Choosing an institution to continue your education can be intimidating. Several factors must be taken into consideration. Do they offer the degree I want, how much of the tuition will be covered by tuition assistance, will the classes be well presented, how will the program fit into my schedule, and will my American Council on Education (ACE) [college credit for military experience], CLEP testing, and other college credits transfer into this program?
Identifying those institutions that provide the best value for military members can be a daunting task. Often the value is lost in the sales pitch. It is discouraging to get spam announcing a new GI Bill benefit, only to find it is bait to get your e-mail address and other pertinent information to generate even more spam.
Servicemembers have several layers of assistance. First and foremost is the advice of their Education Services Officers (ESO). ESOs have experience with a wide variety of schools and know what programs work and those that do not work well with Servicemembers. Make sure you contact your ESO at your command before embarking on any plan of education. They will be able to
- work with you to choose a school
- help you plan your program of education,
- help you get financial aid such as tuition assistance, or the GI Bill,
- and help you work with your chain of command to ensure you have enough time to take necessary courses.
The services offered by your ESO are invaluable, use them while you have them.