Online Colleges for Veterans and Military Personnel 2021

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Online Colleges for Veterans and Military Personnel Badge

Online colleges and universities targeting veterans and military personnel provide financial, academic, and transition programs to help meet the unique needs of these students.

Students considering attending online colleges for military personnel at the undergraduate level typically need to hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts. They may also need to submit standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and/or an essay. Some programs also require applicants to meet a minimum GPA.

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Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that bachelor’s degree-holders earn significantly higher median weekly salaries than workers without the degree. Earning a bachelor’s during or after military service gives veterans and military personnel the knowledge and skill set they need to smoothly transition into civilian life.

This guide ranks the best online colleges for military personnel and veterans. It also covers information on financial aid opportunities for military and veteran students.

Top 10 Online Colleges for Veterans and Military Personnel

Rank School Location
1 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
2 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
3 Keiser University- Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
4 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO
5 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
6 Regis University Denver, CO
7 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
8 Roger Williams University Bristol, RI
9 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
10 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ

FAQ


  • Can you do online college while in the military?

    Yes, many schools offer online programs that allow military students to earn a degree from where they are stationed.


  • What is the best online college for veterans?

    The best online college for veterans depends on the needs and interests of each student. However, ideal schools typically offer financial, academic, and transition programs catered to the unique needs of this student population.


  • Does the VA pay for online school?

    Yes, the VA offers several financial assistance programs that veterans can use to help pay for their education.


  • What schools accept military tuition assistance?

    All types of schools recognized by the Department of Education accept military tuition assistance, including two- and four-year colleges and universities.


Online Colleges for Veterans and Military Personnel 2021



  1. Saint Louis University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    A private Catholic university in Saint Louis, Missouri, SLU dates back to 1818. The school's online bachelor's programsearn SLU top marks as a military-friendly institution. With unique majors and a student success center dedicated to helping online learners, SLU ranks as the best military-friendly online college. SLU offers a tuition discount for military and veterans. Students can save additional money on tuition by receiving credit for military training and service. The Student Success Center offers one-on-one tutoring and writing consultations to support learners. Thanks to the accelerated eight-week term, SLU online learners can reach their educational goals faster. SLU grants online degrees in computer information systems, emergency management, and project management. Learners can also earn an RN-to-BSN degree or major in security and strategic intelligence with concentration options in business continuity, global corporate security, and strategic intelligence. Saint Louis University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  2. Drexel University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Philadelphia's Drexel University grants degrees in more than 150 areas, including online bachelor's degrees. Drexel ranks as one of the country's best online colleges for military students thanks to its tuition discounts and flexible learning environment. Drexel's status in the Yellow Ribbon Program means that eligible veterans can attend for free. The school's online programs let students access course materials at any time from any place, making the program accessible to military students. Active military personnel, veterans, reservists, and their immediate families receive reduced tuition. Drexel also waives the new student matriculation fee for these students. Drexel grants online bachelor's degrees in diverse disciplines including business, communication, and criminal justice. Online learners can pursue a general studies degree to customize their curriculum around prior credits and career goals. Drexel also offers online degrees in nursing, technology, and psychology. Drexel University holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  3. Keiser University- Ft Lauderdale
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    A private institution located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser offers career-focused bachelor's degrees, including online undergraduate degrees. With small class sizes and flexible schedules, Keiser's online programs appeal to military students seeking a bachelor's degree. Keiser helps military students access VA benefits and tuition assistance programs. The university offers scholarship opportunities for military students and grants credit for military training. Keiser also employs veterans and military-affiliated employees. At Keiser, online learners major in accounting, applied engineering, and business administration. Keiser offers unique programs, including an online bachelor's in automotive dealership management and a golf management degree. Online students can also earn a degree in interdisciplinary studies to gain a broad base of knowledge and skills. Keiser University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  4. Maryville University of Saint Louis
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    A private institution founded in 1872, Maryville operates from its campus in St. Louis, Missouri. At Maryville, students can earn an online bachelor's degree from a military-friendly college. Student support advisors work with all online students from enrollment through graduation. These advisors connect students with resources throughout their educational journey. Maryville supports military students starting with the application process, where prospective students work with a coordinator to apply, find a major, and access educational benefits. Online learners also work with a life coach to build study skills and overcome obstacles during their degree. In addition to supporting military students and veterans, Maryville also offers resources for military spouses. Learners can pursue online degrees in accounting, business administration, communication, and computer science. Students can also pursue a degree in criminal justice, cybersecurity, or international studies. Registered nurses (RNs) can earn their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) online at Maryville. Maryville University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  5. LeTourneau University
    Location

    Longview, TX

    A private Christian university in Longview, Texas, LETU specializes in fields such as engineering, nursing, and business. At LETU, students can earn an online bachelor's degree from one of the best online colleges for military students. LETU prioritizes convenience, letting students complete coursework from anywhere in the world. Military students at LETU benefit from the Student Success Center, an office dedicated to supporting students during their time at the university. LETU grants credit for military course completion and military occupational experience, saving students time and money. LETU also offers online tutoring services, with support in subjects such as writing, math, business, and computer science. LETU grants online degrees in majors such as accounting, healthcare management, and business administration -- the latter of which offers concentrations in finance, nonprofit management, and management. The university also offers online degrees in Christian ministry, Scripture and theology, and theological studies. LeTourneau University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

  6. Regis University
    Location

    Denver, CO

    From its campus in Denver, Colorado, Regis enrolls more than 10,000 students. In addition to on-campus degrees, Regis also offers military-friendly online bachelor's degrees. The online degrees, designed for working adults, offer convenient accelerated formats and flexible learning environments, which appeal to military service members and veterans. Regis emphasizes flexibility, accessibility, and building in-demand skills through its online programs. The university offers active-duty and veteran education benefits, including affordable tuition rates and a generous transfer credit policy. The Veteran's Resource Center helps military students connect with advisors and student services specialists. At Regis, online students major in accounting, applied psychology, and communication. The online business administration program offers concentrations in human resource management, marketing, project management, and management. Regis also offers online degrees in computer science and communication information systems. Regis University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  7. Webster University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    A private institution located outside Saint Louis, Missouri, Webster dates back to 1915. At Webster, students can earn an online bachelor's degree through an accredited institution. Webster ranks among the top military online colleges thanks to its flexible options and support services for military students. Webster accepts transfer credit for prior military training and offers reduced tuition rates for active-duty military, reservists, and national guard members. Advisors help students access military and VA benefits, while the Office of Military Affairs supports military students. Webster also offers academic advising to help online learners complete their degree. Online learners enroll part time or full time at Webster. The university's online programs include criminology, educational studies, psychology, and management. Webster also offers an online degree in general studies for students seeking a broad knowledge base and transferable skills. In addition to these programs, Webster offers degree-completion programs in data analytics, nursing, and media communications. Webster University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

  8. Roger Williams University
    Location

    Bristol, RI

    A private institution in Bristol, Rhode Island, RWU dates back to 1956. Today, RWU offers online bachelor's degrees as a military-friendly online college. At RWU, online learners work with advisors to design a personalized distance-learning experience, helping military students complete a bachelor's degree. Military students comprise more than half of the continuing studies student population at RWU. The university supports military students with advisors, education officers, and other student services staff. RWU provides a military discount and a college and career success program for veterans and their spouses. Online learners benefit from career transition resources to translate their military experience into the workforce. At RWU, online learners major in applied psychology, criminal justice, emergency medical services, and paralegal studies. RWU also offers an online degree in policing, public safety, and security. Roger Williams University holds accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

  9. Rutgers University - New Brunswick
    Location

    New Brunswick, NJ

    A public university in New Jersey, Rutgers offers online bachelor's degrees that appeal to military service members and veterans. The university's online programs offer the same quality as on-campus programs through a flexible learning environment. Online learners pay an affordable tuition and take classes that emphasize interactive learning and real-world skills. At Rutgers, the Office of Veteran and Military Programs and Services supports service members and veterans. Multiple programs support active-duty military, veterans, and dependents earning a degree at Rutgers, including accessing educational benefits. Rutgers also helps online military students identify scholarship opportunities and apply for financial aid. Rutgers offers online degrees in business administration, nursing, and labor and employment relations. The online programs provide foundational knowledge in the discipline while building a well-rounded skill set. For example, the school's RN-to-BSN program develops critical skills and promotes high-quality patient care. Rutgers University-New Brunswick holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  10. University of Arizona
    Location

    Tucson, AZ

    A public research institution in Tucson, UArizona dates back to 1885. The school offers military-friendly online degrees through more than 100 online programs. UArizona's flexible online programs and student services help military-affiliated students complete a bachelor's degree online. UArizona offers support through academic advisors, tutors, and coaches. Alumni mentors help students seek career opportunities after graduation. UArizona also offers help with applying for educational benefits for military students. The university guarantees that any active-duty military student's approved tuition assistance rate will cover their online tuition. This policy means that active-duty service members can earn a bachelor's degree without taking out loans to cover tuition. At UArizona, online learners major in fields such as business administration, communication, and early childhood education. UArizona Online also offers degrees in environmental science, history, and informatics. The University of Arizona holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

What Are the Goals of an Online Degree?

Accredited online colleges for military personnel and veterans provide the same educational quality and rigor as on-campus programs. Most military tuition assistance programs offer financial support for students pursuing degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Some financial aid packages cover housing costs as well.

The flexibility of online programs allows military students to balance their studies with military responsibilities. Online programs also allow military students to earn a degree from almost anywhere that they are stationed. Veterans and active service members can pursue an online degree in virtually any field of study available to non-military students.

Why Get an Online Degree?



Online colleges for military personnel offer many benefits, several of which we highlight below.

Highly Transportable
Active service members tend to move around a lot. The flexibility of online programs helps these students keep up with course requirements, meet deadlines, and graduate with their peers no matter where in the world they are deployed.
Transition to Civilian Life
Many schools with online programs for veterans offer helpful resources such as career counseling to help students transition to life outside of the military.
More Secure Employment
Bachelor’s degree-holders usually earn higher salaries and enjoy more employment opportunities than non-degree-holders.
Improve Professional Options
Employers often promote bachelor’s-trained employees to management positions and leadership roles.
Prepare for Graduate School
A bachelor’s degree provides the educational training needed to pursue graduate school.

What Are the Requirements for an Online School?

Online colleges for military personnel and veterans typically require applicants to hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts. Applicants may also need to submit letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and/or an essay.

Once admitted, students must meet coursework and GPA requirements. Some programs require an internship or practicum, which online students can typically complete in their local area.

Online Guide to Accredited Colleges and Universities

Montgomery GI Bill®



Signed into law in 1944 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) originally provided funds to cover college tuition, home loans, and unemployment benefits for veterans. It has since expanded to include other programs for active-duty service members (MGIB-AD) and service reservists (MGIB-SR).

Service members who qualify for the MGIB-AD program receive educational benefits for 36 months, which they can use over a 10-year period. The MGIB-SR program comes with a smaller educational allotment, but both programs are adjusted each October to reflect the rising cost of education and training. Recipients can apply their educational benefits toward a two- or four-year college program, as well as technical and vocational programs.

Post-9/11 GI Bill®



The Post-9/11 GI Bill grants educational benefits to service members who have served for at least 90 days after September 10, 2001. Benefits cover full tuition and fees at public universities. Recipients can transfer unused portions of their benefits to dependents. The program also includes a housing allowance. Similar to the MGIB, the program allows recipients to apply their educational benefits toward any type of degree or training program. Recipients can apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill by mail or online.

Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits do not expire. Reservists and Guard members who meet certain requirements also qualify to receive specific benefits. The Post-9/11 GI Bill includes the Yellow Ribbon Program. Under this provision, private schools that accept students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits agree to waive all or some of the unmet portion of the tuition. The VA then matches the waived amount and applies that toward the student’s tuition as well.

Additional Resources for Veterans and Military Personnel



The three resources presented below help veterans and military personnel succeed academically and professionally.


  • VetJobs This website provides access to thousands of military-friendly job opportunities in diverse industries and professional arenas. Active and retired service members as well as reserves and National Guard members can join at no cost.

  • GI Bill Comparison Tool This site allows GI Bill recipients to compare schools and benefits according to several parameters, such as military status, years of service, and type of program.

  • VFW Student Veterans Support This organization supports student veterans with a $5,000 scholarship opportunity, as well as guidance on claiming their GI Bill benefits.

Scholarships for Veterans and Military Personnel

Veterans and military service members can find financial aid programs from several sources, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and professional associations. Many programs extend educational benefits to spouses, dependents, and survivors of honorably discharged veterans and active service members. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for military students.

AFCEA War Veterans Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Active-duty service members and military veterans who served in one of the Overseas Contingency Operations qualify for these scholarships. Applicants must be sophomores or juniors enrolled in an undergraduate STEM program with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Amount: $2,500

AMVETS Scholarships

Who Can Apply: American Veterans administers several online scholarships for military personnel and veterans. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and submit proof of enrollment or acceptance to an approved program of study.
Amount: $4,000

Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarships

Who Can Apply: AWF welcomes applications from retired and active-duty women soldiers in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. Direct descendants can also apply. The program allotts funds for certificate programs, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees. Applicants must show academic promise and demonstrate financial need.
Amount: $1,000-$2,500

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/.

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