The military has always been a large part of the Georgia community. From Fort Benning to the Marine Corps Air Station in Savannah, many Georgians can point to a family member or friend in the military. The University System of Georgia is no different, with around 2,000 veterans graduating each year from its colleges and universities. That being said, many students are on the lookout for military-friendly colleges in Georgia.
The best colleges for veterans in Georgia offer military education benefits such as tuition assistance to veterans and the children of veterans in the state. The best military colleges in Georgia are affordable and offer excellent benefits and programs. Keep reading to discover the best colleges and military benefits for veterans in Georgia.
Is It Hard to Get Into a Military-Friendly College in Georgia?
No, it is not hard to get into a military-friendly college in Georgia, although the acceptance rate ranges from one college to another. For example, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is recognized as one of Georgia’s most military-friendly colleges, with an 81 percent acceptance rate, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Funding for Military-Friendly Schools in Georgia
Georgia has several military-friendly colleges. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is the most popular benefit program, used by 91 percent of beneficiaries at Georgia colleges to help fund their studies.
These programs currently offer benefits for veterans’ education in Georgia:
- Post 9/11 GI Bill
- All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program (MGIB-AD)
- Educational Assistance for Members of the Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
- Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA)
- Post Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
Is College Free in Georgia if You Are a Veteran?
Yes, sometimes college is free in Georgia if you are a veteran thanks to the GI Bill. The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) colleges offer some of the lowest tuition in the Southeast for their more than 600 approved college programs. Attending low-tuition schools with military and veterans benefits and Georgia grants can get you a world-class education for very little or no money.
Is Georgia a Good Place to Go to a Military-Friendly College?
Yes, Georgia is a good place to go to a military-friendly college. Georgia State University has been voted the nation’s No. 1 Military-Friendly tier-1 research institution by VIQTORY for the 2022-2023 school year. Georgia offers property tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and military tuition assistance, vehicle tags, and nursing facility care for war veterans.
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Factors Vets Need to Consider When Choosing a School in Georgia
- Accreditation. It is vital to attend an accredited online university. Accreditation ensures that a school has been approved by an agency that sets high standards for higher education. The best colleges for veterans in Georgia are accredited.
- Number of veteran scholarships available. The University System of Georgia offers several scholarships to its veterans and their families. These include the Military Spouse Education Assistance Fund, the Military Child Education Program, and a state-funded scholarship. It’s important to check that your school offers benefits for veterans.
- Reputation of the school. Many veterans and their families will look up a school’s reputation before enrolling. A school’s reputation is important and influences the school’s ranking. You can also use survey scores to help you rank potential schools.
- Active veteran community. The military has many different branches, and each branch attracts its type of veteran. If you have active-duty personnel in your state, find out if there is an active military students’ group at your proposed school.
- Career Services. A good school prepares students for employment after graduation. The best military colleges in Georgia offer career services such as resume building, interview prep, and even refinement of your LinkedIn Profile.
Best Military-Friendly Colleges in Georgia at a Glance
|College||# of Students Earning Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits||Average Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded|
|Augusta University||Undergrad: 338Grad: 65||Undergrad: $6,726Grad: $11,729|
|Columbus State University||Undergrad: 452Grad: 36||Undergrad: $4,390Grad: $4,378|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Undergrad: 138Grad: 185||Undergrad: $8,133Grad: $10,334|
|Georgia Southern University||Undergrad: 926Grad: 63||Undergrad: $4,471Grad: $6,191|
|Georgia State University||Undergrad: 535Grad: 83||Undergrad: $7,652Grad: $11,673|
|Kennesaw State University||Undergrad: 808
|Undergrad: $4,592Grad: $6,585|
|Savannah College of Art and Design||Undergrad: 548Grad: 50||Undergrad: $24,976Grad: $18,004|
|University of Georgia||Undergrad: 213Grad: 141||Undergrad: $6,679Grad: $14,989|
|University of West Georgia||Undergrad: 160Grad: 30||Undergrad: $6,059Grad: $6,207|
|Valdosta State University||Undergrad: 226Grad: 27||Undergrad: $4,328Grad: $3,785|
Best Colleges for Veterans in Georgia
How Does the Post-9/11 GI Bill Work?
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a benefit for veterans that allows them to attend college at either a state school or a public university. Congress passed the Post-9/11 GI Bill as an educational support program in August 2009.
Who Is Eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill?
Veterans who served on active duty for more than 90 days since September 9, 2001, are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Currently, there are a few exceptions to this rule. You must also have a high school diploma or equivalent or be enrolled in a degree-seeking program. You will also need to have served at least six months of active duty.
You might be eligible if you were honorably discharged from duty after receiving a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001. You could qualify for the GI Bill as a dependent of a service member or veteran if the benefits were transferred to you by an eligible veteran or service member.
What Does the GI Bill Cover?
GIs in the Post-9/11 Era Bill can cover your entire tuition and expenses at school and provide you with a monthly housing allowance and up to $1,000 each year to spend on books and supplies.
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- The amount of your benefit is decided by the school you attend, the number of credits or training hours you take, and how long you’ve been on active duty since September 10, 2001.
- Your GI Bill Statement of Benefits will show you how much you’ve used and still have available if you’ve already filed for and been approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits.
- You can only use one education benefit per period of service. You’ll have to choose which educational advantage to take advantage of. Once you’ve made your choice, you must stick with it.
- Except for Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E), you may be eligible for up to 48 months of VA education benefits. Many candidates only qualify for 36 months.
- Additional perks come with the Post GI-Bill. Military personnel can transfer benefits to a spouse or child. If you have to pay out-of-state tuition or go to a private school, you can apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
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How to Apply for the GI Bill and Related Benefits
If you want to attend military-friendly colleges in Georgia, you must take advantage of all the possible benefits. Below are the steps you need to take to apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill and related benefits.
Step 1: Determine your eligibility
Eligibility for selection includes those who have served on active duty or are a qualified member of the Selected Reserve or National Guard since September 9, 2001. You must be enrolled in college at the time of selection and eligible to apply for and serve on a military service roster.
Step 2: Collect all documents.
You’ll be asked to supply information such as your social security number, bank account information, educational background, military service history, and college information. If you’re a military member, you’ll need permission from your chain of command or an education service officer (ESO) before you can apply. A DD 214 Form may be required for veterans.
Step 3: Apply for your GI Bill
There are two ways to apply for your GI Bill. The first is to apply to your school’s Veterans’ Services Office, which is located in the Registrar’s Office. The second is to apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill through the VA website. You can apply directly to your university’s college-based Veterans’ Services Office.
Step 4: Apply for any additional benefits
Students receiving their tuition and fee payment under the Post-9/11 GI Bill should be able to apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps the student with out-of-pocket expenses. The application requirements may be slightly different, so be sure to double-check all of your sources.
Step 5: Continue your education
To maintain eligibility, you must continue your education after receiving your GI Bill benefits. You must have earned at least 120 credits and be enrolled in a degree-seeking program. You can even earn military education benefits by enrolling in an online program, as long as you meet the minimum credit requirement.
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What Documents Do I Need to Apply for the GI Bill?
To apply for the GI Bill, you must provide information and upload documents that validate your high school or college education. You’ll also need your social security number, military service history, bank information, and college acceptance or enrollment to apply as a veteran, active-duty service, or military family member.
These are the documents you need to apply for the GI Bill:
- Social Security Number
- Bank account direct deposit information
- Education and military history
- Basic information about the school or training facility you want to attend or are attending now
- Your DD-214 form
- Your Certificate of Eligibility
- Supporting documents such as bank statements and evidence of discharge from the military
What Are the Best Online Military-Friendly Colleges in Georgia?
As you begin searching for military-friendly colleges and universities, it’s best to look through rankings. The following rankings offer a quick snapshot of the most reputable Georgia schools to attend, according to their acceptance rates, tuition fees, financial aid opportunities, and military affiliation.
These are the best online military-friendly colleges in Georgia:
- Columbus State University
- Kennesaw State University
- University of Georgia
- University of West Georgia
- Valdosta State University
Best Online Colleges for Veterans in Georgia
Can I Get College Credit for My Military Training?
Yes, active-duty military personnel and veterans can earn college credits for their military experience. Transferring your military experience to college credit has a lot of benefits and can make getting your bachelor’s degree more achievable and much quicker than you might have expected.
The policies of the university you desire to attend will decide the specific procedure for getting credit for your military service. While most colleges and universities recognize some military experience, there is no requirement or guarantee that the school will accept the credits. The American Council on Education is tasked with the responsibility of reviewing credits.
As a Vet, Do I Have to Meet the Same Requirements as Regular Students?
Yes, if you want to receive GI Bill funds, you will have to meet the same academic requirements as other full-time students. You must carry a full course load per semester, be enrolled in classes at least part-time, maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average, and progress toward your degree.
Students transferring to a four-year institution as juniors from community colleges may be required to have achieved a certain number of college credits. Make sure you understand what incoming students are expected to have by speaking with an admission counselor at the colleges in which you’re interested.
Applying to College: 5 Tips for Veteran Students
The most important thing when figuring out how to get accepted into a good college is to find a college that best meets your needs. College is a great way to learn, network, and gain the skills you will need for a successful future. Below are tips to ease your college journey.
- Apply for GI Bill Benefits early. If you are eligible to receive GI Bill benefits, you must apply to the Post-9/11 GI Bill within six months of your discharge from service. Some schools have pre-enrollment programs where you can apply before entering college.
- Apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program. Other schools have programs that match GI Bill benefits dollar for dollar. This means your school will cover the difference if you receive more than you pay out of pocket. This program is called the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Before starting your studies, you should try to speak with the veteran’s services office or the financial aid office. They can explain everything in detail and give you any additional information you need.
- Consider joining a veterans group. You will find a lot of veterans groups on college campuses. The military community is an invaluable resource for advice, support, and information on navigating the college experience.
- Use the resources available. If you are having trouble in your transition to college life, reach out to the veterans’ services office, school, or other helpful resources. These resources will benefit both prospective and current military students alike.
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Should You Attend a Military-Friendly School in Georgia?
Yes, you should attend a military-friendly school in Georgia. As a veteran student, Georgia is one of the best states to attend college. With some of the best colleges in the country and a focus on veterans, Georgia has been recognized as a military-friendly state. With programs such as Yellow Ribbon and the GI Bill, veterans can get the best educational experience at reduced prices.
Georgia is also one of the best states for veterans to gain employment, as most successful veterans are likely to settle in the state. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that of the 49.9 percent of veterans in the civilian labor force in Georgia, 98 percent of them are employed.
Military-Friendly Colleges in Georgia FAQ
Yes, Georgia is a military-friendly state. The Georgia Military Scholarship allows veterans to attend college and have their full tuition covered by the state. Many different schools in Georgia offer it.
To find out if your college is military-friendly, you should check with the Veterans’ Services office. They can be a great resource to help you find the right school. You can also check if the school has a veterans group or club or contact the admissions office about any admissions question you might have.
No, it is not hard to find military-friendly colleges. In Georgia, many education institutions offer opportunities for veterans. As long as you do your research, you will be able to find a military-friendly school that suits your needs and has academic programs that interest you.
Yes, online colleges are military-friendly. Online colleges have been a great way for many veterans to receive a college education. If you are a veteran and are interested in online schools, then Georgia has the best online colleges for your career that offer veterans the opportunity to gain the skills they need.
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