Higher Education

Higher education is typically a final stage of learning that is mostly delivered by colleges, universities, trade schools, academies, etc. Often times these nationally accredited institutions will offer some type of degree or professional certification for the area of study that person went to school for. In higher education settings like universities, they are mostly broken down into two different groups, the undergraduate level and the graduate level. Undergraduate schools typically award associates and bachelor’s level degrees while graduate schools award masters and doctoral degrees.


Colleges offer only undergraduate degrees while universities offer graduate degrees as well, but the terms are often used interchangeably.

In general, you must have completed high school and you must be at least 17 years of age.

Undergraduate programs follow high school and lead to an associate (two-year) degree or a bachelor (four-year) degree. Graduate programs follow a bachelor’s degree and lead to a master’s or doctoral degree.

Associate: a two-year program that either leads to a specific vocation or transitions to a bachelor program. Bachelor: a four or five-year program where students earn credits in a wide variety of courses.

Masters: two-year degree providing additional specialization. Doctorate: five to eight-year program certifying the student as a trained research scholar and/or professor.

In a joint-degree program, students begin a graduate program in their fourth year of college, earning both degrees upon graduation.

In a joint-degree program, students begin a graduate program in their fourth year of college, earning both degrees upon graduation.

Yes, although you may lose some credits and require extra time to complete your degree.

The transfer process varies for each school. It is best to target the four-year institution early and determine what is needed to transfer.

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Career Advancement Account Scholarship
This program can help you get the credentials you need to achieve your career goal.

Montgomery GI Bill
The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) helps Service members and Veterans meet their education and training costs with monthly benefit payments. MGIB provides over $66,000 in cash and numerous support programs.

Post 9/11 GI Bill
If you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001, and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged Veteran, or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days, you may be eligible for this VA-administered program.

Transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill to Spouse and Dependents
The transferability option under the Post-9/11 GI Bill allows Service members to transfer all or some unused benefits to their spouse or dependent children. The Department of Defense (DoD) determines whether or not you can transfer benefits to your family.

TROOPS TO TEACHERS “Proud to Serve Again”
Troops to Teachers (TTT) is managed by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), Pensacola, Florida. The purpose of TTT is to assist eligible military personnel to transition to a new career as public school teachers in “high-need” schools.