Choosing the right school for your post-military career can be one of the most important decisions of your life. It can also be one of the most difficult. Beyond simply picking a major, it’s important to consider academic reputation, tuition, financial aid, even the campus setting. With thousands of options to choose from, it’s important to consider the individual strengths and culture for a potential school. To help get you started, here are six  options to give you a leg up on finding which one is right for you.


Excelsior College

Excelsior College has been a pioneer in distance learning techniques and specializes in online education for adult students. With a student body that largely consists of full-time workers, veterans and active duty service members will find an environment that may more closely match their needs.

Though the campus is located in Albany, New York, Excelsior’s online coursework allows students to learn from anywhere. The school offers partnership programs with local community colleges so veterans can complete their Excelsior degree while taking an in-person course at a local community college, allowing them to collect the full in-person Monthly Allowance for Housing (MHA) offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs for Post-9/11 GI Bill students. In addition, Excelsior promises additional advantages for veterans and service members, including duty-related extensions, liberal credit transfer and credits for military training.

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

As you might guess from the name, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is all about flying. Located in Daytona Beach, Fla., the school’s focus revolves around aerospace technology. Programs range from air traffic control to UAV systems to aviation law. In addition to being a qualified Yellow Ribbon school, with half of all unmet tuition requirements handled by the school and the other half by the VA, Embry-Riddle was ranked by U.S. News and World report as the ninth best school in the southern region overall, and eighth best regional school for veterans. If living in the sunshine and learning about aircraft is your idea of an ideal college experience, consider giving Embry-Riddle a look.

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New York Film Academy

When you think about occupations for military veterans, filmmaking might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But there is much more that goes into making movies than just the actors on screen. With programs ranging from screenwriting to digital editing and 3D animation, the New York Film Academy might offer a new and fulfilling career, even for those of us with charisma more suited for the mixing booth than the big screen.

NYFA campuses in New York, Los Angeles and South Beach, Fla., offer a variety of film-related programs. Bachelor and master’s degree programs at the Florida and California campuses are eligible for the Yellow Ribbon program and a tuition discount for programs not fully covered by GI Bill benefits. Perhaps you won’t follow in the footsteps of Marine Corps veteran Adam Driver, but if a career in Hollywood is your goal, it might be worth your time to check out what NYFA has to offer.

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University of Incarnate Word

The University of the Incarnate Word is a private Catholic university founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate word and located in San Antonio, Texas. UIW touts the value of learning and Judeo-Christian values, and features over 80 degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level.

UIW fully participates in the Yellow Ribbon program. That means that Post-9/11 GI Bill veterans can expect to have their tuition and fees fully paid for, regardless of whether or not it exceeds the VA’s normal tuition caps. With a student body that is more than 20 percent veterans, it seems as if the word is getting out.

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Touro College

Founded in 1970 by Dr. Bernard Lander to support education and the Judaic tradition, Touro College has grown to include campuses around the world. With a focus on providing an outlet for religious expression, the school offers students of all faiths a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate programs in the New York area and in locations as widely dispersed as Israel and California.

Touro College offers a number of Military Friendly® programs, including benefits aimed at both active duty and GI Bill students. As America’s largest private institution rooted in the Jewish faith, Touro College offers veterans the opportunity to learn and grow in the Judaic tradition at one of many sites across the globe.

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Liberty University

As the largest nonprofit university in the United States and the largest Christian university in the world, Liberty University offers veterans the opportunity to pursue higher education in an institution with a Christian world view. Founded in 1970 by Pastor Jerry Falwell, the school has experienced huge growth to become one of the largest universities in the country.

With more than 500 graduate and undergraduate programs, including the arts, sciences and religious areas of study, Liberty University offers a wide variety of choices to veterans interested in attending both online and at the main campus in Lynchburg, Va. Offering a wide variety of scholarships and programs, Liberty University promises to serve military and veteran students as they have served their country.

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