Line Pulls from CDA
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8 questions you need to ask your school to see if they work with veterans
As a veteran, you don’t just want another job. You want a career that feels familiar after time spent serving in the military. There are so many other adjustments veterans have to make to civilian life, your workplace should be an easy transition.
And if you’re looking at schools to further your education in a career that will be as rewarding as it is challenging, you want to know that those in charge of your education have the right background, mindset, and philosophy.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of questions you need to be asking your school before you know if it’s the right place for veterans.
1. What is your school’s graduation rate?
For veterans and non-veterans alike, this is an easy question to weed out the good schools from the bad. Do not let anyone fool you -- a school’s graduation rate says far more about the educators and the leadership than it does about the student body. Schools choose the students they let in, they are in charge of the curriculum and culture, and they have more means to change the course of a student’s trajectory than the student does, including one-on-one tutoring, supplemental lessons, and more.
2. What’s the average salary of your typical graduate?
First, this question will reveal just how open and transparent a school is about its graduate results. If they dodge the question, that’s a red flag immediately. If they waver or give generalities that’s another red flag. If they give a direct answer, you can compare it to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics.
3. Would you consider this a “veteran friendly” school?
Make sure to ask follow-up questions like “What specifically about this school makes you veteran-friendly?” and “How would I go about meeting other veterans?” If they answer yes to the general question but then waver on the more specific, practical answers, you know you need to consider that when making a decision.
4. What if I can’t afford the application fee?
Many schools and universities waive the application fee for veterans. This is a quick way to see if the school offers simple incentives for veterans to apply.
5. Will I receive school credit for my military training?
If the school says yes, ask specifically about how that looks. Ask if they have a website devoted to credit transfer or any brochures. It’s common for schools give credit for this. If they say no, ask them very directly, “How will my military experience benefit me at your school?” If they can’t answer that, then that’s a red flag.
6. Who is your Veterans Affairs coordinator?
Many schools have staff dedicated to helping veterans through the academic process. Even some smaller schools do, and those who don’t sometimes have a staff worker whose job includes working alongside veterans for much of their workweek. If the school has a coordinator or even someone whose job that is, you’re on the right track.
7. How are grades given? Is it all in the classroom?
This seems like a silly question, but for many veterans, learning is accomplished experientially. With commercial diving academies, if the school only considers in-classroom testing, and not anything out in the field, that’s a red flag.
8. Does your school recognize the Post-9/11 GI Bill?
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is for those who have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after September 10, 2001 and are still on active duty. If you are an honorably discharged veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days, you may be eligible as well, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
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