There may not be a better feeling as an enlisted troop than leaving the base for the last time, waltzing off into the sunset with your newly minted DD-214 to take on the world. For some, that means using that sweet, sweet G.I. Bill to pay for a college degree that will guide your transition back into the world of civilians; for many, that means choosing from one of several veteran-friendly colleges.

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U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Jo Jones

In honor of the start of college admissions season, I’m offering some tips I learned during my time as an admissions application reader and writing consultant tailored to help veterans write college application essays that actually stand out.  

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As the cool winds of fall grace our doorsteps, the skunky smell of college football wafts throughout the nation. For schools like Army and Navy, the glory of yesteryear will never again be attained, but football remains a welcome distraction for students who looked at colleges and said, “That one. The one that’s like prison.”

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U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth

Starting this fall, the University of Memphis will waive tuition costs for children of fallen service members using the Folds of Honor scholarship fund.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Bryan Nygaard/Released

In 1940, fewer than one in 20 Americans had four years of college. By 2000, it was one in four.  A college degree was once widely seen as proof of membership in the nation’s intellectual (and  financial, gender, and racial) elite. Now, being a college graduate just means someone is able to pay tuition and wake up in time for at least 50% of their classes. And still, with very few exceptions, we require degrees of our commissioned officers.

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Photo via DoD

This article was originally published on The Conversation

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