The following is taken from my Education Blog. With all the upcoming changes to the GI Bill, I thought it would be good time to dust it off and run it again.
As a veteran there are a few things you can do to help ensure your own success. Veterans who have done the following three things have been able to weather the inevitable barriers to their ability to complete their degrees.
1. Start with the right goal in mind. Veterans often start college because of the lure of the GI Bill benefits. Focusing on how earning your college degree improves your employment and ability to earn more money can make it easier to stay on track when the courses and scheduling get challenging – especially when the GI Bill payment process causes financial hardships.
Many veterans find that writing down their goals helps them stay focused.
2. Plan for financial setbacks. Sadly, many vets dropped out of school last year due to the financial burdens caused by late GI Bill payments. It is very important to expect the worst and plan ahead for the inevitable glitches in the GI Bill payment process. Setting aside an emergency fund can help avoid the impact of late or incorrect GI Bill payments.
Some vets find it helpful to apply for Federal Student Aid – federal student loans, grants and scholarships – to help create a buffer in case of financial hardships.
3. Get help when you need it. Don’t remain silent when things get difficult - over communicate - reach out to your professor, academic advisor, veterans’ program administrator, fellow veterans, or even the VA if you start to fall behind. Everyone at your school has a stake in your success, even if they don’t know it.
Remember your success in education leads to your successful transition to the civilian workforce. You have the most to gain from your education, be sure you don’t let anything keep you from achieving success.