The Top Military-Friendly Online Colleges

In recent years, more and more military officials have been turning to online education for their higher learning needs. Whether it’s out of necessity to maintain their active duty while pursuing an education or simply for the flexibility it offers military personnel, online education has become a popular choice. However, not all online colleges are created equal when it comes to accommodating military students. To ensure that military personnel receive the best possible education, they should consider attending online colleges that prioritize being military-friendly.

Military-friendly online colleges provide a range of benefits for military students, including transfer credit for military experience and the flexibility to complete coursework on their own schedule, no matter where they are deployed. These institutions recognize the unique challenges active military personnel may encounter, such as sudden duty assignments or overseas deployments, and they cater their programs to accommodate these hurdles. For military students looking to earn a degree, a military-friendly online college can offer a path to success that meets their personal and professional goals.

What Does It Mean for an Online College to Be Military Friendly?

Explains how online colleges can support military students, including tuition discounts, flexible scheduling, and credit transfer policies.

The Top Online Colleges that Are Military Friendly

Lists some of the best online colleges for military students, including Southern New Hampshire University, Arizona State University, and Colorado State University Global Campus.


The internet has brought a great amount of convenience to millions of people around the world, and the military community is no exception. With the rise of online colleges, active-duty service members, veterans, and their families can now access flexible education options that fit their unique lifestyle and needs. In this article, we will discuss the top online colleges that are military-friendly and offer a variety of programs to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Benefits of Online Colleges for Military Personnel

Online colleges have become an increasingly popular option for military personnel because of their flexibility and convenience. Here are some of the benefits that these institutions offer to active-duty service members, veterans, and their families:

  • Flexibility: Online colleges allow military personnel to complete coursework anywhere and anytime, which means they can study while on deployment or stationed in a remote location.
  • Convenience: Military personnel can enroll in online courses from anywhere in the world, eliminating the need to travel to physical campuses or take time off from their jobs.
  • Savings: Online colleges often have lower tuition costs, and military personnel may also be eligible for additional financial aid or military discounts.
  • Transferability: Many online colleges have transfer agreements with traditional colleges and universities, making it easier for students to earn their degree while transitioning between military service and civilian life.

Military Friendly Online Colleges

Here are some of the top online colleges that offer military-friendly programs and resources:

1. University of Maryland Global Campus

The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) has been serving military personnel and their families for more than 70 years. It offers more than 90 online degree and certificate programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees in areas such as cybersecurity, management, and education. UMGC is also a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium (SOC), which ensures that military personnel can transfer credits between institutions easily. In addition, UMGC offers military-specific financial aid programs and resources, including tuition discounts for active-duty personnel and their spouses.

2. American Public University System

The American Public University System (APUS) is a for-profit institution that offers online degree programs in areas such as homeland security, public administration, and business administration. APUS has been ranked as one of the top military-friendly online colleges by Military Times and provides a number of resources for military personnel, including tuition discounts, transfer credit evaluations, and military-friendly policies.

3. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a private, Christian university that offers a range of online degree programs, including business, nursing, and education. GCU has been designated as a military-friendly school by GI Jobs and offers a variety of military-specific benefits, such as tuition discounts and specialized advising services for military personnel, veterans, and their families.

4. Arizona State University Online

Arizona State University Online is the online division of Arizona State University (ASU), a highly respected public research institution. ASU offers more than 150 online degree programs, many of which are designed to meet the needs of military personnel and veterans. ASU is a member of the SOC and offers a variety of military-specific resources, such as discounted tuition rates and transfer credit evaluations.

5. Liberty University Online

Liberty University Online is a Christian university that offers more than 400 online degree programs in areas such as business, education, and nursing. It has been designated as a military-friendly school by Military Times and offers a number of benefits to military personnel and their families, including tuition discounts, transfer credit evaluations, and specialized advising services.


Online colleges provide a valuable opportunity for military personnel and their families to access flexible, convenient, and affordable education options. The institutions we have highlighted in this article offer a variety of programs and resources that are tailored specifically to the needs of military personnel. If you are a service member or veteran looking to enhance your education and career prospects, we encourage you to explore the many online colleges available to you and find the one that best fits your goals and needs.


Question 1: What does it mean for an online college to be “military friendly”?

Answer: A military-friendly online college is one that provides special resources, accommodations, and support to military veterans and persons in active duty. These resources can include tuition discounts, transfer credits of military coursework, and flexible schedules or advising. Additionally, military friendly schools often have dedicated staff members who provide assistance in navigating the benefits and requirements of military education, such as the GI Bill, and also offer resources like career services and counseling tailored to the needs of military personnel.

Question 2: How can I find out if an online college is military friendly?

Answer: Many online colleges will advertise their military-friendly status prominently on their website and provide detailed information regarding their support program for military students. You can also look for colleges that participate in the Department of Defense’s Voluntary Education Program and are listed on their website. Additionally, you can use resources like the Military Friendly Schools website which serves as the standard for military friendly and is a great place to start research.

Question 3: Can military personnel use their GI Bill benefits to pay for online college?

Answer: Yes, active duty military, veterans and their eligible dependents are able to use their military educational benefits towards online college courses. However, the amount of funding varies depending on the individual’s qualifications and level of service. Military personnel are encouraged to contact the school they plan to attend or reach out to their education office or benefit counselor in the Department of Veteran Affairs to learn more.

Question 4: Do online colleges offer programs specifically for military personnel?

Answer: Many online colleges offer programs designed specifically for military personnel. Some specialized programs include Business Administration, Cybersecurity, Public Administration, Engineering, and Nursing among others. These programs are developed with the specific needs and schedules of military students in mind, allowing them to complete their degree while balancing deployment, other duties, and family obligations.

Question 5: What is the difference between a military-friendly and military-centric online college?

Answer: A military-friendly online college provides a range of resources and services that cater to the specific needs of military students. A military-centric online college, on the other hand, is an institution that has been exclusively designed for military members or whose main focus is to support the military. Military-centric online colleges offer a variety of benefits for military personnel and often provide specialized programs like boot camps, simulations, and online courses tailored to a specific branch or field of service.

Question 6: Are all military-friendly online colleges accredited?

Answer: Yes, all military-friendly online colleges must meet the same criteria for accreditation as traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. Accreditation is the process of verifying that an institution has met a specific set of standards for academic quality and rigor. You should make sure that the online college you attend is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency to ensure that your degree will be recognized by employers upon graduation.

Question 7: Can I transfer credits from my military training towards an online degree?

Answer: Yes, many online colleges will allow you to transfer credits earned through military training towards your degree program. The American Council on Education (ACE) evaluates military courses and training to determine the number of credits that can be transferred to civilian college. These credits can help reduce the amount of time and money spent on your degree and open up opportunities for advancement in your military career.

Question 8: How can I access the resources and support provided by a military-friendly online college?

Answer: Most military-friendly online colleges have a dedicated staff member or office that provides assistance to military students. This can include help navigating educational benefits, career services, and counseling. You should reach out to your school’s military liaison or advisor to get connected with these resources. Additionally, many schools offer online student portals or virtual support that you can access from anywhere.

Question 9: What types of financial aid are available to military students attending online college?

Answer: Several types of financial aid are available to military students attending online college, including the GI Bill, Tuition Assistance, and the Yellow Ribbon Program. Additionally, many military-friendly online colleges offer scholarships and grants specifically for military personnel and their families, and you may also be eligible for federal student loans or Pell Grants. You should reach out to your school’s financial aid office or the Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more about your options.

Question 10: Is attending an online military-friendly college a good choice for veterans looking to transition back to civilian life?

Answer: Yes, attending an online military-friendly college can be an excellent choice for veterans transitioning back to civilian life. Online programs provide flexibility and convenience that allow veterans to adjust their studies to their schedules. Additionally, military-friendly online colleges have a range of resources and support services available, providing veterans with the assistance they need to succeed in higher education. Oftentimes, these colleges will offer career readiness services and networking opportunities specifically for the needs of military veterans. With clinical programs and career services in the mix, online military-friendly colleges are starting to look like the new affordable traditional college alternative. 

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