A College Degree Earned This National Guardsman a Promotion

Duty. Honor. Education.

– Research tuition options: Tuition assistance is given to soldiers at a rate of $4,500 per year. “When I initially joined the military I paid $1,200 into the Montgomery GI Bill program but, in turn, I received $36,000 to be used for my tuition. These two programs could not be combined. So when I ran out of the GI Bill, I could use the TA money.” Today the Post-9/11 GI Bill helps to cover more than just tuition, so those in the military should do their research at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website to get a better understanding of the program.

– Schedule your time. “Juggling school, family, and a full-time job takes organization,” says Grady. “If you want to succeed at schoolwork, you must set aside enough time for it.” Grady says he devoted several hours a day to pursuing his degree. “In order for me to complete my degree I had to have a personal commitment to success as well as buy-in from my family and friends. First, I prioritized my entire day. I purchased a calendar that broke the days down to hours. Then I scheduled each part of my day so that I would have time to exercise and complete my job and schoolwork. I dedicated at least four hours a day to studying and schoolwork. This was necessary for me to provide for a family of four [his oldest child is independent], do my military job, and take care of myself physically.”

– Learn from classmates as well as teachers. “I had tunnel vision,” says Grady, “from being in the military. I got orders and carried them out. Many of the other students looked at things differently, which I could tell by their comments. Learning to appreciate the differences has helped me to be a better manager, especially when I’m working with people who also have civilian jobs.”