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It Takes Time to Succeed in College While You’re In the Military

Attending accredited colleges and universities while you’re in the military saves you money because you can participate in government funded programs like the Post 9/11 GI Bill. However, serving in the military can also place time constraints on your daily schedule as you’re required to rise early in the morning and, at times, work late nights. Schedule demands aside, finding the time to attend college is key if you plan on earning undergraduate and graduate degrees, tools that can increase your chances of getting promotions or of becoming a commissioned officer.

By developing a time management strategy as well as identifying your educational and career priorities  you can find practical ways to make the time for school. Initial steps you can take to find time to attend college while you’re in the military include:

  • Write down your career goals (this can help you to identify the types of degrees you need to succeed at certain careers in and outside the military)List your financial goals pre and post-retirement from the military (some career fields pay more annually than others)
  • Jot down the current activities you complete each morning, noon and evening
  • Eliminate activities and events that take you away from your career, financial and personal goals
  • Enroll in one college course to get a feel for how much studying, etc. time you need to earn top scores
  • Consider attending college with a relative or friend so you have someone to encourage to keep her advancing toward her degree and so you will have someone who will keep you accountable and encourage you to make time for college in turn

Get the Academic Support You need as a Military College Student

If you attend college on your own, be sure to reach out to the school’s academic advisors should you find yourself struggling to keep up with assigned coursework. You can also work with a tutor that’s assigned by the college you attend. Generally, this service is free of charge. Of course, if you have a friend in the military who’s an expert in one or more subjects you’re taking in college, you can also partner with this person to improve your academic performance.

As previously noted, government funded programs like the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill and the National Call to Service Program make it possible for you to afford college. Participating in these programs can keep you from incurring student loan debt. Additionally, if you take military examinations like the DANTES you can earn college credits for your military work experience.

To succeed at accredited colleges and universities, even with benefits these and other programs offer, make the time to focus on college courses. Allow sufficient time for studying and completing laboratory work so you can earn top scores on college courses and graduate with honors.

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