL is 25, although most veterans apply as transfer students. The school boasts a 98% career placement rate. UWL holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 3 bachelor’s degrees; 10 master’s degrees; 1 doctorat

Tuition: $440/credit

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (608) 785-8939

Email: admissions@uwlax.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

Minot State University

Minot, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

Minot State University offers fully online bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, education, business, nursing, human services, and general studies. Registered nurses may select an online bachelor’s completion program, while online undergraduates may choose from minors in business and health management.

MSU operates a center for extended learning on the Minot Air Force Base. The university provides four bachelor's completion programs designed for airmen: business information technology, general studies, criminal justice, and human services. The only requirement to enroll is a degree from the Community College of the Air Force.

The university also offers online master’s degrees in education, information systems, management, and sports management. Military-affiliated students may qualify for a reduced tuition rate. Minot State University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Number of Online Programs: 10 bachelor’s degrees; 5 master’s degrees

Tuition: $316/credi

Credit Requirements: 120 credits (bachelor's)

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

Contact

Phone: (800) 777-0750

Email: online@minotstateu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Additional Information

Next, let’s take a closer look at some of the standard military and veterans benefits available for today’s college students.

The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 was first enacted to provide educational and professional opportunities for returning WWII veterans. This act is better known today as the G.I. Bill. The following G.I. Bill provisions are commonly found at accredited colleges and universities across the country:

Montgomery G.I. Bill:

Launched in 1984, Chapter 30 of the bill is known as the Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB). Under MGIB, active-duty military personnel may forfeit $100 per month for one calendar year; this monthly allotment will entitle them to a monthly educational stipend after they have completed at least two years of active duty. Furthermore, active-duty servicemembers may elect to forfeit an additional $600 per month as part of the ‘Buy-Up Program’; these candidates will receive repayment at a rate of up to eight dollars to one, resulting in a maximum payout of $5,400 in additional benefits. These benefits will expire after 10 years if they are not cashed out. The MGIB also features a provision for reservists known as Chapter 1606; eligible candidates will receive up to 36 months of education benefits.

Post-9/11 G.I. Bill:

This section of the G.I. Bill is designed for veterans who have entered active-duty since Sept. 10, 2001. Eligible candidates include personnel with a total of 90 active-duty service days since 9/11, as well as those who have been honorably discharged or received a service-connected disability after 30 days of active-duty service. The Post-9/11 provisions include two benefits programs that reduce out-of-pocket costs for military students. Schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon program will ‘match’ G.I. Bill tuition payments by contributing 50% of the overall benefits; currently, the maximum G.I. Bill payout for Yellow Ribbon recipients is $21,084.89 per year. The Transfer of Entitlement program also enables military students and spouses to donate all or some of their unused benefits to children who are attending college. Additionally, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill includes the Machine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship; this award is reserved for spouses and children of military personnel who have died in the line of duty since Sept. 10, 2001. Finally, eligible recipients will be given a yearly textbook stipend of $1,000.

Chapter 31:

This comprehensive section of the G.I. Bill -- known as Vocational Rehabilitation, or Voc Rehab for short -- is dedicated to creating educational and educational opportunities for veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Chapter 32:

Known as the Dependents Education Assistance Program (or DEA), this section of the G.I. Bill provides tuition assistance and other benefits to the spouses and children of military veterans who have been killed in the line of duty or permanently disabled as a result of military service. Eligible candidates will receive up to 36 months of education benefits.

Chapter 35:

Also known as Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance, this section of the GI Bill offers opportunities in the form of education and training to eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans. Eligible candidates can receive education and career counseling, among other benefits.

Chapter 1607:

Reservists who have completed at least 90 active-duty service days are eligible for education benefits under the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP). Currently, eligible recipients will receive up to 80% of the educational benefits given to active-duty personnel as they are reservists.

In addition to federal benefits awarded through the G.I. Bill, many colleges and universities offer extra provisions for active-duty servicemembers, veterans and military dependents. These perks may include:

  • Tuition discounts for eligible military personnel and dependents.
  • Benefits programs for servicemembers and veterans who may not qualify for Yellow Ribbon and other G.I. Bill benefits.
  • Prior-learning assessment (PLA) credits awarded for military trainings and experiences.
  • Institutional scholarships and grants reserved for students with a military background.

In addition to federal benefits awarded through the G.I. Bill, many colleges and universities offer extra provisions for active-duty servicemembers, veterans and military dependents. These perks may include:

  • Tuition discounts for eligible military personnel and dependents.
  • Benefits programs for servicemembers and veterans who may not qualify for Yellow Ribbon and other G.I. Bill benefits.
  • Prior-learning assessment (PLA) credits awarded for military trainings and experiences.
  • Institutional scholarships and grants reserved for students with a military background.

ACADEMIC OUTCOMES FOR MILITARY STUDENTS

Academic support services are crucial for active-duty servicemembers and military veterans pursuing a college education. “[V]eterans follow very different paths to graduation compared with their traditional peers,” note the authors of Million Record Project, a research initiative launched by Student Veterans of America. “Despite these and other challenges common to nontraditional students, student veterans are persisting towards their educational goals and succeeding.”

The Million Record Project polled active-duty personnel, reservists and military veterans. The project’s report noted that 51.7% of all students surveyed eventually earned a postsecondary certificate or degree program. However, nearly 80% of those polled who completed a college program also received G.I. Bill benefits.

The survey also found that military students typically take longer to complete degree programs than traditional students; the median military student earned an associate degree after four years and a bachelor’s degree after five years. However, the report notes that ‘military-related factors’ often impact degree completion times.

The majority of military students in the U.S. complete their education with a certificate or associate degree program; roughly one-third of those interviewed for the survey had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Thanks to prior-learning assessment (PLA) programs, military students can earn college credit from training programs and field experiences. Academic majors that tend to award the highest amount of PLA credit include business administration, information technology, engineering, nursing and health professions. Military students should carefully research PLA opportunities at different colleges and universities in order to determine which schools are the best match for their particular skill-set.

According to the 2015 Veteran Economic Opportunity Report, one out of two Post-9/11 veterans will experience a period of unemployment during their transition to civilian life. G.I. Bill benefits have played a major role for these individuals; post-9/11 veterans represent roughly 58% of the currently G.I. Bill benefits recipients, and another 8% have donated their unused benefits to a qualifying child who is attending college.

Additionally, female students who receive G.I. Bill benefits recorded a 10% higher completion rate than the average for all benefits recipients. In 2013, the median annual income for veterans in the U.S. was $40,302 -- more than $10,000 higher than the median annual earnings for non-veterans.

Additional Support Services

Active-duty servicemembers, veterans or military dependents are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information about tuition assistance, career planning, and other academic services for military students.

VetJobs:

This extensive employment listing site is dedicated to active-service personnel, reservists, National Guard members, veterans and military dependents. Site visitors can browse job openings, post resumes and find career fairs in their area.

G.I. Bill Comparison Tool:

Hosted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, this interactive tool allows students to input their G.I. Bill benefits and compare the estimated cost of attending different schools. The tool includes a section for online students.

VFW Student Veteran Support:

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) hosts a web page dedicated to military students. The site includes scholarship opportunities, tips for choosing the right school, and information about the VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship awarded to top-performing veteran students.