6 things to remember for veterans going back to school

By Kaylah Jackson

As many parents are dropping their children off at bus stops and students head back to their dorms for another semester you might also be going back to school for the first time. Whether it’s technical school, community college or a 4-year university, heading back to the books can be challenging after transitioning out of the service. Check out these tips from the Connecting Vets team to help you get the best out of your educational experience.

Review Your Benefits

Sometimes, navigating between chapter 1606 or Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits can be puzzling. Make sure to speak to the veteran’s affairs department at your institution and have them review what chapter your benefits fall under and what you receive. This is important information that will tell you what funds you’ll be receiving and what is and isn’t covered in your school’s tuition by the VA.

Find a Veteran Community on Campus

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A US Marine Corps veteran (R) shakes hands with Lynda Mims (L), an admissions representative at a job fair for military veterans.

While many students might have decided to continue their education right after high school, you might be returning after being stationed overseas or coming back from a deployment so making new friends on campus might be a challenge. Tons of universities have collegiate veterans groups–organizations on campus full of a community of veterans that you can relate to. They often have fun events and should be one of the first student groups you look for during the beginning of classes.

Stay Organized

Meeting time hacks and accomplishing tasks are vital to military missions, now you can apply those same skills in the classroom. Simple things like keeping a calendar of events, making a monthly budget, and setting daily study schedule can help you stay on top of school and life balance.

Be Patient With Your Classmates

After getting out of the military and going to the classroom, chances are you might be one of the older students in your class. Remember that many of your classmates experience with the military is limited to war movies and video games so class introductions could encourage otherwise frustrating or inappropriate questions. In a sense, you are starting over so try your best to answer their questions with an understanding attitude and embrace the chance to educate others about your experience.

Make Relationships with Faculty

If you’re returning back to school, having a support system on campus can alleviate much of the stress that comes with filling out financial aid forms and staying up-to-date with school information. Visit the dean of your department for help in your classes, visit professors during their office hours, frequent the financial aid office so you aren’t a stranger if you ever have any issues.

Sign Up for a LinkedIn Account

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Daniel Savage (right), veterans program manager for LinkedIn, briefs Army Reserve Ambassadors belonging to the 63rd Regional Support Command, during their visit to LinkedIn’s headquarters.

LinkedIn provides veterans with a free premium account for one year.

Linked In is a great network to connect with potential employers, find mentors, and search for jobs.

The premium account allows you to get special insights on what companies are looking for in new-hires.

Make sure to include your military service and skill set on your profile and look for companies that are currently seeking out veterans.

For more resources, visit our Get Help Education section to help you on the road to earning your degree.

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