Guard/Reserve Employment Guide: Finding Military-Friendly Colleges

Step-by-Step Guide to Employment: Guard/Reserve – Finding Military-Friendly Colleges

As a guard or reserve member planning to attend college, finding a military-friendly college is a must. You want a college or university that understands you could be mobilized or miss classes because of your drill schedule. 

You should already know that as a guard or reserve member, you can work a full-time job, and you can also attend college. However, you should keep in mind that you can still be deployed or mobilized, even as a college student. 

The guard and reserves do give you assistance if you are going to college. They offer financial assistance as well as counseling programs to help you achieve your educational goals. But, most importantly, finding a military-friendly school will make your educational experience a bit easier as you try to balance college and your guard or reserve life. 

What makes a college military-friendly?

A military-friendly college is a school that understands the specific challenges and concerns that face service members as well as veterans. They can help students with their VA benefits, as well as understand periods of deployment or mobilization. They will be aware that sometimes drill falls on a weekday and classes might need to be missed. 

Having a Veteran’s Center on campus can also help you know that a college is a military-friendly one. They can give you guidance and advice, tailored to those serving in the military. 

Going to school as a guard or reserve member

As a student, and a guard or reserve member, there are things you can do to make the whole experience easier for yourself. Make sure to communicate with your advisor about your schedule. Your drill schedule comes out ahead of time, so you should have an idea of what you might miss or what you need to rearrange to stay on task. While there is no planning for some mobilizations, being able to control some of your schedule is important. 

Staying organized is also a must. You can’t spend the weekend studying if you have to be at drill and need to plan accordingly. Schedule time to get your work done and have time to study with keeping your drill schedule in mind. 

You can also make college easier for yourself by finding a school with flexible scheduling. Many schools have online options or hybrid where you would attend class in person but there would also be an online component to your classes. You can also find school schedules that include night classes, accelerated classes, or more flexible times that will work better for you. 

College Recon School Finder App

At College Recon, you can find the College Recon School Finder app. Within this app, you have what you need to determine how military-friendly a school is and if the school fits what you are looking for. Within the app, each college or university result gives you a wealth of information. 

This is what is included:

  • The BAH rate
  • The Online BAH rate
  • If they have GI Bill-approved programs
  • If they have the Yellow Ribbon program
  • If they have Tuition Assistance
  • If they offer college credit for military experience
  • If they award credit for CLEP exams
  • If they award credit for DSST exams 
  • Tuition costs
  • If they have an SVA chapter
  • If they have a full-time veteran counselor on campus
  • If they have signed the VA Principles of Excellence
  • If they have a club/association for veterans
  • If they have a Veteran Upward-Bound program 
  • If they have 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success 
  • If they have an ROTC program
  • If they have scholarships for the military
  • If they have reduced tuition for military
  • If they take MyCAA

The app also offers stats such as the student population, general school information such as setting and the type of calendar used, and the programs available from Associate’s degrees to Doctorate degrees. You can also use the school comparison tool to compare schools. Use the College Recon School Finder to search for the schools you are interested in and be able to make a good decision about where you want to go to college while also serving in the military.