Everyone has questions when applying to colleges. Whether you are a veteran, military personnel, GI Bill user, or dependent there are unique questions specific to you & your needs. ‘What program will best fit my needs?’ ‘How flexible are professors with my life outside of school?’ ‘Do my previous experiences and trainings count toward college credit?’
How to Get Answers
First and foremost, you have to ask to-the-point questions in order to get relevant answers. Without appropriately framed questions, you won’t get answers that will help. Take this question for example, “Will my military experience count toward college credit hours?” At first, it sounds like a really great question! Knowing whether or not you will start your degree with credit hours under your belt is huge.
However, you could be getting more information by including this critical follow-on question, “How and where will my military experience be utilized in credit hours? Will it count toward required courses or just be added on as elective hours?” This will give you the full picture. You will know whether or not your military experiences and knowledge will count as well as how that specific university values those hours in terms of where they can count.
Do Your Research
Before reaching out to admissions counselors, make sure that you are armed with information.
(“Accurate information is a key part of motivation.”-Mary Ann Allison)
Pertinent information includes:
- The institution’s status: for-profit or not-for-profit
- Current enrollment of military connected students
- What Google says: Google the university and read what is going on from a wealth of different sources and sites. There could have been a huge award won by the university that is of interest to you. Or there could have been a recent scandal which deters you from starting a conversation with admissions personnel there.
8 Questions to Ask
We’ve rounded up 8 questions to ask admissions counselors that will help you make major headway on determining which institution is best for you.
- Do you have a full time, on campus Veteran counselor? If so, how do I contact them?
- Is there an SVA chapter on campus? If so, how can I get in contact with their president?
- Do you offer credit for military experience? If so, who should I contact to schedule a meeting for an informal credit evaluation?
- Do you award credit for the DSST and/or CLEP exams?
- Which programs & majors participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?
- What is your policy for accepting transfer credits from other colleges?
- Who determines the relevance of prior courses to courses offered here and their applicability to my intended major? What is their contact information?
- What are the most popular majors among military connected students at this institution?
1 Key Resource
Don’t be overwhelmed by this list. Thankfully, there is an online resource specifically for college bound veterans and military with a plethora of helpful information. Here you type in the institution in question and a full profile will be provided. Some of the above questions are conveniently answered on the institutions’ profile.
After researching on CollegeRecon, we suggest contacting admissions counselors to find out more about those specific programs. You can start the conversation with the eight questions directly on CollegeRecon.
Let us know how this process works for you as you begin your college search.
(Featured image courtesy: DVIDS)