Back to School: Is it Right for You? (cont.)
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Step Three: Don’t let school costs deter you. Don’t make the mistake of sidelining your options due to fear of tuition, says Chuck Flint, Assistant Director of Transfer and Military Admissions at Oklahoma City University. Private schools may be more expensive on paper, but military-friendly institutions will find ways to help you financially, Flint says.
Although the G.I. Bill covers tuition for public school, private schools like Oklahoma City participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. They make additional funds available for your education program without an additional charge to your G.I. Bill entitlement. The school enters an agreement with the VA, choosing the amount of tuition and fees that it will contribute. The VA matches that amount and issues payments directly to the school.
You may find unique learning opportunities at private schools that you can’t get at public institutions, and you might miss out if you let fear of financing get in the way, he adds.
“Veterans love the interaction with our professors,” Flint says of Oklahoma City’s small class sizes. “We have a film production class taught by a guy who has directed Stephen King movies. A veteran recently told me, ‘I get to work with a Hollywood director every day!’”
Step Four: Choose a school that can open career doors. Universities are about more than classroom instruction. Find one that has strong connections to employers in your chosen field.
“Ask a school about some of the companies their graduates have gone on to work for,” Cropsey says. “We have an active career placement center at Grantham and are proud of those we’ve placed in corporations. Always ask if the school has a placement center that will help refer them.”
Heidi Lynn Russell writes about employment and business issues.
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