In this series of blogs, I have been talking about colleges: why to go, where it’s best for Veterans and, of course, how VA can help you pay for it. In the last blog, I discussed the value of networking with the professor and peer networks you make at college. In this and the next two blogs, we’ll look at more reasons.

THIRD REASON: You learn things you probably wouldn’t anywhere else. As a Veteran, you have already benefited from some of the best training and education available anywhere in the world: the investment our military makes in your readiness. Once you separate from the service, the essence of that training stays with you in your ability to learn new things and respond to changing situations. A college education is similar. Getting a college degree does not necessarily teach you a trade or leadership. It does teach you critical thinking, planning and research skills, as well as working with others. It also shares common procedures, formats and communication styles that are familiar in most career fields. For example, I had always wondered where on earth the format for “Statements of Work” came from. It was not until I actually enrolled in college did I learn it is a pretty standard thing in academia and many professions.

Another thing you learn is how to adjust better to civilian life. School, of course, brings stress and with it, opportunities for personal growth. Fortunately you can build a strong support network around you. On, you can find helpful information, stories and resources for having a successful college experience.

In the next blog, I’ll discuss a fourth reason for college: The benefits of a degree outweigh the cost.

In the meantime, check out the Education & Training programs you can take advantage of when you Join VA.

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Published on Nov. 3, 2015

Estimated reading time is 1.5 min.

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  1. Jerry D. Casteel November 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I would love to go to college. But after spending 30 years in the military and after retirement I was unable to live on retired pay, I had to go to work in a job which did not allow time to attend classes. When I was able to quit my civilian job my benefits had “expired”. Doesn’t seem fair that earned benefits expire after a certain period. Guess we can thank the president and congress for being able to move those funds to some much deserving welfare recipients.

  2. John Burke November 8, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    I am in the same boat, please let me know if you here anything.

  3. John Burke November 8, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    I agree, if you make any headway, please let me know. I am in the same boat

  4. christopher Maynard November 6, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Being a poor kid with few (legal) prospects I enlisted into the Marines primarily for the GI Bill. After four years of putting up with mountains of meaningless bullshit on a daily basis I managed to discharge honorably. The GI Bill was no panacea… It payed for my tuition, but I still had to work crummy, low-paying jobs to keep myself fed and sheltered. However, after the USMC, those college days were still the easiest of my adult life! Once I graduated I never looked back, never again had to worry about money. Best of all, I had so many OPTIONS. For the first time I was a FREE MAN…

  5. Andrew Krebs November 6, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Going back to school seems like a good idea. It’s not when you go back to school, and the Professor says things like,” In order to be a veteran, you have to be a murderer, a rapist, and a baby killer.” That school didn’t follow the non-discrimination policy. Plus, they just want the money, then get rid of you. Then you get more comments like,” You need to go back.” I replied,” I can’t. I was medically separated under honorable conditions.” More comments to follow, ” Well, I don’t see anything wrong with you. I think you got kicked out.” It’ll piss you off bad enough, you wanna punch an asshole in the throat. Wait it gets better,(being sarcatic), you can’t do that. Their such assholes, they’ll sue for everything you got. Even though they have more than you, and your lucky to get by, day to day. See my dilemma.

    • Karen Richards November 7, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      If you were medically discharged have you checked to see if you are eligible for va retraining? I retrained and got my masters degree and the va paid for it. When I went to school your disability only had to be 30 percent. Check it out.

  6. Daniel Hatch November 6, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Good luck……I paid $1200 in to my GI Bill, was 6 months past the 8 years and sent packing. Seems like a future law suit getting ready to happen down the lines. Not sure how they can collect money for a program and not be obligated to pay it back with interest when the Vet decides to use it. To place a time limit on when you can use your education benefits is un-american (because it is restricting), mostly when you contribute extra money out of your pay to do it!

  7. Gregory Johnson November 6, 2015 at 9:33 am

    I am interested in returning to school to obtain a PhD such that I can give back through serving as a professor teaching. However, I don’t know exactly where to start the VA education support application process. I live in Cleveland, Ohio (don’t hold that against me) and I’m anxious to get started.

    Thank you.

  8. DAVID CHILCUTT November 4, 2015 at 3:18 am

    I sincerely wish I had had the opportunity of the VA involvement with my education when I was going to college……had I known more about my benefits and how the political system of the college environment worked, I definitely would have been able to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree (instead of just as Associates)!!! All the college system in Connecticut wanted to do was just take the GI Bill money and let me go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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