When you decide the time is right to continue your postsecondary education, we want to make sure your experience shines through in your college applications.

Your checklist

Preparing to apply


The transition from military to civilian life can be an exciting time for those who have served our country. It’s an opportunity to explore new career goals and apply the skills you’ve learned in the armed forces, but it can also be daunting.

We know more than half of veterans going to college will do so while supporting a family, and many will also be balancing full-time jobs, so we don’t want you to have to start from square one. Your military experience has value and we want to make sure it shines through in your college applications.



Some institutions may request your DD 214, so plan to have this documentation available as you start your application. Additional documentation that details your military status, branch, and service dates will be important to have as you begin this process. If available, also plan to have any Department of Defense transcripts handy. 



Many colleges and universities have a VA benefits office. Reach out to the colleges and universities to which you are applying to learn more about the process and timeline for applying your military benefits. Talk to a VA or military benefits representative to understand what is covered by your education benefits and what options are available to you.



There are so many resources available to you and so many people eager to help you through the admissions process. Contact the Student Veterans of America chapter on your prospective campuses (if applicable), attend a 1- or 2-week long academic boot camp put on every summer across the nation by the Warrior-Scholar Project, connect with a student veteran for 1-on-1 admissions counseling through Service to School, and more! Google is your friend, and when in doubt, reach out!


If you've decided you'd like to take the next step and apply, be sure to research which colleges may best meet your needs. You can access a wealth of information by checking out the federal government's College Scorecard, or you can visit the Explore Colleges section of this website to see which colleges accept Common App. 

Pro tip: We've put together an applicant guide to help you get started on applying through Common App for transfer.