5 Myths About Veterans Transitioning from Military Life to College

Veterans transitioning from soldier to student can face an uphill battle. On the one hand, they’re trying to readjust to civilian life. On the other hand, they’re hearing information from a variety of sources, which may negatively impact their decision to return to the classroom. Lt. Col. Ryan Raymond, Education Director, Soldier for Life, compiled five myths Veterans should ignore while pursuing their education goals:

Myth 1: Veteran students are only numbers to colleges and universities

This couldn’t be further from the truth. More than ever, institutions of higher learning recognize the need to identify and support student Veterans on their campuses. Many have established formal programs to ensure Soldiers’/Veterans needs are accounted for in classrooms and business practices. Additionally, in 2008, local groups of Veteran students nationwide formed Student Veterans of America, a national coalition operating on more than 1,100 campuses, which advocates, connects and shares best practices among this population.

[Related: Education Director of Army Soldier for Life provides tips for Vets pursuing educational goals]

Myth 2: Traditional college degrees: The only thing on the menu for Veterans

Instead of spending unnecessary hours/money in the classroom, Veterans can take advantage of credentialing and certification programs to ensure career readiness. The Army’s Soldier for Life team works to raise awareness of such opportunities, which focuses on specific skills achieved through targeted training programs. The Army’s Credentialing Opportunity Online (COOL) tool provides information about industry-recognized credentials related to military occupational specialties.

Myth 3: Apprenticeships are for rookies, equals no money

On the contrary, you can ‘earn while you learn’. Modern apprenticeships combine classroom learning with on-the-job training, which may lead to lucrative careers in many trade fields. These opportunities connect Active Duty, Guard, Reserve and Veterans to training programs that are free of charge and that provide substantial wages. Get this! Veterans may keep 100% of the proceeds of his or her GI Bill benefits, since these programs are free.

Read more at Army.mil.