Education Opportunities for Military Archives » -- The Way Education Should Be

7 Things Military Students Should Look For in an Online School
July 2nd, 2012

military students and online learningAs we reported recently on, when some schools see military personnel, they see dollar signs. After all, what school wouldn’t want a piece of the more than $4 billion that colleges have already collected under the new GI Bill?

Not all schools are preying on service members, though. Many colleges and universities hold military students in high regard, tailoring online programs to their unique needs.


Online Students Learn from Anywhere (Really!)
February 29th, 2012

Being an online student carries over to war zones, locker rooms, gyms, vacation destinations, and other places around the world. It’s one of the reasons why more and more adult learners are participating in online learning, which now represents 31 percent of total higher education enrollment.

Sometimes the key is finding an Internet connection away from home. Some students fit in learning with family time, even when out of town. Some are able to juggle work assignments across the globe while learning.


A Good Word from Colin Powell for the For-Profits
June 14th, 2011

As an adviser to Leeds Equity Partners, an investment firm whose holdings include stakes in several for-profit colleges, it seems that Gen. Colin Powell has pitched his tent in the career education sector. In an industry that has taken more than its share of knocks, who wouldn’t feel good about the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff standing in their corner?

Last week, Powell delivered the keynote address at the annual convention of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities in Texas, offering words of encouragement to career school leaders.

It was more than a handful of niceties, though. Powell believes in the mission of the for-profits, but he puts the burden of proof squarely on their shoulders. He encourages career schools to stay on the straight and narrow, saying they should “self-police” and operate with the best ethical standards. In an industry that has been plagued with aggressive recruiting tactics and high loan default rates, the for-profits do have a lot to prove.

While Powell acknowledges the bad press, he urges for-profit schools to stand up for themselves. “Don’t dismiss the criticism that you’re receiving,” he said. “Fight back and make the case for what you’re doing.”

Proactivity has to be the name of the game for the for-profits, especially when it comes to Capitol Hill. With the pending “gainful-employment” rule, which threatens to cut the federal financial aid of for-profit schools that graduate students with a high loan debt and low repayment rates, career schools simply can’t afford to face another restriction on funding.

“Don’t wait for a new regulation to come down the road,” said Powell. “Make the positive case.”

And with some veterans groups and members of the Senate questioning the way for-profit schools are recruiting and enrolling members of the military, veterans, and their families – and receiving large amounts of federal student aid money in return – there’s no time to lose in the fight.

When it comes to making a case for the value of their institutions, Powell said for-profit schools need to “do a better job,” and make the case that their purpose “is not only shareholder value.”

Whether or not it strikes you as fair that the for-profits bear such a heavy burden of proof when it comes to the value of the education they provide, it is their reality. Powell doesn’t excuse the rotten recruiting tactics we’ve heard so much about, but he seems determined that the industry not let a few bad apples ruin the bunch.

–Robyn Tellefsen

Schools’ Commercials Focus on Your Purpose, Sacrifices
May 31st, 2011

As the options grow for online learning and career schools, the schools are doing more to try to make theirs stand out among students like you. Career schools and online universities have invested lots in the ads, which aren’t shoddy commercials like you would find on your local cable access channel. Look at enough of them, and there are some common themes in the commercials, shown on TV and online.

The stars are not the facilities, but adults who are at various stages of their life – some at home with kids, others in what appear to be unhappy job situations, others who have this overall wistful look in their eyes that there’s got to be something better for them out there. At times, some ads can be too schmaltzy, and as a result, people have even created parodies of school commercials on Facebook and YouTube.

Here’s a look at five real ads. Which ones do you think make the grade?

University of Phoenix

By the end of this minute-long ad, where the names of students are repeated over and over, you can’t help but think to yourself, “Everybody’s doing it. I want to be a Phoenix, too!” The ad plays up the camaraderie of college (even if you never see fellow students face to face) by using comments from adults in majors ranging from communications to business to psychology to share their testimonials. Everything is great at Phoenix, these professionally-dressed students say, from the teachers available around the clock and the current curriculum to the way the education prepares students for a real-world experience. It just leaves us with one question – we don’t have to wear suits and ties when taking the classes, do we?

Grand Canyon University

If you’re waiting for a shot of the breathtaking Grand Canyon, you’re going to be disappointed in this commercial. Instead, it shows students on a bus, walking with kids, in the military, and even washing a car staring into their reflection and seeing happy new futures. I saw my reflection on my computer screen early this morning and flinched because my morning look can be so scary, especially after just four hours of sleep. That’s a horror movie. For this school, with classes online or on campus, it’s more of an inspiration that students can find their purpose.

DeVry University’s Keller School of Management

DeVry makes it clear – their students are up late and early. You’ll be studying on a bus, at the kitchen counter, on your couch. The male voiceover is filled with awe and inspiration for the “5 a.m. scholar,” the “work-to-school warrior,” and the “middle-of-the-night study group.” A few things I wanted more of from this commercial: I would loved to see the baby try to eat the pink marker (my baby would have tried to grab that marker away from me immediately) and where did the woman at the end of the commercial get that cute polka-dotted scarf?

Argosy University

This commercial is the most snooze-worthy of the ads here, and that’s coming from someone who enjoys playing the piano. It’s focused on a 42-year-old mom of twins playing piano (by herself, for starters) in a house that’s eerily all too clean to have kids living there. Turns out she’s considering a doctoral degree in psychology, but the scene makes me wonder: Why isn’t she at work and just how does she have time to play the piano? Maybe it’s just my own issue: My desk chair is right behind a piano and I haven’t had time to tickle the ivory in weeks.

Capella University

This action-filled ad keeps you guessing the whole time. Where is the driver heading? Who’s in the wreck? Is this a trailer for the next “Fast and Furious”? Nope, it’s … well, I don’t want to spoil anything.

Which commercial would you give an A+ (or an F)? Tell us below.

Post-9/11 GI Bill Also Covers Online Education
November 11th, 2010

Today is the day to honor our brave service men and women who work every day to secure our freedom. One of the ways in which the U.S. gives back to members of the military is through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which offers tuition benefits to those who have served their country.

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website, “The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.”

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is available for eligible students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as vocational and technical training. The schools, colleges, or universities at which a student enrolls must be approved for GI Bill benefits—a school noted as an Institution for Higher Learning (IHL)–so you must also check for this when you are checking for a school’s accreditation. Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, tutoring and licensing or certification tests are also reimbursed.

So how much tuition money are we talking about? The tuition and fees covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill are determined by the highest in-state tuition at a public college or university, though the actual financial support granted depends on where the person lives and what field of study they will be pursuing. Should the tuition at a student’s chosen school go above the indicated in-state level, the Yellow Ribbon Program can help to cover the difference in cost.

The one benefit of the Post-9/11 GI Bill that is NOT available to online students is the Basic Allowance for Housing, as online programs have no campus or dorms for students.

It’s exciting to know that the GI Bill has evolved to benefit service men and women looking to further their education in a modern world. They are a pride to our country today and always.

–Barbara Bellesi

Where Will You Use Your Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits?
July 13th, 2010

If you’re entitled to the benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you might be wondering how to choose the best education program for your current station of life. Whether you follow other service members or forge your own path, you’ll find that education opportunities with veterans’ benefits abound.

The GI Bill, Then and Now
The Post-9/11 GI Bill, which took effect in August 2009, was projected to improve veterans’ ability to afford four-year institutions because of its increased benefits and new allowances for housing and textbooks. Under the former bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, the majority of veterans used their education benefits at for-profit and community colleges. And in the first year of the new GI bill, attendance patterns were pretty much the same.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), under the old bill, nine of the top 15 institutions that enrolled more than 1,000 students who used GI bill benefits were for-profit schools, and three were community colleges. Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, seven of the 15 were for-profits, and five were community colleges. Seven of these top 15 colleges are largely online, and many of the top 15 operate satellite campuses near military bases.

Bringing Veterans’ Benefits to Private Schools
The accessibility of four-year colleges for veterans is not a pipe dream, however. Under the Montgomery GI Bill, veterans’ benefits were adjusted annually on the basis of average undergraduate tuition. The new GI bill gives veterans up to the full amount of tuition and fees at the most expensive public college in their state. It also provides a monthly housing allowance and an annual stipend for textbooks.

Plus, the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s Yellow Ribbon program actively seeks to help veterans attend private colleges, graduate schools, and out-of-state public schools. The program allows schools to contribute up to 50 percent of a veteran’s unmet tuition and fee charges, and the VA matches that amount.

Reaching Out to Veterans
When veterans make their college decision, a number of factors come into play: cost, convenience, location, comprehensive support system, welcoming environment, and large veteran population. Many service members turn to and The CollegeBound Network’s Military Education channel to learn about schools that offer the amenities they seek.

Veterans might choose schools that have traditionally been geared toward working adults seeking career-oriented training rather than private-school prestige. With that in mind, many schools — four-year colleges in particular — are working to become more military-friendly. Some schools are opening offices to provide veteran-specific services, hiring staff to assist and advise military students. Others are providing outreach and vocational training, conducting research, and engaging in nonpartisan advocacy for veterans. Some offer open houses and online and on-campus orientation programs for veterans.

In addition, some forward-thinking schools are tailoring courses to veterans in order to refocus their training, talents, and experience to other areas, such as civil engineering and health care. Many offer veteran-specific scholarships.

Consider your Post-9/11 GI Bill education options carefully to find the best match for your military experience and career goals. Ultimately, any school you attend should be honored to serve you in response to your faithful service to our country.

~Robyn Tellefsen