Online learning can be a flexible, affordable way to earn a college degree, which may be why more vets than ever are looking at online education.
U.S. News & World Report has released its most recent listing of top online education programs for military vets. Almost fifty percent of vets return from service looking to further their education by enrolling in post-secondary schools. A large percentage of those vets, according to Student Veterans of America, attend online programs as a way to meet family and work obligations.
Vets are attending college as never before, in large part perhaps due to the U.S. unemployment numbers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment for vets between the ages of 18 and 24 was 30 percent in 2011, while unemployment was just 18 percent for ages 18 to 24 in the general population.
The online schools listed by U.S. News include a number of educational programs that award college credit for eligible students who have military experience. There were also schools listed that focus on flexibility for students who are taking courses with more than one school or program. U.S. News also ranked programs based on their graduation rates and the amount of debt students faced after graduation. Their ranking, said a U.S. News spokesperson, was not just based on the benefits of each program, but also based on overall quality of the program offerings.
The ten top online programs offering bachelor degrees in terms of quality, affordability and program selection, according to U.S. News, are offered by: Pace University; Charter Oak State College; Brandman University; Bellevue University; Regent University; University of Nebraska – Omaha; California Baptist University; Post University; Ball State University, and Fort Hays State University.
The ten top online Master of Business Administration programs, according to U.S. News, are offered by: Central Michigan University; West Virginia University; Washington State University; Temple University; University of Nebraska – Lincoln; University of Mississippi; University of Colorado – Denver; University of Memphis (Fogelman); Ball State University (Miller); and Columbia College.
The revised G.I. Bill covers college tuition of $280 per unit and three years of full-time school, and includes a book allowance of $500 as well as a basic housing allowance of up to $1,500 per month. The housing allowance is based on the cost of living in the nearest military installation. Vets with extended years of service can often transfer their own education benefits to be used by their immediate family members.