Citadel Military College

Best Online Colleges for Veterans
Top 25 Consensus Ranked Online Schools for Vets 2021

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Best Online Colleges for Veterans 02

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:

  • at least 3 online bachelors degree programs to qualify
  • 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.

1

Citadel Military College of South Carolina
Charleston, SC

Citadel Military College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.5
College Consensus
86.1
Publisher Consensus
71
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
3

2

Rutgers University-New Brunswick
New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University New Brunswick
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.6
College Consensus
70
Publisher Consensus
73.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
9

3

University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA

University Iowa
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.3
College Consensus
62.1
Publisher Consensus
76.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
4

4

University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

U Arizona
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.3
College Consensus
64.6
Publisher Consensus
73.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
24

5

University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Amherst, MA

University of Massachusetts Amherst
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.6
College Consensus
62.8
Publisher Consensus
74.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
9

6

Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.3
College Consensus
57.4
Publisher Consensus
73.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
10

7

Radford University
Radford, VA

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AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.7
College Consensus
56.2
Publisher Consensus
73.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
5

8

University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL

University Central Florida
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.6
College Consensus
55.4
Publisher Consensus
73.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
19

9

George Mason University
Fairfax, VA

George Mason University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.1
College Consensus
58.4
Publisher Consensus
69.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
3

10

Webster University
Saint Louis, MO

Webster University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.7
College Consensus
56.9
Publisher Consensus
70.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
21

11

Rutgers University-Newark
Newark, NJ

rutgers newark
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.5
College Consensus
55.7
Publisher Consensus
71.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
5

12

University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT

University of utah
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.1
College Consensus
54.1
Publisher Consensus
72
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
7

13

Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Fort Collins, CO

Colorado State University Fort Collins
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.7
College Consensus
50.1
Publisher Consensus
75.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
3

14

Washington State University
Pullman, WA

Washington State University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.6
College Consensus
51.5
Publisher Consensus
73.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
20

15

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, WI

University Wisconsin Stevens Point
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.7
College Consensus
49.6
Publisher Consensus
73.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
3

16

Saint Louis University
Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.3
College Consensus
50.6
Publisher Consensus
71.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
11

17

University of South Florida-Main Campus
Tampa, FL

University South Florida Main
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.6
College Consensus
50.4
Publisher Consensus
70.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
5

18

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus
Norman, OK

ou
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.6
College Consensus
45.3
Publisher Consensus
75.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
5

19

Westfield State University
Westfield, MA

Westfield State University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.6
College Consensus
52.4
Publisher Consensus
66.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
7

20

LeTourneau University
Longview, TX

Letourneau University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
58.7
College Consensus
45.9
Publisher Consensus
71.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
19

21

University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
57.4
College Consensus
39.1
Publisher Consensus
75.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
8

22

Loyola University Chicago
Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
57
College Consensus
45.8
Publisher Consensus
68.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
7

23

Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY

Rochester Institute of Technology
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
56.4
College Consensus
40.6
Publisher Consensus
72.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
3

24

University of Idaho
Moscow, ID

U Idaho
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
56.3
College Consensus
37.7
Publisher Consensus
75
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
4

25

Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
56
College Consensus
44.9
Publisher Consensus
67
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2021
Number of online bachelor's degree programs
8

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.

Related:

Best Online Degrees for Veterans and Active Duty Personnel

Best Colleges for Veterans

Biggest Scholarships for Veterans and their Families