Military Students: Value Vs. Cost of a College Degree

For many members of the military, educational benefits were an important consideration when they chose to enlist. The opportunity to serve your country while obtaining an affordable degree is one that people appreciate, and Penn State World Campus values the opportunity to provide military students with flexibility, convenience, and a team dedicated to their educational success.

A variety of factors go into choosing where to use your educational benefits. You may be asking questions like “Will Penn State World Campus accept my JST credits? What tuition assistance is offered? Are books a separate cost?” We recommend also posing this question: “How can I know that I am getting the best value for my military educational benefits?” We’ve assembled a few things you should consider when calculating the value of your college degree.

Quality and Reputation of the University

It’s important to consider how prospective employers will view the school and the degree that you’re receiving. Penn State, for example, is an institution and brand that is known for quality education, convenience, and flexibility for military students. More than 150 of Penn State’s degree and certificate programs are delivered online through Penn State World Campus. The academic quality is the same online and on campus, and the degree is 100 percent identical. Some schools have different reputations in the marketplace, and prospective employers will be interested in where you received your degree. In short, reputation matters.

Longer Semesters Mean More Interaction

Military learners should also consider the course format. While some schools offer 5- to 8-week course formats that allow students to complete courses faster, this short timeline means that you may not have the opportunity to build a relationship with your professor and truly understand the curriculum, rather than just memorizing facts for an assignment or exam. An institution with 16-week courses, like those offered through Penn State World Campus, allows military students to have time to adjust to learning online, to get to know faculty and classmates, and to fully understand their course topics.

Invest in Your Future with a Degree from Penn State World Campus

At the end of the day, getting a degree is an investment in your future, not just a formality to check off a list. It’s wise to consider what will be best for you both in the short term as a military student, and in the long term as a veteran seeking a civilian career. Even if you retire with 20 years of service, there are still “working years” ahead of you — and the value of a Penn State degree can help ensure you spend those years in a position that you enjoy and at a company that values you.