College is tough, but earning a bachelor's degree can be life-altering. In fact, the people who possess a bachelor's degree earn 75 percent over their lifetime than they would have earned with just a high school diploma. Veterans who have been medically discharged due to a physical injury or a mental challenge, like PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, can get help in earning their degree as they transition to civilian life and a new career path.
Credit by exam
Military members have the opportunity to earn college credit by studying for and passing DANTES exams (Defense Activities for Non-Traditional Educational Support) through the Department of Defense. These exams, recently renamed DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Test), allow self-motivated veterans to study test materials in their free time and take an exam to earn three to four hours of college credit without setting foot in a classroom.
Credit for experience
Many colleges also offer credit for experience. While how much credit and for what experience varies from college to college, being able to earn a few extra credits — at no cost — can help veterans pursuing a bachelor's degree get ahead. Talk to your admissions adviser about earning college credit for your military experience.
While online classes were not created to support wounded veteran programs, they inadvertently do so. Veterans with either physical or mental health challenges may not be able to attend classes on time or in person. Online courses, particularly asynchronous courses, allow students to work through their college coursework from the comfort of their own homes at a time when they are personally able.
College textbooks are expensive. While the use of ebooks and online book rental programs can reduce the overall cost of textbooks, there are wounded veteran educational support programs that exist to help veterans with the cost of books. In fact, the Department of Veteran Affairs offers a $1,000 annual book stipend for veterans, which covers most, if not all, of the cost of textbooks.
For many students, both civilians and veterans, it can be difficult to attend school while working full-time. The Post-9/11 GI Bill, available to anyone who served after September 10, 2001, provides a housing allowance for any student attending college more than half-time. The amount is based on the average cost of housing in the area where your college is located.
Wounded veteran educational support programs exist to help remove the typical obstacles to higher education for veterans.
For more information on a support wounded veteran program, contact a professional near you.