If you are a veteran or close to being discharged, and are planning to go to college right away, you need to start applying to college now. When you are admitted, make sure you ask about getting college credit for some of your military experience and schools. Find your DD-214 form. You also need to fill out a FAFSA. This will get you in on any other financial aid you may need. Ask the college's financial aid officer if they offer any scholarships for veterans.
And while we're at it, let's mention CLEP, The College Level Examination Program. These are tests that you can take to get college credit without taking the class. Find out which ones the college offers, and what ones you should be able to pass. Taking a test is cheaper than taking a class.
Your first stop on campus should be to the veterans office. Each college should have a person and office that deals directly with veterans. This is a valuable resource for you to use. They will have everything to help you get the benefits you are entitled to. This will be a one-stop for all forms. They should also set you up with an adviser who takes care of veterans specifically.
You are probably going to use your GI Bill benefits. There are quite a few programs available to veterans depending on service. Visit the GI Bill website for all details. But again, the veterans office at the college will also guide you.
If you are planning on staying in the dorm, make it known that you are a veteran. The college should put you with more adult students, or even veterans. It may not be a good situation if you are in the same dorm room as an 18 year old who is right out of high school.
Meet other veterans on campus. There may even be clubs or organizations for veterans. Network with them and certainly take advantage of the career services and placement assistance on campus.
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