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Things to Know Before Going to College

August 9, 2012

Students need to be aware of schools and accreditation, as there are many schools out there that are not committed to providing the best education possible. Going to a poor quality school is just the same as spending time on a degree that won't get you anywhere. Here are some tips to further help former military and current active duty students start down a strong collegiate road.


1. Find a Mentor

This is an important step and one that is often not heeded thinking that you can go into education alone. There are plenty of counselors at the VA and other friends from military who have gone down the college path. You may even find a mentor in a college advisor. You'll need advice on picking the right schools, choosing the best degree and finding something that truly matches your skills and interests. Even if you research schools and degrees, you should get a second opinion and have someone to help you with these decisions who knows more about college.

2. Pick a Ranked School

There are schools which are better than others. There are also schools that will cost you less money. However, you want to pick a school that is accredited and ranked, such as by research found at degree information resources like In addition, accreditation certainly matters, and you should check that your possible school is accredited. You can also look for former student reviews and talk to students who currently go to the school by looking online.

3. Choosing a Location

Wherever you want to live permanently and do business, you should also go to school. It's important to pick a school in a location that will give you what you want and deliver a network of friends and business contacts. It will also be a lot easier to find a job in a city where you went to college, especially if you get an internship nearby. In addition, pick a school based on the strength of its program in an area.

4. Talk to Admission Officers

You don't want to back away from talking to a school's admission office before choosing something permanent. You also want to ask hard questions, such as who accredited the school and are they recommended by the U.S. Department of Education. You can also ask about the pedigree of staff and recent projects sponsored by the college for your program. Asking hard questions can make it easier to spot a school that just wants your money and doesn't really provide a good education.

5. Look for More Financial Aid

You still qualify for financial aid through FAFSA even with a GI Bill, so make sure that you are taking advantage of all aid that is available for you. You never know when you'll need money for things in college, particularly as high tuition and book costs will take up a lot of what you are paid through the military for school.

Find Post-Military Education

Many schools set up entire veterans communities with transition assistance, tutoring, prep courses and stable support system. Finding a college that provides services for veterans is simple.

Use our FREE custom search tool to find great military-friendly schools:

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