Many service men and women look toward completing their education in order to achieve success in their life after their military service. Transitioning to college life after military service can be a big change and a big challenge for many people. Whether you are looking at either a career change or a college education, you can expect a big transition from life in the military to life in everyday society.
When you’re in the military you are told each day what you need to do, where you need to be, what you need to accomplish, and even what you must wear. This becomes your way of life and you quickly get used to this. When you enter the non-military world, you are entirely on your own. Your success as a college depends on your ability to get yourself to class, complete your course assignments, and earn good grades. Depending on the type of program you enter, you may be dealing with several instructional formats: traditional lecture and textbook classes, hands-on training with supplemental textbook material, and blended or online learning.
At the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology (P.I.T.), you will have the opportunity to experience any or all of these instructional formats. Some programs offer an educational experience that is similar to the hands-on and simulation training you encountered in the military and this can make for an easier transition. Our blended courses provide you with the opportunity to take courses that are a combination of in-classroom learning and online learning. We also offer traditional lecture and textbook based courses in most programs. Our Academic Support Counselors and the faculty will assist you in determining which style or styles of learning suit you the best.
When you attend college after military service, you will be interacting with people of all types. You are no longer socializing and working with people of the same mindset and work ethic as you. This can be a challenge for someone who has been overseas or in a very structured military setting. It’s important to remember everyone has something to learn, including you. You may want to look for other veterans with whom you can talk to and compare experiences. P.I.T. can help you with making these connections. P.I.T. sponsors the Student Veterans Organization. The student veterans in the group want to recognize, support, and nurture their fellow veterans as they continue their education. It’s always helpful to speak with someone who is going through or has gone through what you have. It’s also good to relax and get used to talking to other people as well.
In addition, there are several great education benefits that are offered to service members, including: financial aid, college tuition funds, and college credit for military experience and training. These opportunities make achieving an education after military service realistic and attainable. Some programs include:
- Tuition Assistance
The Military Tuition Assistance program, offered by the United States Armed Forces, provides funding for service men and women to attend classes at a number of technical schools, colleges and universities. Some details vary between the services but you may be able to receive as much as 100% of your tuition and even some fees through the program. Click on the link above for more details.
- College Fund Programs
All branches of the military offer new service men and women the opportunity to start a college fund when they enter the military. Money is provided by the military and put into this fund for the duration of your service. There are stipulations but when you leave the military you can access those funds to begin your college program after the military.
- Testing Programs
Testing programs allow military personnel to take tests that can award them college credits that can be transferred into select colleges and applied toward their degree when they have completed their military service. This is a great way to get a head start on your education. P.I.T. does offer credit for your military experience.
Additional information on programs offered by the United States Armed Forces to assist you or your family members obtain an education is available on the Education page at Military.com.
Generally speaking, achieving an education after serving in the military poses challenges but also great opportunities. There are a number of things to consider when choosing a program. The Pennsylvania Institute of Technology provides an excellent and accommodating environment for our service men and women to begin their future.