Online is Military Friendly: Resources for Veterans and Active Duty Seeking Online Degree

The ability to learn from anywhere and earn a degree by tapping into online courses and degree programs from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a winning combination for veterans and members of the military on active duty.

Spring 2017 graduate and U.S. Navy veteran Whitney Utter combined traditional on-campus classes with online courses to complete his bachelor’s degree in communications. The Lafayette native encourages other veterans to consider online learning as a way to meet their educational goals.

“A high school diploma just doesn’t take you as far as it used to — a college degree is the standard,” Utter says. “If you literally can’t get to campus, there has to be another way to do it. Studying online is definitely a step in that direction, to give that opportunity a chance.”

He took two communications courses online and found that the classes were well organized and very structured, with directions that were easy to follow. Professors who teach courses online “understand that they need to make themselves more available” to their students through email, online chats, and other lines of communication.

Members of the military, veterans, reservists and those serving in the Louisiana National Guard will find a “Military Friendly” approach to learning at UL Lafayette. The campus has been designated “Military Friendly”  through a nationally certified program.

In addition to all the benefits of online learning — organizing studies around your work and family schedule, learning wherever you are, the flexibility of studying at your own pace — veterans and members of the military can take advantage of many educational benefits available through governmental programs.

The University accepts GI Bill benefits and also is a Yellow Ribbon School, a program that covers the non-resident fee for out-of-state students who receive 100 percent of the Post-911 GI Bill.

Earning a bachelor’s degree through online study is definitely an option for service members and veterans. Starting this fall, UL Lafayette is debuting its online Bachelor of General Studies degree.  The University also offers three bachelor’s of science degrees in nursing and allied health fields.

Master’s degrees in business administration, education, nursing and systems technology are all available through online study, as well as a doctorate in nursing practice.

UL Lafayette also is geared up to provide excellent support for the special needs of veterans and military members through its dedicated Office of Veterans Affairs,  located in Room 115 of Foster Hall on campus. Anyone needing assistance also can phone 337-482-5206 or email

The office, led by Director of Veteran Services Sammi Z. Conner, assists veterans and service members who need help with University admission and in obtaining educational benefits. The office helps in processing and certifying Veterans Administration benefits, clarifying VA and University guidelines, and monitoring academic progress and performance.

“The least we can do is to give back, for what they do for us,” Conner said. “From the time they apply to the University until they graduate, we are here to offer guidance and resources that will ensure academic success.”

About this Author
Hope has worked with online students for more than five years, telling their stories and sharing tips for succeeding as an online student.

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