Many veterans are looking to receive an education and enter the civilian workforce once they have returned home. In most cases, these veterans have families and other obligations, which make them seek out the best online colleges for veterans, who will work with their benefits and their schedule. The flexibility that comes with online degree programs allows these military veterans the ability to work at their own pace and gives them the ability to restructure their life to fit their personal needs.
The lifestyles of veterans are often demanding, even after they have retired from the military. Some of our veterans return home to jobs that require twelve-hour shifts that can be overnight (in public service roles such as nurses, EMTs, and law enforcement), making traditional courses undesirable for their lifestyle. The best online colleges for military veterans give them the ability to work with their instructor and classmates around their schedule while gaining the education necessary to further their degree.
How We Chose the Best Online Colleges for Veterans
To select institutions to highlight as the best online colleges for military veterans, College Consensus editors had a set of criteria for determining military-friendliness. Institutions must have:
- Servicemember Opportunity Colleges membership
- Recognized Student Veteran Organization
- Yellow Ribbon Program participation
- A staff/faculty support member for veterans and their families
- Transfer credits for military service and training
Colleges and universities that met these standards are ranked according to their Consensus Score, using the unique College Consensus methodology. That process should give veteran students confidence that they are choosing a college that not only understands their needs, but have a track record of quality and return on investment.
Military and veteran students may also be interested in our ranking of the best traditional colleges for veterans.
Loyola University New OrleansNew Orleans, LA
When you are looking for the best online colleges for veterans, you want to consider Loyola University New Orleans. The degree programs are 100 percent online and allow military veterans to work on their degree at their own pace. It also offers flexibility to help you stay on track when you are adjusting to a new lifestyle after your military service.
Loyola University New Orleans offers eight online programs for undergraduate students. The degree programs are fully online and allow you to work around personal obligations or your work responsibilities. It is among the best online colleges for veterans. Best online colleges for military veterans focus on helping you move forward into a civilian career and apply your knowledge to your degree program. Loyola University New Orleans was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 10 universities in the southern region of the country.
Florida State UniversityTallahassee, FL
The best online colleges for military veterans allow you to transfer credits to obtain your degree and Florida State University is a good choice due to their focus on helping students finish a degree program. The degree program allows you to transfer 60 or more credits from previous education into the program and pick up from the specialized coursework. That gives you the opportunity to advance in your degree without going back and starting from the first classes.
Florida State University offers seven online degree programs for students who want to transfer into the program and complete a degree. It is ideal for military veterans who may have some college courses from their time in the service and want to finish up a degree when moving into a civilian lifestyle. It gives you the opportunity to move forward into the next chapter of your life. Florida State University also offers online certificate programs for students who want to focus on specialized certifications, but do not plan to work on a degree.
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinneapolis, MN
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers students an opportunity to focus on a degree that fits their new lifestyle. Military veterans may need to complete a degree to move into a civilian line of work. Furthermore, you may need a variety of options to help with your long-term goals. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers fully online, primarily online, and partially online programs that range from associate’s degrees to graduate degrees.
A key way the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities stands apart from other programs is the number of online bachelor’s degree programs available. The school offers 18 bachelor’s degrees that are fully online and allow students to work on their degree at their own pace. It gives you the flexibility to work around your family and job obligations while you complete your degree.
University of Oklahoma-Norman CampusNorman, OK
The University of Oklahoma focuses on the goals of students who need to obtain a degree without attending a college campus. Military veterans may find flexible online degree programs useful for their goals while adjusting to civilian life because it allows them to focus on their studies when it fits their situation and schedule. It also allows military veterans to transfer credits to speed up the process of obtaining a degree.
Military veterans who are looking for online degree programs will find five options at the University of Oklahoma. The undergraduate degrees also allow students to add a minor to their studies for more comprehensive understanding and specialized skill sets that may help with long-term goals after graduation. The University of Oklahoma has a long history of innovation and excellence in education that carries into their online and hybrid online programs.
University of IowaIowa City, IA
The University of Iowa offers online degree programs for military veterans that assist with personal education goals. The degree programs allow veterans to gain the skills they need to take on civilian work after their military service. The University of Iowa offers eight fully online programs that allow students to focus when it fits their schedule and work at their own pace.
A key way the University of Iowa stands apart is the focus of the degree programs. The online degree programs range from enterprise leadership and political science to radiation sciences and nursing. Students have a wide array of options for their degree that teach the leadership skills and the specialized skills students need to advance in their career. The University of Iowa also offers specialized certifications online that enhance an undergraduate degree.
University of Northern IowaCedar Falls, IA
When you are looking for an online degree program that works with the challenges of a military veteran’s changing lifestyle, the University of Northern Iowa offers a solution. The online degree programs at the university give you an opportunity to advance in your career by obtaining a bachelor’s degree. You do not need to attend formal classes and it gives you the flexibility to work around your obligations and responsibilities.
A key way the University of Northern Iowa stands apart is the focus on affordable and flexible learning options. The school offers eight online degree programs that allow students to advance in their career by gaining the education they need to qualify for more advanced roles and leadership positions. That gives students a flexible solution and allows them to work at their own pace. Military veterans can also pursue a fully online MBA from the university after completing an undergraduate degree without a GMAT or GRE exam.
University of South Carolina-ColumbiaColumbia, SC
When you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree after completing your military service, you may want to consider the University of South Carolina. The school recognizes that military veterans may have some college courses from their time in the military and allows students to transfer credits before advancing into specialized studies for their online degree programs.
The University of South Carolina offers 13 online programs for undergraduate students. It works with the needs of military veterans by allowing you to complete your degree in a short amount of time. It also offers a variety of degree options that give you more flexibility when working on your career or working toward a long-term goal. The University of South Carolina requires students to complete two years of general education before they qualify for online degree programs.
LeTourneau UniversityLongview, TX
LeTourneau University has a long history of focusing on education that works around the needs of working adults, which is why it offers online degree programs to help military veterans with their goals. The school recognizes that military veterans may have a complex situation that requires a quiet space for their education. That recognition focuses on ensuring that military veterans receive an education that works at a pace that fits their situation.
LeTourneau University stands apart by focusing on quality education with innovative strategies. It uses modern teaching techniques to help students advance in their career and work toward personal goals. It also works around the challenges that may impact a military veteran’s education and give you options to help with your degree. LeTourneau University offers 44 online degree programs that allow you to study a myriad of topics based on your goals and interests.
Saint Louis UniversitySaint Louis, MO
When you are looking for the best online colleges for military veterans, you want to consider Saint Louis University. The school offers 13 online degree programs that range from industrial psychology and aviation to computer information systems and nursing. The wide array of degree programs allow students to find a program that fits their experience and long-term goals.
A key way Saint Louis University stands apart from other programs is their focus on rigorous studies. The degree programs are adult-focused and innovative while ensuring that students are encouraged to learn complex studies and topics. It goes into depth about different topics to prepare students for the challenges of their careers. Saint Louis University offers a traditional Jesuit education through the online degree programs by following the high standards you would expect from a Jesuit university.
Northwest Nazarene UniversityNampa, ID
When it comes to the best online colleges for veterans, you will discover that Northwest Nazarene University is a good choice for your goals. The online degree programs give you a flexible solution to work around your personal and work obligations. The degree programs are designed with working adults in mind and focus on allowing students to work at a pace that fits their needs.
A key way Northwest Nazarene University stands apart from other programs is the number of degrees available through the online programs. The school offers 28 online bachelor’s degree programs. That allows military veterans to identify a program that fits their goals and work on the degree when they are ready to move forward into a civilian lifestyle. Northwest Nazarene University offers online programs from Associate’s degrees to Post-Graduate degrees, which gives you many options for your long-term goals.
St. Joseph’s College-New YorkBrooklyn, NY
When you are looking for online programs that fit the needs of military veterans, the degrees at St. Joseph’s College-New York provides a solution for your goals. The online degree programs allow you to work when it fits your schedule and you can take classes through a computer, tablet, or laptop. That flexibility means you can work on your degree from any location that fits your situation.
St. Joseph’s College-New York stands apart by offering 7 online bachelor’s degree programs and other online programs that allow you to work on specialized certifications. The combination of certifications and online bachelor’s degree programs allows you to adjust your qualifications to fit your needs and work toward specific goals. St. Joseph’s College-New York offers Tuition Assistance to active military and veterans of the military that helps cut the cost of your degree.
The University of AlabamaTuscaloosa, AL
When you are looking for online degree programs that work with the needs of military veterans, the University of Alabama offers solutions to help with your goals. The online degree programs at the university offer flexible scheduling and solutions to help you work at your own pace. Since the degree programs are online or primarily online, you can work at any location that fits your situation.
The University of Alabama offers 14 online programs that are either fully online or primarily online. That means most of the programs will not require you to spend any time on a college campus. A few programs may require a small amount of time on campus for specific classes or labs, but the amount is limited and you can work around your schedule for the majority of your classes. The University of Alabama offers accredited online programs that allow employers to feel confident in your skills.
The College of Saint ScholasticaDuluth, MN
The College of St. Scholastica offers fully online degree programs that are ideal for military veterans. The school takes a personal approach to the education process and connects students to an advisor to ensure that you are prepared for the challenges of your degree and have a professor to talk to about your concerns or questions. The school also recognizes the value of small class sizes and takes measures to keep the class sizes small to ensure that students are able to talk to their professor when questions come up or to connect with peers to work on specific studies throughout the program.
The College of St. Scholastica offers 11 fully online programs that work around your schedule and situation. Since the programs are designed with working adults in mind, they give you flexible course work that you can complete at your own pace. The focus on ensuring that students are able to connect with staff and ask questions also helps you feel confident during a period of adjustment when moving from the military to a civilian lifestyle. That recognition that students may need to interact with a professor helps you stay on track to reach your goals. The College of St. Scholastica consistently ranks in the top 100 colleges in the region by U.S. News and World Reports due to the 100 years of educational leadership the school employs in its programs.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Online & WorldwideDaytona Beach, FL
When you are looking for the best online colleges for military veterans, you will want to consider Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Online & Worldwide. The degree programs at the university offer students the opportunity to advance in their career and reach personal goals. The school works with students by offering 24-hour support through their online system as well as access to advisors for personalized advice in relation to your degree program.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Online & Worldwide offers 16 online programs for students and stands apart by connecting students to a global network of classmates, instructors, and advisors. It takes a personalized approach to student education that is ideal for military veterans who may be adjusting to life as a civilian. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Online & Worldwide stands out for its number one ranking for online bachelor’s degree programs by U.S. News & World Report.
University of ArizonaTucson, AZ
When it comes to the best online colleges for veterans, the University of Arizona is an option that helps with your long-term goals. The degree programs allow students to work at their own pace and focus on personal goals. You can choose from traditional degree programs like law and history, or focus on technological degrees like cyber operations or informatics. The array of options allows you to focus on a degree program that fits your situation and helps with your goals.
The University of Arizona stands apart by offering 32 online programs for students. Since it provides several options and gives you the flexibility to pursue your interests and goals, you are able to adjust to a civilian lifestyle and move into more advanced leadership positions in your new career. The key is focusing on a degree that fits your situation and your plans. The University of Arizona uses interactive assignments and student discussions to enhance the learning process in their online programs and provide hands-on experience from the comfort of your home.
University of Minnesota-CrookstonCrookston, MN
The University of Minnesota Crookston is a good option when you are selecting the best online colleges for military veterans. The university ensures that students have access to professors and staff to keep up with their educational goals. Access to staff members allows you to ask questions and get guidance for your career when you are moving away from military service and adjusting to civilian life.
A key way the University of Minnesota Crookston stands apart is the number of programs available to students. The school offers 16 online undergraduate degree programs and allows students to enhance their degree with an online minor or online certification. That flexibility allows you to select the right classes and course work to achieve your personal goals. The University of Minnesota Crookston has 20 years of experience providing online degree programs students for high-quality education.
University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia, MO
When you are looking into the best online colleges for veterans, you want to consider the University of Missouri. The school offers a variety of flexible online degree programs and partially online programs that help with your long-term goals when moving into a civilian lifestyle. It also works around your schedule when you have obligations or a job that limits your ability to engage in traditional college activities.
The University of Missouri offers 17 online bachelor’s degree programs, as well as multiple online certifications and options for a higher level of education as you advance in your career. When every online degree program and certification is considered, the school has a total of 125 degrees and certifications. You can focus on a degree program and enhance your skills by adding certifications for specialized areas of your field. The University of Missouri offers a discount to military veterans seeking education through their online program and offers scholarships to help with the costs of a degree.
Webster UniversitySaint Louis, MO
Webster University is a good option for military veterans who are looking for an online college to help with personal goals. The school offers fully online undergraduate degree programs, as well as online completion programs for students who want to transfer credits from another school. The flexibility allows students to focus on their degree when it fits their schedule and work at their own pace.
Webster University offers a total of eight online degree programs. Three of the programs are completion programs for working professionals who may have an associate’s degree or have a set number of credits to transfer from other programs. The school also offers five fully online programs that allow students to start a degree without any credits and obtain a bachelor’s degree without setting foot on the school’s campus. Webster University accepts military credits toward a degree and offers a discount to active duty and veteran students who pursue an online program. The school offers assistance through its Office of Military Affairs.
Washington State UniversityPullman, WA
Washington State University is a good option for military veterans who are looking for an online program to obtain a bachelor’s degree. The school offers fully online programs that allow you to work on your degree from any location as long as you have a computer and an Internet connection. You also have flexibility in relation to your studies that allows you to work at your own pace or work around personal obligations to your family or an employer.
A key factor that sets Washington State University apart is its reputation. The online degree programs offer the same prestige as the on-campus degree programs. The school offers 16 online undergraduate programs and it allows students to enhance their qualifications through online professional certifications that offer specialized skills. Washington State University is in the top 5 percent of online colleges according to U.S. News & World Report.
Regis UniversityDenver, CO
When it comes to the best online colleges for military veterans, you want to consider Regis University. The school provides flexible online degrees that allow students to focus on their long-term career goals. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree fully online and enhance your degree with a minor or professional certification to help improve your qualifications.
Regis University offers 23 online bachelor’s degree programs. You can choose from traditional degrees like accounting and applied psychology, or you can opt for specialized degrees in cybersecurity, anthropology, or environmental studies. The variety of degree programs allow you to focus on an area of interest and enhance your opportunities for your career. Regis University offers students access to 80,000 books in a digital library and roughly 92 percent of full-time first-year undergraduate students have financial aid at the university.
Arizona State University-TempeTempe, AZ
Military veterans who are looking for a school with a large variety of online degree programs will find that Arizona State University is a good option for their goals. The school offers 42 online bachelor’s degree programs that allow students to focus on their career goals. The programs are fully online and give students the flexibility to pursue a degree that fits their situation.
A key advantage of an online degree program at Arizona State University is the flexibility and range of options. The school offers a total of 200 online programs that range from undergraduate degrees and graduate programs to online certifications that enhance a degree for specialized professional skills. The wide variety of programs ensures that military veterans are able to qualify for civilian careers and move forward with long-term plans. Arizona State University has a high rate of students hired within 90 days of graduation with nearly 87% of new graduates getting hired within the first three months.
Oregon State University EcampusCorvallis, OR
Oregon State University Ecampus is a good choice for military veterans who are looking for a program to advance in a civilian career. The school offers a variety of programs to help students advance in their long-term career goals and it allows students to work at their own pace. You also have the flexibility of online courses that make it easy to focus on personal and professional obligations.
A key way Oregon State University Ecampus stands apart from other programs is the number of degrees and classes available to online students. The school offers more than 30 online undergraduate degrees and has more than 60 programs that are either fully online or a hybrid online degree. The number of programs ensures that students are able to obtain a degree that fits their situation and goals. Oregon State University Ecampus helps military veterans by simplifying the process of obtaining financial aid and getting appropriate benefits through the GI Bill.
LSU OnlineBaton Rouge, LA
LSU Online is a great option for military veterans who are looking for an online college for their degree. The school offers seven online undergraduate degree programs that allow students to improve their opportunities in a career. The school also offers several online master’s degree programs for students who decide to pursue a higher level of education after completing an undergraduate degree and has three certificate programs online that enhance your undergraduate degree with specialized studies.
A key reason LSU Online differs from other programs is its prestige. The school has land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant status, which only applies to 30 colleges across the nation. That level of prestige carries weight when looking into a degree program and ensures that students are able to make an impression on potential employers by having a degree from the university. LSU Online has a long history of excellence that started more than 150 years ago when the traditional university was founded. The online degree programs offer the same rigorous education to prepare students for the challenges of their career.
University of KansasLawrence, KS
When you are looking for an online degree program that fits your needs as a military veteran, you may consider the University of Kansas. The school offers seven undergraduate programs that prepare you for a career in a civilian company. You can study nursing, psychology, liberal arts, and other health studies to prepare for your career goals.
A key way the University of Kansas stands out is their focus on completion degree programs and the certifications that are designed to enhance your degree. The school works around the needs of working adults and recognizes that you may have a complicated schedule to work around your personal and work obligations. The University of Kansas is recognized as the 3rd most friendly university for military students and was recognized by the Military Times as the 5th most friendly school for military veterans.
Campbell UniversityBuies Creek, NC
Campbell University is a good option for students looking for an online degree program that fits their long-term goals. The school offers 17 online degree programs that help students prepare for their career or focus on learning the foundation they need for a higher level of education. You can study topics that range from criminal justice to IT security. The options give you an opportunity to advance in many career opportunities.
Campbell University stands apart by offering minors and certifications that enhance an undergraduate degree program. Students learn from professors who have years of experience in their field of study and bring their experience to the online classroom. By learning from the experience of the professors, students are able to understand the ways their degree will impact their career. Campbell University offers accelerated online courses that help students complete a degree in a short amount of time and works around their obligations and schedule.
Can I Get an Online Degree for Free as a Veteran?
Most online degrees offer a discounted tuition rate for veterans. Upon their retirement, veterans are offered a benefit from Veteran Affairs known as the GI Bill, which will cover the cost of the tuition for the veteran. These VA approved online schools college give veterans the ability to earn a quality education without having to pay out of their personal pocket for the funds. The GI Bill is available for veterans to use in either traditional classrooms or online classrooms. Most online college programs are considered equivalent to traditional programs and recognized by Veteran Affairs when paying for the classes.
There are some institutions that offer free tuition for veterans that do not require the use of their GI Bill, allowing veterans to save it for dependents in the future. These programs are known as the Yellow Ribbon program, and they offer free online college for veterans who are acclimating to civilian life after returning from the military. Still others offer scholarships just for veterans and their families. Depending on the residing state of the veteran, they are able to review a list of schools that participate in this program and determine which online program fits their career goals and needs.
Are Active Duty Personnel Eligible to Learn Online?
Active Duty personnel have the ability to further their education online, and many find this opportunity rewarding. The best online college for active-duty military allows these students to access their courses from bases and countries across the globe. This gives them the ability to continue their education without a time-lapse, and they are also able to continue interacting with others through the classroom forum. They can access their classroom around their work schedule, and while their time zone may be different, they are still able to gain that interaction and have access to resources around the clock.
Some of these students were able to complete some college credit prior to joining the military or even during the military from nearby institutions. Credit transfer is something that many active-duty personnel consider when searching the best college for military credit transfer, which many of these programs are available online.
Some Active Duty Personnel wants to advance their current education and seek out the best online masters programs for military personnel. These programs are often designed to fit their leadership roles and the necessary military industries such as intelligence, emergency management, and engineering depending on their career field. Like the undergraduate programs, they are provided the same online conveniences of resources and interaction despite their current location.
What Are the Benefits for Military Spouses to Learn Online?
Like active duty and veterans, military spouses have the ability to also learn online. Most online colleges that are military friendly understand that one of the best ways to support military personnel, whether they are active or a veteran, is to support their spouse with discounted or free education. Many of these spouses are located across the globe, stationed at bases with their active-duty spouses where they are currently working or based out of while on assignment. Because their lives are also unconventional, online learning gives the spouses the ability to continue their personal education and preventing a time-lapse, so they are able to resume their career once they return to civilian life.
These spouses are able to review the best online colleges for military spouses and are able to use their spouses, GI Bill to cover their tuition if they need it. Like the Yellow Ribbon Program for active-duty members and veterans, some colleges offer free online courses for military spouses that give them the ability to interact with others while furthering their education. It is essential for spouses to have the same ability to continue their education and readapt to civilian life, since they, too, sacrifice a normal life to support their military spouse.