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Columbia University Starts Free Course for Military Veterans

A building on Columbia University's main campus.
Columbia University main campus. Photo: Columbia News

Columbia University is starting a free online course targeted at active duty service members and veterans who are interested in entering the world of higher education.

Designed by Columbia University’s Center for Veteran Transition and Integration (CVTI), the Attaining Higher Education course will be on edX.org, an online learning platform.

The course, led by a team of instructors with experience in admissions, financial aid and transition support services, will help serving duty members and veterans transition into higher education and provide resources to identify degree programs that best fit their potential.

“Veterans are not traditional college students. They come to campus with incredible life experiences and oftentimes are simultaneously supporting a family,” Michael Abrams, executive director of the Center for Veteran Transition and Integration, said.

“Attaining Higher Education will enable transitioning veterans to make the most of their educational experience and their Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits so that they can reach their academic and career potential.”

The course features various sections including how to approach admissions processes and choose a college, understanding the college application process, and financing a higher education degree. Those who complete the course will also be eligible for follow-on peer coaching and professional advisement through a national community of experienced advisors.

Various universities across the nation are undertaking efforts to make college more accessible and affordable for veterans. Last year, Vanderbilt University established the Bass Military Scholars Program after receiving a $25 million donation from the Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation to provide programming support and financial aid to military veterans and officers in five of its schools.

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