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Online Degrees - Study While You Serve

Posted : Thursday January 1, 1970
Created by: MSG Randall High, U.S. Army (ret)

Visit the Human Resources Command site and review the statistics for those promoted to the senior NCO Ranks. The majority have some sort of college degree. And if you aren't planning a career in the military, you can start working towards a college degree now so that you're more marketable when you do decide to leave the military.

In most cases, the military pays 100% of the tuition costs associated with getting a civilian college degree. Most colleges offer online courses, making it easier for military members to continue attending college classes while they are deployed.

Obtaining a college degree takes time. It can take years to earn a degree depending on the level of effort and the time available. Enrolling in online classes can help you earn your degree faster, because you can study at any time, anywhere there is Internet access.

When you sign up for online classes you are given a list of books that are required for the class and you have time to purchase those books before the class begins. Classes are conducted in an environment that resembles an internet message board or forum. The teacher will post required reading for the week and possibly a homework assignment. The assignment may be something as simple as responding to a question in the message board that is based off the required reading. Homework assignments are usually given with plenty of warning. Some classes involve tests, which are also administered online. When taking an online college class it's a good idea to let your instructor know that you are in the military. Most instructors have a good understanding of how the military works and may allow extra time for homework assignments and alternate testing dates and times based on your work schedule.

Once you sign up for more information about enrollment in a civilian college program, be sure to let your supervisor know. They will often address this in counseling statements and NCOERs.

Here's a quick rundown of the benefits of a college degree:

  • Earn up to 100 promotion points -- 1.5 promotion points for every completed credit hour. Online college classes count!
  • A degree, or showing that you are working towards a degree, makes you stand out at the senior NCO promotion boards.
  • A degree will make you more marketable when you get out of the military.
  • The military has tuition assistance that helps cover the costs associated with attending college.

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