Flickr/Aaron Hawkins

As I received my cap and gown from the book store clerk, I looked at the baby blue gown and dark blue tassel package in my hands and imagined walking on the grass alongside my classmates under the sun. I thought about what I will wear, how I will do my makeup, and how the graduation ceremony will end with happy tears, selfies, and family photos.

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U.S. Army

When I was in high school, I had a GPA of 1.6 and barely graduated. Nonetheless, my mother always believed that I would be the first person in our family to receive my college degree. In 2010, she passed away in a head-on collision car accident, and I became a ward of the state at the age of 16. I was out of options and resources, but knowing that I was going to make my mother’s dream a reality. In 2012, I looked to the United States Army and the GI Bill.  

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U.S. Air Force photo

Finding employment as a student veteran or a transitioning service member can be difficult. Many companies don't know how to translate your service into a career within their company, and others don't accommodate students — but these Hirpurpose partners do both. These companies are actively seeking student veterans and transitioning service members.

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Julian LaRosa is a Columbia University student and U.S. Army veteran who lives in a university-owned apartment. All was right in the world until Columbia assigned LaRosa a new roommate, a graduate student at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. LaRosa emailed him to let him know he would have a fellow veteran visiting soon, and the man replied with a list of roommate rules:

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DoD photo by Sgt. Maj. Michael Pintagro

Veterans who choose to pursue higher education have access to a number of benefits to help them along the way, but managing finances can be tricky. Though the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill works to cover tuition and living expenses, there are still things you should consider when applying for and attending college.

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AP Photo/Northwest Herald, H. Rick Bamman

The professional and personal benefits of having a college degree in the 21st century are undeniable. Service members and veterans working multiple jobs while raising families see the value in devoting time and money to higher education. Unfortunately, they don't always consider applying to brick-and-mortar campuses because of a flurry of misconceptions regarding the experience and outcome of an online education. Online programs are notoriously marketed to service members by emphasizing low tuition costs and unparalleled convenience, but potential applicants are ill-informed about what an on-campus experience could offer.

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