Common Questions Regarding Education

When people first get involved with pursuing their education, they tend to have a lot of questions about what they can expect, as well as some concerns. The same applies to those who are in the military and trying to find some of the common points of interest associated with their educational goals. Here are some of the answers to the basics.

With the amount of diploma mills that are available, how is it possible for a student to determine the quality of an online education program?

It's important to understand that you can't judge online schools by their campuses in many cases. Many of the nationally accredited colleges and universities are able to offer online distance education and online programs; as such, they don't need a campus to provide a quality education. There are two ways that you can determine whether or not an online school is a diploma mill. Is the school accredited by a regional or national association? If it is, then it's less likely to be a diploma mill. Another consideration to take is to find out if the school is a member of the Service members Opportunity Colleges or if it's listed by the Defense Activities for Non-Traditional Education Support. Does the college have programs that are approved of by the Veterans Administration for use with the GI Bill? If so, then you can be comfortable with knowing that these schools are not diploma mills.

How will a school determine how many credits to give students for their military experience and training?

College credit for military experience is determined by the American Council on Education, also known as ACE. ACE is responsible for evaluating hundreds of military courses, ratings, schools, MOSs, and other elements throughout the year. Every ACE evaluation will include course length, dates, curriculum description, and recommended credits that are listed for lower and upper levels. Not all schools are able to grant ACE recommended credit for military experience, so it is very important that students should research which school would be the most suitable for their needs.

What is financial aid?

Financial aid is considered to be any form of a grant or loan that is paid directly to your college. This can include pell grants, military tuition assistance, Perkins loans, and Stafford loans. However, MGIB is not considered to be financial aid because it is paid to you and not to the school of your choice.

What is the difference between semester hours and quarter hours?

Some schools run under the quarter system while others run on the semester system. It doesn't have any affect on the quality of the courses for the students or the cost overall. However, it is a different way of measuring credits. In order to figure out your credits if you are planning to transfer from a quarter system to a semester system, you need to divide your quarter credits by 1.5. Most schools run on the semester system. A normal course is usually worth three credit hours.