Once you leave the military, you'll have to decide how you want to spend the rest of your life. College can be a great choice. If you already know what you want to do next, college can give you the skills and education that you need in order to pursue your dreams. If you're uncertain about your next move, college can give you a chance to try out different classes that might help you choose a direction. Take a look at some tips for veterans who want to enroll in college.

Consider Your College Options

Going to college doesn't necessarily mean that you have to live in a dorm and attend classes five days a week, although that is certainly an option. However, in addition to traditional colleges and universities, you should also consider online colleges and colleges that offer programs that are partly online and partly traditional.

Each of these options has their benefits and drawbacks. As an older student who may have a job, a family, or other obligations, online or partially online college can give you the chance to create a more flexible, forgiving schedule that meets your specific needs. On the other hand, part of the college experience is interacting with new people and having new experiences, and the traditional college environment may provide more of those opportunities than you'd find online. Take the time to consider all of your possible options before choosing the one that's right for you.

Take Advantage of Your GI Benefits

The educational assistance for military personnel that's offered by the Veteran's Administration are very important benefits. They're more than just a reward for your service, they're readjustment benefits that are designed to help give you the best possible start in your civilian life.

There are a variety of different GI education benefits, some of which include the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon Program, and Veterans Vocational Rehab. Check the VA website or consult with the Veteran's Administrator at your chosen school to review your options and find out what benefits you're eligible for and which are best-suited for your needs.

Make Connections With Other Veterans

The traditional college freshman is 18 years old and recently out of high school. Due to your military service, you may be several years older than most of your class, and you'll have had experiences that many college students do not have. While it can be educational and beneficial to interact with students who are different from you, it can also feel isolating at times. Students who are also veterans have different social and educational needs that should be taken into account.

Make an effort to make connections with other veterans who are also students. Some colleges have special housing for veteran students. Many colleges have campus veterans' organizations. Even if you attend a fully online college, you can find online study and support groups specifically for student veterans. Seek out a college that has strong programs and support for veterans, and make an effort to connect with other veterans who can support you and understand your unique perspectives and challenges.

Going to college as a veteran can be a big adjustment, but it can also be a great way to prepare for the next phase of your life. Take the time to research all of the opportunities and benefits available to you so that you can make the best decisions about your educational future.