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Find the Time to Get A Degree

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Have you been thinking about getting your degree, but just haven't gotten around to it yet? Why not? In most cases, procrastination is caused by one of 5 factors.

The 5 barriers to getting your degree are:

  1. Confusion
  2. Money
  3. Time
  4. Fear
  5. Motivation

These 5 factors can block you from achieving your potential, but you can remove these barriers when you learn the terms, tricks, and tips that have helped thousands of other servicemembers and veteran's get their education.

Dealing with the Time Factor

Does it seem you barely have enough time in a day to get anything done? Is the thought of adding school to your schedule overwhelming? If so you aren't alone. "Not enough time" seems to be the number one reason for not pursuing school. But if you don't have time now, when will you? If you're waiting until you get out of the service to get started, you're missing a golden opportunity to get a jump on your education and you will probably never work for a more education friendly organization than the U.S. military.

So if you want to learn how to beat the "not enough" time factor, then the following information is just what you need to help find the time to get moving toward your educational goals.

There are four basic ways to attack the time factor:

  • Online Courses
  • Video or Correspondence Courses
  • DANTES Credit-by-Exam
  • American Council on Education (ACE)

The following table gives a quick guide to the benefits associated with each program:

Program

Cost

Self- paced

Study Groups

Dead- lines

Teacher Interaction

Flexible Class Hours

Text Books or Study Guides

Online Courses

Yes*

**

**

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Video or Correspondence

Yes*

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

DANTES Credit-by-Exam

No***

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

ACE Credit for Military Schools and Experience

No

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

*Often covered by Tuition Assistance and the GI Bill
** Depends on the school and course.
***If you take the CBT exam off-base you may have to pay up front and request reimbursement.

Online Courses (Distance Learning)

Online courses follow the same format as traditional college courses, with a professor, textbooks, homework, exams, etc. However online courses have a much higher degree of flexibility and usually use a combination of message boards, e-mail, chat rooms, CD-ROMs and textbooks. In a typical online course the professor will post weekly reading assignments, study questions and schedule a group online chat time. The student must post answers to the study questions and respond to at least one other student's postings by the end of that week. Online courses typically have weekly deadlines, however your daily/weekly study schedule is completely up to you. At the end of the course or module the student will have a final exam for lower level courses or written essay requirement for upper level courses.

Click here for more information on the "online option".

Video and Correspondence Courses (Distance Learning)

DANTES offers thousands of video and correspondence courses from hundreds of "big" name schools. These courses are self-paced, offer a great deal of flexibility and usually have generous deadlines for taking the exams. You simply watch recorded courses take notes and use the study guides at your own pace, and you take exams when your ready. 

Click here for more information on your distance learning options.

DANTES Credit-by-Exam

Unlike taking a distance learning college course, the Credit-by-Exam program is purely self-paced and 100% flexible with no deadlines or class enrollment required. Simply choose the subject test, and study media you prefer (videos, textbooks, or study guides). YOU determine when you're ready to take the examinations and contact your Education Services Office to order the test and set a date. All of the Credit-by-Exam tests are free to active and reserve military members.

Click here for more information on the Credit-by-exam program.

The American Council on Education

Thanks the American Council on Education you can take academic credit for most of the training you have received, including Basic Training.

Considering a typical college course can take up to 6 hours a week for 5 months. Applying your ACE credits will save you that time and best of all using ACE credits costs you nothing; you've already earned them!

Click here for more information on how to take advantage of academic credit for military service.

Your time is valuable, and like any worthwhile goal, so is getting your degree. Although earning a degree will take sacrifice and commitment, your military service has given many options for reducing the time and money it would take civilians without military service.

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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 www.benefits.va.gov/gibill
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