There is a lot to consider when applying to college as a veteran. Colleges vary in size, location, curriculum, and housing. Applying as a veteran gives you additional things to consider, much of it for your benefit. Here are a few steps to help ease the process.
1. Find the colleges that interest you. Look for their specific requirements and deadlines and then apply. With your application, also send in any test scores that the school may need, military transcripts, recommendation letters and personal essays. Make sure you apply to a few schools to give you a safety net.
2. Apply for your GI Bill Benefits. Depending on the time and type of your service you may be entitled to a range of benefits. The Veterans Affairs website has great tools to help find your benefits and even pick a school based on those benefits. Apply at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/.
3. Apply for financial aid. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so you can be awarded with loans and grants. You can access their website at www.fafsa.gov.
4. Look for scholarships. There are thousands of scholarships out there for everyone. The amount can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. Every bit helps so apply to as many as you can find. College Board has a really useful scholarship finder.
5. Talk to the school’s admissions office. You may be eligible to receive college credit for your military training or previous college courses taken, exempting you from taking some of the required courses and saving you a large chunk of change. If they don’t count but you feel comfortable in your knowledge of a course’s subject matter, you can take a CLEP exam to get out of it.
The admission’s office is also a great tool to use for any specific questions you may have on any aspect of the college or university.