Military

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Thank you for Serving

8.31.2010

Air Force TA

Spent the day yesterday completing the entries for some new online degree programs for Air Force Tuition Assistance for New England College of Business and Finance. The school is regionally accredited and has been around for over 101 years!

You can now use your Air Force TA for the following degrees:

For the undergraduate degrees the military discount brings the cost per credit to $207 which is UNDER your TA reimbursement. For the graduate degrees the military discount brings the cost per credit hour down to $523 which is an outstanding deal.

So if you are ready to advance your Air Force career with a regionally accredited, high quality online business degree - start today and let the Air Force help!

8.30.2010

MyCAA Start

We are now 2 months for the re-start of MyCAA for military spouses! While the program is a mere shadow of the previous program, many spouses can still create better opportunities for their careers by using these education dollars.

October 25: is the key date for new MyCAA spouses to begin. From the MilitaryOnesource MyCAA Site:

"The MyCAA program will reopen to all eligible spouses under the new program guidelines. All spouses, including those currently participating, will be subject to the new eligibility criteria and revised funding limits below:
  • Be the spouse of an active duty Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine service member, or activated Reserve member in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, or O1-O2.
  • If National Guard and/or AGR, sponsor must be on federal Title 10 active duty orders as reported in DEERS.
  • Spouses of Guard/Reserve members in an Alert, Transition Assistance, or Post Deployment status are not eligible.
  • MyCAA accounts will be limited to the new $4,000 maximum benefit with a $2000 fiscal year cap. Waivers will be available for spouses pursuing licensure or certification up to the total maximum assistance of $4,000.
  • Spouses must finish their program of study within three years from the start date of the first course.
  • Funding is limited to only Associate’s degrees, certifications and licensure programs."

In the past, the program has been overwhelmed by response and shut down - or the money has run out. So if I were you, I would not delay. I would get your program approved right when it opens so you don't get left out.

More to come on this including the updated how to enroll in MyCAA

8.27.2010

NECB now MyCAA Approved!

While the changes to MyCAA may make many schools end their participation, New England College of Business (NECB) got fully approved by MyCAA today. This is because we have a great Associate of Science in Business Administration that is a perfect fit for military spouses.

More to come on NECB and MyCAA, but we are going to reward military spouses for their service to our country in a very big way!

Semper Fi: DC Metro Hero!

The DC Metro Hero - a marine who still considers it his obvious duty to use his training to help Americans in need:

"A day earlier Pinzon — a.k.a. the man in the blue dress shirt — had jumped into the path of a Metro train to come to the aid of a man who fell on the tracks while having an epileptic seizure. Then, after the train stopped short and he had helped to hoist the nearly 200 pound man to safety, Pinzon gathered the papers he had dropped on the ground and casually got on a train toward Union Station.

“I saw that the train was slowing down, and I saw the guy standing up and he was wobbling around, so it was like, this guy’s going to fall back or something bad is going to happen,” Pinzon said. “I just said to hell with it, someone’s gotta get to him.”

He jumped onto the track, stepped over both third rails, hurried over to the man and put him in a bear hug. With the help of two people on the platform, Pinzon lifted the man to safety. After being helped back to the platform himself, he asked the station manager to call 911. With the man being taken care of by the other riders, Pinzon collected his papers and went back to the other side of the station, where he boarded a train to Union Station.

“My job was done, and I figured I’d go on with my business,” he said.

Yes my friends - that is why we do everything we can to help the military. Because they do everything they can to help us!

8.26.2010

Montgomery GI Bill = more money for college

The new rates for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) move up to $51,300. You will now receive $1,426 per month - up 4% over the previous year.

Make sure you shop around. In this economy you DO NOT want to buried in student loans to earn your degree. If you attend one of the schools we work with, you can receive your undergraduate degree with ZERO student loans.

Please shop around. It is heartbreaking to see our military taking on debt to advance their careers when they can attend a regionally accredited online school where the GI Bill will cover the entire cost.

8.25.2010

New MyCAA: creating a degree

The New England College of Business and Finance is military friendly. And right now I am working with them to create an even friendlier program. We are all upset with the limitations on the new MyCAA regulations.

"The new program now offers a maximum benefit of $4,000 for a time limit of three years and will only fund spouses of service members in the pay grades of E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2 seeking an associate degree, licenses and certification."

Is there a way to still earn a degree using MyCAA funds? There may be. Stay tuned to this blog as we are working hard to create a military spouse Associate of Science in Business Administration that will work the MyCAA funding. We are still working out the details - but earning your associate degree in business is a great start to your education and career. NECB is regionally accredited, the highest level, and offers a 100% online program.

NECB works so hard to help the military, spouses, veterans and their families. Stay tuned........

8.24.2010

Coast Guard ESO Symposium!

I am here in Norman, Oklahoma (knew I would be here sooner or later) for the Annual Coast Guard ESO Symposium. Looking forward to speaking with them and helping more Coast Guard service members reach their education goals.

If you are attending - come on by the American University System booth!!

8.23.2010

More Military Friendly Schools

American College of Education is the latest of our schools to receive the military friendly designation. Once again, this was their first attempt at the effort and we are very proud to achieve this recognition right out of the box.

This is a great online school - regionally accredited, monthly starts and a master's in education that is less than $180 per credit hour! A total investment of less than $7,000 for a master's degree in education.

This is a great opportunity for all you military instructors to take your career to the next level. Congrats to American College of Education Team!!

8.20.2010

GI Bill Concurrent Enrollment

Talking to a lot of veterans right now who want to complete a hybrid program of online and live classes to earn the master's or bachelor degrees. The VA does allow veterans to enroll in 2 schools with the Concurrent Enrollment program. From the Certifying School Officials Manual:

Supplemental and Concurrent Enrollments
A student may take courses at more than one school that apply to his or her degree. The school that will grant the degree is the student’s “parent” school. All other schools are “secondary” schools.

VA can pay benefits for courses taken at secondary schools. If the student is enrolled at the secondary school, VA will pay for the credits taken at the secondary. If the student is enrolled at the parent and the secondary school at the same time (“concurrent”); VA will pay for the combined credit, taking overlapping enrollment dates into account.

What do you need? You need a letter from the Parent School addressed to the VA Certifying Official at the Secondary school. It can be sent by mail, email or hand carried by the student. The letter must:
  • Identify the student (name and social security number) as a student at your school (name and facility code) pursuing a .
  • State, “The courses listed below satisfy requirements and will transfer at full value to .”
  • List the courses the student is or will take at the secondary school that your school will accept as transfer credit towards the student’s program.

The parent school must ensure they receive a transcript from the secondary school and that transfer credit is granted, grades permitting. When certifying a student, the parent school only certifies those credits taken at the parent school. The parent school also must notify VA of any changes of enrollment at the parent school. The secondary school must report credits taken at the secondary school and any changes in enrollment at the secondary school.

The “Secondary” School will mail an Enrollment Certification or transmit a 1999 for the student as they would for any veteran student (remember tuition and fees), except:

  • They only certify courses listed in the parent school letter.
  • Enter “Supplemental enrollment, see remarks” for name of program.
  • Enter “NA” for Credit Allowed.
  • IMPORTANT: In remarks, they must state: “Supplemental enrollment. Parent school letter from is on file. Student taking .”

For many students taking online programs, this is a great way to still qualify for the the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance while still earning the degree from the school they want.

8.17.2010

Military Friendly School

Yesterday was the big announcement on which schools had been designated Military Friendly and I am proud to say that the New England College of Business and Finance (NECB) has been designated Military Friendly for 2010-2011.

Only 15% of schools make the cut so this is a pretty big deal. You earn this designation if you work hard with military transcripts to give Service members and veterans the credit they deserve, you accept all military reimbursement programs and you provide the support necessary to complete the degree.

This is our first try at earning the designation and are very proud to recieve the award.

Judging by the numbers of military applying for our fully accredited online business degrees - the military feels we are pretty friendly too!

8.16.2010

Navy Master Training Specialist

Another great question this weekend from a Navy Master Training Specialist who wants to earn a Master's in Education from American College of Education. He wants to use TA (tuition assistance) but didn't know quite how to proceed.

Because of he is an instructor, I don’t think he will have any problem getting TA approved for the degree since it will help his career. He will start at the Navy College website https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/nta.cfm to get the process started. We have had another student use Navy TA before so American College of Education should be in the system. He will need to get his request approved by the Navy College on base. The website has the locations.

He should receive $250 per credit hour and the M.Ed programs at ACE costs less than that so the TA will cover the entire cost of the program. We invoice the Navy by course.

This is a pretty great opportunity to earn your masters with nothing out of pocket for a very high quality program. So all you military instructors out there - let's get you going on the a very big step in your career!

8.12.2010

New GI Bill - what to do

If you need a break-down on the than this information on Post 9/11 GI Bill, or changes to the Post 9/11 GI Bill then you should head to Military.com which has a nice set up for you to review. Take a quick look when you have a chance.

I am still amazed when we go to military bases that many of our Service members don't really know much about their educational options. Our new goal is to eliminate this lack of knowledge.

Thanks to all who came out to the Naval State Great Lakes education fair. I will be heading out to Twentynine Palms Education Fair on Monday August 16th. Our first Marine Corps Base and really looking forward to speaking with Marines about their future education needs.

8.10.2010

Great Lakes Navy Education Fair

If you are stationed at Great Lakes, come on by the Education Fair at the Community Center from 1100 to 1800. This is our first Navy Education fair and we are looking forward to talking with the all the service members and their families.

You can check out 8 different schools with one visit to our booth tomorrow - looking forward to speaking with you about your education goals.

8.09.2010

For Profit Pulls Most Military

No shocker here - for-profit schools are getting the largest share of the Post 9/11 GI Bill funding. A recent article from Bloomberg shows that 6 for-profit colleges received more students from VA funding in 2009 than any public or non-profit institutions. With the new GI Bill, funding DOUBLED from $9.5 billion in 2010 from $4.2 billion in 2009.

HUGE dollars = increased focus. That is pretty much the way the business world works. The way government works, if someone is getting huge dollars, they are going to get increased attention. So there will be hearings in Washington this fall.

There are some bad things going on in the high pressure world of recruiting students. But the real reason for this trend is that online schools better meet the needs of military students and for-profits dominate the online learning world. That is why we help state schools bring their programs online!

With the attention from the GAO Report on For-Profit schools, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Military Scholarships

In the past I have listed military scholarships for spouses but neglected to highlight one that is becoming incredibly popular for ALL military: $20,000 Military MBA Scholarship . If $20,000 sounds like a lot - it is. The total tuition for the Corporate Master's of Business Administration (CMBA) program from Florida International University is $42,000 so you are essentially getting half off. This brings the cost per credit hour down to $524!

The scholarship program is open to military Service members, Veterans, spouses and immediate family members. I have worked with a lot of family members who are starting the program and needed a DD214 to prove military service for their parent. (copies of DD214).

Please take a look - you don't find many scholarships like this. It is a great program, regionally accredited by the Association of Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business - the recognized accrediting body for business programs.

8.06.2010

Military Spouse Scholarships

Here is the list from the MilitaryOneSource site on all the other opportunities for military spouses to get some sort of financial aid for college. It is a lengthy list but should help.

  • NECB Military Spouse Scholarship - active duty spouses can earn an Associate of Science Degree in business for $4,000 in tuition so that MyCAA will cover the full cost. All active duty spouses eligible - http://www.necb.edu/mycaa
  • Federal Student Aid Scholarship Search https://studentaid2.ed.gov/getmoney/scholarship/v3browse.asp This page of the Federal Student Aid Web site offers a scholarship search.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, ensures that all eligible individuals can benefit from federally funded or federally guaranteed financial assistance for education beyond high school.
  • GI Bill Web site http://www.gibill.va.gov/ The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.
  • GovBenefits.gov http://www.govbenefits.gov/ GovBenefits.gov is the official benefits website of the U.S. government, with information on over a thousand benefit and assistance programs. They include education grants and loans, health, housing, and other types of assistance.
  • Students.gov http://www.students.gov/ This U.S. Department of Education site links students with information on financial aid, tuition assistance, and scholarships. There is a section for military members and their families. Start your search by going to “Pay for your education”
  • Air Force Aid Society www.afas.org/Education/STAP.cfm The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) is the official charity of the United States Air Force. AFAS offers a Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) for spouses of active duty personnel who accompany members to overseas locations. More detailed information about eligibility can be found at that website
  • Army Emergency Relief http://www.aerhq.org/education.asp Army Emergency Relief is the Army's own emergency financial assistance organization and is dedicated to "Helping the Army Take Care of Its Own.” This link offers access to their educational resources, which include assistance in finding general and military related scholarships.
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society www.nmcrs.org/education.html The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society's education programs help eligible Navy and Marine Corps families pursue their academic goals by providing a source of education financing.
  • Air Force Spouse Scholarship Program www.afa.org/aef/aid/spouse.asp The Air Force Spouse Scholarship program is designed to encourage Air Force spouses worldwide to pursue associate/bachelor undergraduate or graduate/postgraduate degrees. The applicant must be a spouse of Air Force Active Duty, Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve to be eligible. Spouses who are also members of the service are not eligible. Additional requirements are available on their Web site.
  • American Association of University Women http://www.aauw.org/ The American Association of University Women offers scholarships for women. These scholarships are awarded to eligible women who meet the specific requirements of AAUW Branch and State offices.
  • Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association www.afcea.org/education/scholarships/ Links to various grants and scholarship opportunities. See Web site for details and application dates.
  • Army Scholarship Foundation http://www.armyscholarshipfoundation.org/ The Army Scholarship Foundation offers scholarships for spouses of enlisted active duty Army members, as well as for spouses of active duty Guard and Reserve members.
  • Book Scholarship http://www.bookscholarship.com/ This site offers an annual scholarship for textbooks. Students may register for the drawing at the site.
  • Broke Scholar http://www.brokescholar.com/ Broke Scholar is a free scholarship search engine.
  • CinCHouse.com http://www.cinchouse.com/ This site, dedicated to military spouses, has information and resources for spouses going back to school. Follow the links under “My Career” and “Education” to find a list of scholarships for military spouses and children.
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund http://www.hsf.ne/ t The Hispanic Scholarship Fund offers several scholarship programs for students of Hispanic heritage.
  • National Military Family Association www.militaryfamily.org/our-programs/military-spouse-scholarships/ The National Military Family Association Scholarship Fund awards scholarships for Military spouses. Applications, when available, are posted on their Web site.
  • Military Community Scholarship and Financial Aid Explorer www.mcsfex.net This site helps military members and their families research scholarship and financial aid opportunities.
  • Military HOMEFRONT http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/ Click on “Troops and Families” and “Education for Family Members” for information and links to financial support for spouses pursuing an education. You’ll also find information on branch-specific tuition assistance programs.
  • Navy Wives Clubs of America http://navywivesclubsofamerica.org/scholarinfo.htm
  • Pat Tillman Foundation www.pattillmanfoundation.org/programs.aspx The Pat Tillman Foundation offers Tillman Military Scholarships for service members and their dependents.
  • Thanks USA www.thanksusa.org/main/index.html Thanks USA offers scholarships to spouses and dependents of active duty service members or Reservists and National Guard members who have been activated.

8.05.2010

MyCAA - White House Responds

A while back I wrote a letter on mycaa to Michelle Obama encouraging her to act to help military spouses. Today I got the following response from the White House on MyCAA:

Dear David Saba:
Thank you for your note and for taking the time to write to the First Lady. Over the past few years, Mrs.Obama has seen the strength, courage and sacrifice of so many military families, and your concerns are important to her and the Administration.
The Office of the First Lady has received you rcorrespondence, and we have passed it on to theappropriate party within the Administration.
Thank you again for writing. The First Lady greatlyvalues all those who support the members of our ArmedForces and military families.

Sincerely,
Tyler Lechtenberg

Associate Director of Correspondence
Office of the First Lady

Great thoughts. Little action. Sigh.

WARNING: shady schools

There is a new GAO report out showing for-profit schools violating laws, ethics and using incredibly skeezy sales tactics. Note that NONE of the schools on this website do any of the things outlined in this report. Most are state schools and the two for-profit schools do NOT get more than 90% of their revenue from government programs and do NOT participate in shady sales tactics like the ones targeted in the GAO report. If you watch the videos - these guys are really bad.

So what should you do if you are a military student looking to further your education?
  1. Do your research - compare schools, compare tuition rates per credit hour, look at the Better Business Bureau and see if they have any complaints.
  2. For Associates and Bachelor degrees DO NOT TAKE ON DEBT - if the tuition is more than TA or GI Bill then find another program. If the school gives you a FASFA form - run
  3. For Master's degrees - definitely minimize the debt with TA or GI Bill covering more than half
  4. If you feel pressure - STOP the process. If the school really cares about YOU, they will respect your desires and make sure you comfortable with what is happening
  5. Know exactly what you are getting if you go the financial aid route - and know what your payments are going to be when you complete - are you going to broke after the payments?

Your pay is not going to go up astronomically for earning your advanced degree in the military or even when you get out, so you don't want to take on a ton of debt to get there.

Be smart, be careful and shop around.

8.04.2010

Military Education Resources

Working with the military every day is great but I do find that they don't quite know where to go to find out about their military transcripts or transfer of education benefits or tuition assistance. So I put together the list below to help! Enjoy and pass it around to all who need it.

Military Transcript Request sites:

Tuition Assistance:

MyCAA: MilitaryOneSource: https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa/default.aspx

VA GI Bill

Transfer of Post 9/11 GI Bill Education Benefits:

Survivor and Death Benefit: http://www.gibill.va.gov/pamphlets/ch35/ch35_pamphlet_general.htm

Request copy of DD214 – Military Separation papers:
http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/dd-214.html

As more questions come in we will add more resources. But this should get you enrolled in the online degree program you need!

8.03.2010

Veterans Wanted

Got a note from the City of Aventura down in Florida. Let me know if you want to help them out!

"The City of Aventura is hosting their annual Veteran's Day Ceremony on Thursday, November 11 at 10am. We are looking for 2-3 veterans to share a short story of their experience. Each veteran will be paired up with a classroom of children from our Aventura Charter School of Excellence. The veterans will have a chance to visit the children's classroom and form a meaningful relationship. At the ceremony, the veteran will be honored as the children he/she is paired up with share an interpretation or read their story. Please let me know if you need any more information or if this is something you are interested in. I really appreciate the help."

Post a response and I will send you the email address of the contact person. Vets in the classroom is a great way to help young people appreciate service to country!

IT Degree or Concentration

Spoke with a lot of Service members recently who have a enough credits to get an associates degree but want to move forward and get their bachelor degree in Information Technology. Many of the schools are telling them they will have to basically start over to earn their degree.

But that is not the only choice. There is a Bachelor's of Applied Arts and Sciences from Lamar University that has a concentration in Gaming and Web Applications for the 21st Century. Pretty Cool!

You get to apply the credits you have already earned, don't have to start from scratch and get to take the classes below as your concentration:
  • Gaming Programming
  • Digital Media
  • Web 2.0 Social Networking
  • Internet “Cyber” Security
  • Web Design

Getting your degree will help your career and taking courses that really interest you ensures that you will complete. Stop taking courses and start earning your degree!

8.02.2010

Military Monday on Twitter

If you Tweet - make sure you check out all the great information and positive news that happens on Military Monday every week. Just search on #militarymonday or #militarymon and you can find some great information and military news.

If you are not following us on twitter - please do! Find us at: http://twitter.com/edumilitary

And don't forget to become a fan of the EduMilitary Facebook Page!

"Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of an ass" - Japanese Proverb