As you prepare for your post-military future with a higher education degree, there is a lot to consider. Pursuing your college education will prepare you for future career opportunities and ease the transition back to civilian life. Going to college will broaden your career prospects and help you discover new opportunities. You can build upon your existing experience or train for a new field. The possibilities are endless and enrolling in an online degree program at Unity College can help you realize your potential. A military background gives you unique insight into solving problems, one of many valuable skills and military experiences that can help you succeed in college. At Unity, we make it easy to enroll and put your military benefits to use. But to succeed, you’ll need the lay the proper groundwork.

Here are three tips for active duty military personnel preparing to go back to college:

Define Your Educational Goals

As someone with military experience, you know the key to a successful mission is having a strategy for success. College is no different. Active duty military personnel preparing to go back to college need a solid plan that guides them through college, from enrolling to graduating.

Are you seeking advanced certification, a four-year degree, or even a graduate degree? Finding a degree that’s the right fit for you is the first step toward achieving your educational goals.

As America’s environmental college, Unity can prepare you for a career that’s a perfect match for your military experience. Unity’s online students enjoy the convenience of studying anywhere while earning their degrees. Unity also offers a suite of online programs for both undergraduate and graduate degree seekers.

Get Your Benefits Squared Away

For generations, the military has awarded significant educational benefits to its active members and veterans. Today, students from all over the United States are putting those benefits to work while earning their degrees.

Unity makes it easy for active duty military personnel to work on a degree during active-duty service. We can also help you transition to a full-time student.

For starters, you can begin your online education at any time and receive a tuition discount. Unity has special military rates for both active military members and veterans who enroll in online undergraduate or graduate courses.

Currently, prospective students with military experience can take advantage of the following benefit programs:

  • Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty (Chapter 30)
  • Montgomery GI Bill® – Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)
  • Post 9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33)
  • Survivors and Dependents Education Assistance Program (Chapter 35)
  • Reserve Education Assistance Program (Chapter 1607)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation – Veterans with Disabilities (Chapter 31)
  • Yellow Ribbon Program

That’s a big list. But Unity makes it easy to figure out which programs are right for you. First, know that the length of your active-duty service determines which benefits are available. You can learn more by contacting an education specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs regional office toll-free at 888-442-4551 (888-GI-BILL-1).

The next step is applying for benefits. The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs has separate forms depending on whether this is the first time you’ve received educational benefits or you’re applying for a continuation.

After you’ve applied, you’ll receive a Certificate of Eligibility. Once our Registrar’s office receives a copy of the certificate, you’ll be able to receive benefits. While you’re at it, you’ll also want to apply for state and federal funding with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.)

Check out Unity’s Veterans Benefits page for more information about benefits you may qualify for.

Get College Credit for Your Military Experience

With your military experience, you’ve trained hard and proven your abilities. Unity works with military personnel to make sure you receive credit for experience so you can achieve your educational goals as quickly as possible. Unity accepts credit for military experience through a collaboration with the American Council on Education and the Department of Defense. Military experience is extensively reviewed to award active members and veterans comparable college credit.

It’s a great way to save time and get a jump start on your education. To participate, applicants order official transcripts from your service branch and forward them to Unity.

Army/Marines/Navy/Coast Guard Joint Services Transcript System (JST)

Community College of the Air Force (CCAF)

Ready to learn more and achieve your goals at Unity?

Contact a member of our Distance Education Concierge team at: (207) 509-7155 or