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Top 25 Military Friendly Online Colleges

Top 25 Military Friendly Online Colleges

As a nation we are often divided on the issue of war—whether it is justified, or whether it is not. But one thing that our nation is always united in, or should be, is our respect and support of our soldiers, both veterans and active. One way we see this support is through the growing number of innovative educational offerings available for veterans and military personnel. Whether it be through financial support from scholarships, grants, and tuition cuts; military student support services; or the ability to transfer real world experience as credit, there are a number of ways in which a college can be “military friendly.”

For this ranking, we have narrowed our focus to online degree programs, since the option for virtual learning often suits active soldiers and returning veterans, and because online programs seem to best accommodate our nation’s military. The results of this ranking are the culmination of a multi-dimensional metric system, which uses data compiled from IPEDS, the United States’ national resource for education data. With that information in hand, we focused on three major objectives. First, we wanted to determine the academic quality of the 1400+ institutions we sampled. Second, we looked at whether the school offered specific support for military personnel, such as contact points in support services, or credit for military training. And last, we wanted to know whether tuition and financial aid are supportive of soldiers and veterans. You can find a more thorough explanation of the methodology we used below.

Methodology:

  • Academic Quality Score(1/3): traditional measures of academic quality including admissions standards, student-faculty ratio, percentage of faculty with terminal degrees in their field.
  • Veteran Support Score (1/3):
    • Dedicated point of contact for support services for veterans military servicemembers and their families (1/3)
    • Credit for military training (1/3)
    • Veterans and Military Servicemembers tuition policies web address
  • Affordability and Financial Aid (1/3):
    • Affordability (1/2):
      • Out-of-state undergraduate tuition rank (1/2)
      • Out-of-state graduate tuition rank (1/2)
    • Financial Aid (1/2)
      • Amount of Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Program benefits per student receiving DoD tuition assistance (1/1)
1
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

Louisiana State University is a public, nonprofit university in Baton Rouge. As Tier 1 Research Institute, LSU has been nationally recognized for its extensive research facilities and several of its graduate programs, including its business and education programs, both of which have fully available online degrees. LSU Online hosts three programs, the E.J College of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Human Sciences & Education. In total, that amounts to 10 certificate and graduate degrees from some of the nation’s top programs.

LSU offers a wide range of support for veteran students, including in-state tuition for active Reserve members, veterans with more than two years of service, and veterans with disabilities. They also have a Veteran & Military Admission counselor, dedicated to helping students start college on the right path. And at LSU, Veterans and service members can earn up to 12 credit hours for years of active duty, in addition to credit for your military transcript on a case-by-case basis.

2
Mayville State University

Mayville State University is part of the North Dakota University System. With just over 1,000 students, Mayville offers a close-knit community with a 13:1 student to faculty ratio. With options for all online degrees and a mix of online and off-campus course options, Mayville’s Online education program works to meet its students’ needs. They offer a range of fully online options, from individual classes, like Physics and Anatomy, to Associate’s degrees like Early Childhood and Business Management, to Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics Education or University Studies. Recently, MSU also added a Masters in Teaching to their online degree programs.

From using VA certifying officials to directing active military to precise information on tuition assistance for their branch, Mayville State takes steps to ensure veterans and military members make the most of their college career. MSU also ensures their prospective active duty and veteran students know the benefits available to their dependents, both at the national level and to North Dakota residents.

3
California Miramar University

California Miramar University is a for-profit institution in San Diego. Offering a mix of online and hybrid teaching formats, CMU focuses on how to best meet its students’ needs. Their degree programs include Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate of Business Administration, as well as Master’s of Strategic Leadership and Computer Information Systems.

CMU’s Military Education Unit offers support for CMU students during deployment, including support for spouses and dependents. Part of the Military Education Unit at CMU also includes paying close attention to military specific finance needs, access to online learning environments, and one-on-one assistance. Part of CMU’s commitment to veteran and military service members includes allowing transfer credit for military transcripts, accepting GI Bill VA benefits and Military Tuition Assistance, as well as participating in the Department of Defense Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program.

  • Military Education Unit
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $7800
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $3750
4
Trident University International

Trident University International is a private for-profit university that is 100% online with a student body of 75% veterans or active duty military. TUI offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees for these programs: business, health sciences, education, and information technology. Not only are all classes fully online, but TUI also uses innovation in teaching through its Trident Learning Model, which promotes case-based learning rather than tests.

Consistently recognized by national level organizations as a “Military-Friendly School,” Trident offers a lot of options of veterans, active military, and their families. In addition to offering tuition assistance for each branch of the military as well as accepting Post 9/11 and Yellow Ribbon GI Bills, Trident recognizes military service through accepting transfer credit for military service. For Veterans, Trident goes even further, offering additional reduced tuition rates and hosts an online chapter for Student Veterans of America. Finally, for military spouses and dependents, Trident offers Military Education Grants that reduce tuition by 33%.

5
Bridgewater State University

Located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Bridgewater State is a public liberal-arts college. Bridgewater is among the nation’s oldest and most distinguished teacher education institutions. Their College of Continuing Studies offers a variety of options to fit student needs, including online courses, professional development programs, and degrees. Online degree and certificate programs range from accounting and finance to management to early childhood and special education.

BSU’s Military and Veteran Students Services offers comprehensive help for students’ social and academic life while in college. Because BSU is a long standing institute of higher education, they offer assistance in navigating the various tuition assistance programs available to Veterans and Military servicemembers, as well as directing students to other offices like disability services or academic tutoring. BSU also accepts Joint Services Transcripts (JST) and Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) as transfer credits to ensure their students’ military service counts towards their degree programs.

6
William Carey University

William Carey University is a private Christian liberal arts college associated with the Southern and Mississippi Baptist Conventions. In the last 3 years, WCU has been ranked 1st or 2nd by U.S. News and World Report as the Best Value in the South. William Carey’s online offerings primarily consist of graduate degrees covering fields of education, criminal justice, music and nursing.

WCU has a VA Certifying Official to assist students in getting the most of their VA benefits. Carey also offers specialized advising and assistance for active duty students and military families. This includes coordinating with nearby bases, like the Keesler Air Force Base, to bring education services to their military students.

  • VA Information
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $10800
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $3265
7
Salem State University

Salem State is a 4 year public university in the Boston suburbs. Established in 1854, the school now boasts an undergraduate population of over 7,600 undergraduate students and another 1,600 graduate students. Salem State Online offers fully online bachelor’s degrees in Fire Science Administration or Intercultural Communications and a masters in Library Media Studies. In addition to these fully online degree programs, students can also take other courses towards their degrees online.

Veterans’ Affairs at Salem State works with current and former military servicements to navigate state and federal benefit programs. Salem State covers a wide range of benefit programs, from GI Bills to the Reserve Educational Assistance Program to Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts. Not only does Salem State help students navigate these benefit and grant programs, but they also help their students find additional scholarships from nonprofit organizations and foundations. That means more coverage for every member of the armed forces and their families.

  • Veterans’ Affairs
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $7050
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $2648
8
West Texas A & M University

West Texas A&M University is part of the Texas A&M University System. Originally a teacher college, West Texas now stands as a leader in Distance Education. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report for the best online programs for Veterans, West Texas works to ensure students’ educational goals meets their hectic lives. West Texas offers several undergraduate degree and degree completion programs 100% online include Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Health Sciences, and RN-BSN. West Texas also offers similar master’s level programs also 100% online.

In addition to working with veteran and military service members to make the most of their GI Bills and Tuition Assistance programs, West Texas takes their commitment to serving their military students seriously. From waiving residency requirements for deployed active service members to providing Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (P.A.V.E.), West Texas considers the whole student. Through the Hazlewood Exemption, West Texas also offers up to full exemption from tuition and fees for Texas veterans, their spouses, and their children.

  • Veterans Services
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $5496
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $2471
9
University of Management and Technology

The University of Management and Technology (UMT) is located in Arlington, VA and offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in business administration, homeland security, criminal justice, and engineering management, among others. Unlike many online classes, UMT’s online education does not follow a standard semester schedule. That means students can enroll in courses whenever they are ready.

For their military students, UMT accepts tuition assistance from all branches of the military and participates in the GI Bill programs. They also offer a needs-based Military Scholarship for active military, veterans, and spouses. The scholarship offers up to full tuition for leftover costs after federal military education aid is applied. Besides this financial aid, UMT also accepts military transfer credit for up to 75% of undergraduate degree hours and up to 50% for graduate degrees, meaning military members and veterans can get through their degrees faster.

  • Military Benefits
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $9360
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $2933
10
Regent University

Regent University is a private Christian research university in Alexandria, VA. Ranked as the 11th best online undergraduate program in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Regent offers quality online education that meets the needs of busy students. Regent offers 128 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, almost all available in online formats. With such wide variety, Regent’s online degrees let students explore their interests in a structured, yet flexible format.

With an entire team dedicated to assisting military students, it’s no wonder Regent’s military friendliness is nationally recognized. Regent works with all active duty branches including the Reserves, Veterans, spouses, and dependents to ensure students make the most of their financial aid. That includes the Yellow Ribbon Program, Post-9/11 GI bill, Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA), and additional Regent-specific undergraduate and graduate school military awards. Besides financial help, Regent also offers free evaluation of military training for college credit including from: Joint Services Transcript, Community College of the Air Force, Defense Language Institute, and Defense Acquisition University.

  • Military Resource Center
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $15900
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $4398
11
Grantham University

Grantham University is a for-profit university offering fully online degree programs. Their mission focuses on educating first-generation students, active duty military, veterans, and entrepreneurs. Grantham includes 4 colleges: the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Mark Skousen School of Business, the College of Nursing and Allied Health, and the College of Arts and Science. With so many options, Grantham University allows students of all interests earn a college degree with the flexibility of their fully online programs.

When it comes to financing the education of their military students, Grantham covers many bases. In addition to taking part in tuition assistance and GI Bill programs, Grantham also offers transfer credit and Textbook and Software Grants. Grantham’s Veteran Support Team provides a wide variety of services, including career planning, resource assistance, programmatic assistance, ADA accommodations, mentorship, financial management, and supports the local chapter of the Student Veterans of America. By supporting military students throughout their education, included military-to civilian transitional guidance and veteran-focused employment sessions, Grantham’s commitment to military students comes full circle.

  • Veteran Support Team
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $6360
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $2299
12
American Public University System

American Public University System is a private, for-profit online education system that includes American Military University and American Public University. Founded by Major James P. Etter, the APU system was originally designed to meet unique educational needs of military personnel. Over the years, it evolved to include programs for civilians interested in public service. Several standout, fully online programs at the APU system include their Center for Cyber Defense, and their Emergency & Disaster Management programs.

APU’s student body includes 56% military active duty or veterans. That means the APU system is highly geared towards the needs of its military students. With tuition grants that cap costs, free textbooks, credit for military service, in addition to participating in branch specific tuition assistance programs and the G.I. Bill Yellow Ribbon Program, the APU system works hard to ensure military and veteran students can afford their education.

  • Military & Veteran Services
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $6480
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $2487
13
Wayland Baptist University

Wayland Baptist University is a private coeducational baptist University with approximately 5,000 students. Their online school offers 20 certificate and degree programs starting at the associate level and going all the way up doctoral degrees. Covering a range of fields from nursing to applied sciences to Christian ministry, WBU Online offers a career-focused education that fits a student’s busy life.

With 14 campuses in addition to its online school, WBU takes the military into account in its design, even offering classes on military bases close to several of their campuses. Wayland also offers an active duty tuition discounted rate of $250 per undergraduate class. In addition to transfer credit, military tuition assistance, and GI Bills, WBU works to make the most of military-related education benefits.

  • Military Education Services
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $12600
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $4420
14
Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies

A private Christian liberal arts college in the suburbs of Seattle, Northwest University hosts a small student population of 1,700. With such a small study body, they can pay more attention to the quality of each student’s educational experiences. This focus is one of the many reasons why Northwest University is ranked 17th in the Western Region by U.S. News and World Report. Northwest University Online offers 9 undergraduate degrees and 6 master’s degrees. Some of Northwest’s programs include: ministry, business management, information technology, public safety administration, and clinical mental health counseling.

For their online programs, Northwest University participates in a variety of education benefit programs designed for active-duty service members and veterans. Some of those options include branch-specific tuition assistance and GI Bills. Northwest offers credit for military training as shown on official military transcripts to help shorten time to degree. In addition to financial assistance, Northwest also offers military-focused paths in several of its degrees, like military chaplaincy, military science and leadership, and military service and political science.

15
Herzing University

Herzing University is a private non-profit university offering degrees in nursing, technology, business, public safety, and healthcare. Their 30 fully online degree programs in each of these fields range from the associate’s level through master’s. For online Nursing and Healthcare students, Herzing helps coordinate clinical sites close to students’ homes so they can complete their degree, while still getting the hands-on experience they need.

Herzing takes part in a variety of military educational programs, some of which include: Post-9/11 and Yellow Ribbon GI Bills, as well as branch-specific tuition assistance, My Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) for spouses, and Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment for veterans with disabilities. In addition to participating in these federal programs, Herzing also offers a Military Appreciation Grant. The grant is open to all active-duty members, their spouses or dependents, and veterans. Ranging from a 10% tuition discount to fixed discounted rates, the Herzing Military Appreciation Grant helps military students and families make the most of their educational benefits.

16
Granite State College

Granite State College is part of the University System of New Hampshire. Consistently ranked on U.S. News & World Report “Best Online Degree Programs,” Granite State offers many of its on-site degree programs in 100% online format. That means students have more degree choices and more flexibility if they decide to change majors.

The commitment to offering flexible paths to degrees carries over to Granite State College’s approach to its military students. Granite State accepts credit for training from all military branches, shortening time-to-degree. In addition to participating in federal tuition assistance, GI Bills, and National Guard Tuition Waivers, Granite State also offers an Active Duty Tuition Discount. That means, after federal tuition assistance is applied, Granite State covers the rest.

17
Texas A & M International University

Texas A&M International University, or TAMIU, is a public, coeducational institution in the Texas A&M University System. As part of one of the nation’s largest university systems, TAMIU has a lot of resources available to its students. Their fully online offerings include Master of Business Administration with several specialization options, Master of Criminal Justice, Master of Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Public Adminstration, and a RN to BSN Program.

TAMIU participates in Federal and State Veteran Education Benefit programs, including GI Bills, Dependents Educational Assistance, and the Hazelwood Act. That means TAMIU supports the entire military family, from active duty members to veterans to spouses and dependents. TAMIU also accepts credit for coursework and training taken while in the Armed Services. Besides helping military students navigate their financial benefits, TAMIU also offers tutoring assistance and a work study program to ensure success for all active duty service members and veterans.

  • Veterans Affairs Office
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $13179
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $3801
18
Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg State University is a public university with over 5,200 students. With a small student body, that means Fitchburg State can focus on individual students and their needs. Fitchburg’s 100% online programs include both bachelors and masters degrees in the fields of business administration and nursing.

For their veteran and active duty students, Fitchburg State has a lot of resources. They participate in multiple federal benefits programs like the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. Fitchburg State also accepts transfer credit for all branches of the military including from Active Duty, Reserve, and Veteran service members. That means Fitchburg considers not just the financial considerations of their military students, but also their time to graduation.

  • Veteran Services
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $7050
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $2004
19
Arkansas Tech University

As one of the fastest growing universities in the state, Arkansas Tech University has a lot to offer. With a 19:1 student-faculty ratio, Arkansas Tech can give their students the individual attention they need. Their fully online programs range from certificates to masters degrees. Most of those come from the fields of Healthcare, Nursing, Education, and Business, but with a range of specialty options at each degree level, online students have a lot of options to choose from.

For their veteran and active duty students, Arkansas Tech participates in a variety of financial benefit programs. Some of those include: Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty and Selected Reserves, and the Dependent’s Educational Assistance/Survivor’s Benefits. Tech also participates in branch specific tuition assistance programs established by the Department of Defense. Regardless of which type of military benefits their students need, Tech has them covered.

  • Office of Veterans Services
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $10320
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $2840
20
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, or MBTS, is one of six official seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention. While the seminary focuses mainly on graduate degrees, their college offers several undergraduate degree options. Their fully online course offerings include masters degrees in Theological Studies and Divinity, and bachelors or associates degrees in several theological areas. With six start dates each year, students have the flexibility of starting their online education when it best suits them.

MBTS participates in several military-related financial aid programs. Some of those include: the Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty and Selected Reserves, Post-9/11 GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program, and the Reserve Educational Assistance Program. In addition to these programs, MBTS also offers tuition assistance through Department of Defense programs for service members in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. At MBTS, the entire military family is also considered through their participation in dependents and spousal assistance programs as well.

21
Peru State College

Peru State College is a public, liberal arts school in Nebraska. With an extensive online program, Peru State offers undergraduate degrees with several specialties in the areas of business administration and criminal justice as well as management and psychology. They also offer 2 masters programs in education and organizational management. Peru State Online also offers Life Credits for experiences and accomplishments outside the classroom, which helps shorten time-to-degree.

With online courses already at a reduced rate, veteran and military benefits can ensure that a degree from Peru State is highly affordable. Peru State participates in several veteran and active duty financial assistance programs, including the Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves and Active Duty, as well as Post-9/11 GI Bills. But Peru State also thinks about the entire military family. They also participate in programs like the Survivors & Dependents Assistance Program.

22
Kaplan University

Kaplan University used to be a for-profit college focused on online education. Just this year, however, it was bought by Purdue University and is currently undergoing a transition to a nonprofit. With the prestige of Purdue now backing up Kaplan’s online programs, Kaplan looks to be a leader in reputable online education. With over 180 program options covering a wide range of fields, Kaplan allows students to explore their interests and find what degree works best for them.

Kaplan works hard to specialize education for its military and veteran students. For instance, they help identify degree programs and create customized schedules so military students and coordinate classes with their schedules, and at several bases, even take hybrid face-to-face and online courses. Also, by partnering with the Community College of the Air Force, Kaplan helps students shorten their time to both associates and bachelors degrees. Besides helping to shorten time-to-degree, Kaplan also considers the educational assistance programs available to its military and veteran students. They participate in Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bills, as well as branch-specific tuition assistance programs. Kaplan also offers several military specific scholarships for active duty, veterans, and military spouses.

  • Military Services
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $10620
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $2574
23
Bellevue University

Bellevue University is a private, nonprofit university in Nebraska, focused on adult education and educational outreach. That means they take online education seriously, which shows in the number and variety of degrees offered 100% online. Ranging from bachelors to doctoral degrees, Bellevue’s online offerings works for all of their students.

For their military and veteran students, Bellevue considers both affordability and time to graduation. They offer a free evaluation of military credits, credit transfer, and a roadmap to degree completion. Bellevue also applies a Military Preferred tuition rate of $250 per credit hour for over 25 bachelors degrees. Besides these Bellevue specific benefits, the university also participates in federal VA Education Benefits and active duty tuition assistance programs to help ensure that military members get a quality, affordable education.

  • Military Veteran Services
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $6600
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $2555
24
Midwestern State University

Midwestern State University is a public liberal arts college, with just over 6,000 students. With a small student body, that means faculty can give individual attention to their students. MSU’s fully online undergraduate programs mainly come from the field of Healthcare and Nursing such as a Bachelor of Radiologic Sciences, a Registered Respiratory Therapist, and an RN to BSN program. Most of MSU’s online offerings are masters degrees covering the fields of nursing, business administration, and education.

MSU participates in several military and veteran educational benefit programs. Some include: post-9/11 GI Bills, GI Bills for Reservists and National Guard, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Texas’ Hazlewood Exemption. Midwestern also takes part in Department of Defense Tuition Assistance programs its active duty military students. By guiding their veteran and military students through this programs and advising them on the best degree options for their needs, MSU works to ensure degrees are affordable.

  • Veterans Affairs
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $6982
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $1880
25
Youngstown State University

Youngstown State University is a urban research university with over 15,000 students and a 19:1 student to faculty ratio. That means they have the resources of a large schools, but they still give their students the individual attention they need. Youngstown State Online offers 12 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Their undergraduate degrees cover the fields of healthcare, nursing, and criminal justice. Youngstown’s online graduate programs are more varied, covering fields of criminal justice, engineering, finance, healthcare, and business administration.

YSU takes pride in their military and veteran students, and it shows in the resources they offer. Besides offering helping navigating GI Bills, branch-specific tuition assistance, and transfer credits, YSU hs a number of other ways it also assists its military students. Military and Veteran students can apply for fee waivers for application and student orientation fees.YSU also has early enrollment for military students and exclusive classes hat coordinate closely with military service and have lower enrollments so students develop closer relationships with their instructors and always get the classes they need. In other words, Youngstown looks after its military students in and outside of the classroom.

  • Office of Veterans Affairs
  • Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $8087
  • Department of Defense Spending per Student with Benefits: $3426