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Find the right military-friendly college

Find the right military-friendly college

With so many colleges and universities available, it is important that you choose one that will meet your needs as a military personnel or veteran.  That means you should consider features such as tuition affordability, flexible class schedules, and military-friendly policies among other things.  To get started, ask yourself:

Not sure? Then try to complete “the basics,” called core curriculum classes such as English, math, history, and science.  Core curriculum classes are required before entering classes related to your major and can be completed at a community college. By completing core curriculum classes first, you can save time and money prior to entering your major program.

Comparison Shop

In addition to comparing features, you should check out colleges or universities that offer GI Bill approved education programs.  If you are on active duty, in the reserves, or may get deployed, it’s important to attend a college that offers convenient classes that can accommodate your schedule.

A listing of GI Bill approved education programs can be found here: http://www.gibill.va.gov/resources/education-resources/education-programs.html

Once you have discovered the GI Bill approved education program that’s right for you, there are factors to consider in choosing a four-year university.  To help narrow down your choices, you might want to look below, or print a comparison chart to fill out!

Transitions from Community College to University

Admissions

Community College University
What are the requirements for admission? Open door means anyone can attend regardless of past academic history (with requirements for entrance into certain programs) Requirements based on community college GPA and the number of transfer hours earned for university admission. Many majors within different universities have their own GPA and transfer hour admission requirements to be admitted to their programs.
When is the application due? Before you start taking classes All universities have deadline dates for submitting an application. Usually, the deadline is  at least 1 semester before you start (check with the university where you want to transfer for specific dates)
Do I need to pay to apply? There are a few community colleges that have an application fee that must be paid when applying. The application fee varies by institution, so contact the university to find out the exact fee. Check on special opportunities for military students to have the application fee waived at the university where you want to transfer.
Do I need multiple applications? Just one application for admissions. Some majors require an additional application. Check with the university where you want to transfer for specific dates.
Where do I apply? www.applytexas.org www.applytexas.org
Who will assist me with application process? Admission representatives can assist you in completing the application process. Most universities have admission representative who specialize in working with transfer or military students. Contact their admission offices and ask for a VA counselor or transfer center/unit.

 Financial Aid

Community College University
Is financial aid available? Yes Yes
When is the financial aid application due? Typically before you start taking classes Usually  at least 1 semester before you start (check with the  university where you want to transfer for the specific date)
Who do I talk to about financial aid questions? A representative of the financial aid office or VA counselor A representative of the financial aid office or VA counselor
Are grants & scholarships available? Yes Yes
Can my GI Bill benefits be used to pay for tuition? Yes, if it is a GI Bill approved program Yes, if it is a GI Bill approved program
When is my tuition due? Before classes start and be sure not to miss the payment deadline or you may have to register again. Check with the university about payment dates when registering for your classes.  Before classes start-check with the university so that you do not miss the deadline.

 Advising and Orientation

Community College University
Do I have a specific advisor I need to talk to? Typically at a community college there is a Veterans Affairs (VA) Counselor or representative available Typically at a university, there is a VA Center on campus to assist military personnel or veterans with transferring to the university.
Must I attend a new student orientation? New Student Orientations are available. Check the community college for requirements. Not all universities have orientations for transfer students to attend; please check with your University.
What are the expectations for textbooks? Check with your professor  or the college bookstore about textbook requirements Check with your professor or the university bookstore about textbook expectations
How can I learn more about the university before transferring? Some colleges offer you an opportunity to meet with an admissions representative at your college during each semester. This person can assist you with transition into the university. Some universities offer prospective student special events or meetings during each semester. Contact the university’s admissions office for more information.
How do I register for classes? Some colleges require you attend an orientation, meet with an advisor or both before you can register for classes.  The advisor will assist you in selecting courses and information on registering for classes. Some universities require you to either attend an orientation, meet with an academic advisor, or both before you can register for classes. The academic advisor will assist you with selecting classes, provide information on registering for classes, and determine whether you are meeting degree requirements.

 Curriculum

Community College University
Can I take my Core Curriculum Classes? Yes, all community colleges offer core curriculum classes or “basics” that can be transferred to a university Yes, all universities offer core curriculum classes or “basics”.
Will my Core Curriculum Classes count toward my degree? Yes–if you complete your core at the community college you will meet the core requirements at the university when you transfer Yes – In most cases, ask a university representative about printed or electronic resources that explain the applicability of your course work to a specific degree program.
How does the Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree or career/technical courses transfer?  At community colleges, you will complete an Associate’s degree or career/technical courses and those credits can transfer to a university. Some universities offer Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science and Bachelor of Applied Technology degree that will combine your applied credit with specialized course to create a customized bachelor’s degree.
What classes can I take that are guaranteed to transfer? Meet with an academic advisor at the community college your first semester to get started on the core curriculum. Also get information from transfer101.org on whom to contact at universities regarding the transfer process and courses that will meet university degree requirements. Save yourself time and money by contacting the admission office or the academic department at the university you would like to attend at least one semester before you want to transfer. They can recommend a list of both core and major courses you can take at your particular community college that will satisfy the university degree requirements.
Are classes flexible enough to meet my military schedule? Classes are available on campus (morning, afternoon, and evening) and on the weekend.  Check out the class schedule at your specific college for more details. Classes can be completed online or on campus at various times.  Check out the class schedule at your specific university for more details.

Check Your Courses

The colleges and universities in the State of Texas established a common numbering system for the first two years coursework in community colleges and universities. The common course numbering system and state equivalency table provides you with information on freshman and sophomore level coursework at both community colleges and universities. See the how courses you are taking at the community college are listed at the university.

Transferable or Articulated Credit Accepted?

Each class you complete earns credit(s) toward a degree.  At a community college, the credits fall into one of three categories: transferable, articulated, or neither (often called non-transferable). A transferable course will be accepted at a university and go as a credit towards your degree, at least as an elective — it may or may not count as a general requirement. Articulated credits may be used for both major and general education requirements. To find out for sure what your credits are doing for you, make sure you talk to an advisor.

Military Transfer Credits

Most universities use the American Council of Education (ACE) guide to research course credit and award recommended credit. Credit is generally awarded after enrollment at the university.

ACE has a transfer guide that you can download to help you understand this process. Information on how and where to order your military transcripts is also provided in this guide.

Check out ACE for a transfer guide!

College Credit for Heroes

The College Credit for Heroes (CCH) program has been established by the State of Texas. The program seeks to maximize college credits awarded to active military members and veterans for their military experience. The program has developed streamlined degree paths and workforce certificates to expedite the transition into the Texas workforce.

We’ve made it as EASY as…..

1.  Register as a guest for limited access to the College Credit for Heroes (CCH) search or register as a College Credit for Heroes user for full access. Use CCH’s powerful search functions, and you will receive an immediate estimate of credits based on your military occupation and the service schools you attended.

2.  Request an evaluation of military educational experiences. Log in to your account at any time to check the status of your requests.

3.  Request an official transcript to be sent to a participating Texas college or another Texas college. Contact your participating college to determine what credits will be accepted toward your program of study

College Vocabulary from A to Z

Just like in the military, there is a whole other language not frequently used in civilian life.  Check out this Glossary of Commonly Used Terms associated with going to college.  http://transfer101.org/glossary/

Compatible Course Matrix

The colleges and universities in the State of Texas established a common numbering system for the first two years coursework in community colleges and universities. The common course numbering system and state equivalency table provides you with information on freshman and sophomore level coursework at both community colleges and universities. See the how courses you are taking at the community college are listed at the university.

Resources to Help You Compare and Chose a University

To learn more about some of your Texas four-year university options, visit their Web sites:

Also feel free to check out these sites for more tips