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Going Back to School - Where to Get Free Training for Veterans

Helping veterans transition to civilian life successfully not only means finding work, but often picking up again in a career where they left off to go into service. If circumstances have changed since they were in school and they no longer have a working parent who can afford to pay for tuition, for example, it could result in many veterans being stuck in low-paying jobs with no career prospects. Fortunately, there are resources that provide free training for veterans or enable them to apply for study options.

GI Bill for Post 9/11 Active Duty Service Members

This Bill is actually several different programs rolled into one, which provides education benefits to active duty members, reserves, and other groups. A third ensures dependents and survivors have their educational needs met, too. The Bill pays up to 100% of tuition depending on the number of months of active service after 9/11 and the state rate. It also provides $1,000 per year for books and supplies and a monthly housing allowance. Eligibility depends on having served at least 90 days after 9/11, which excludes training and ROTC.

Coursera

Coursera is an online learning platform founded by two Stanford professors that offers courses, specializations, and degrees. It’s an ideal distance learning opportunity for anyone who needs to be able to obtain free training for veterans, or any other type of education. It’s especially useful for those who need to study either outside of normal school timetables, part-time while working, or are unable to attend conventional campuses because of a disability or any other reason.

Most of the courses are delivered by recognized university lecturers and cover topics at an appropriate level, and the vast majority of them are not only free but provide some form of certification. Courses include project management, IT accreditation and marketing, among a multitude of other topics. Lessons are interactive and feature pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects, and students connect online with hundreds of other learners to debate ideas and get help mastering concepts. 

Student Veterans of America

This is a 501(C)  non-profit organization offering internships, scholarships, and conferences for all former military personnel who want to obtain a higher education. The organization has chapters all over the U.S. and members get access to detailed resources. These include payment of fees and tuition, settling into the environment, and devising strategies to help veterans establish a professional career after their discharge or deployment. The non-profit funds scholarships, arranges Local Leadership Summits in every region of the country, builds corporate partnerships that fund student-veteran success and builds an alumni network to keep student veterans connected and facilitate mentorship opportunities.

Helmets to Hardhats

Also a non-profit organization, Helmets to Hardhats offers free training for veterans that enables them to secure skilled trade positions in construction. Education mostly takes the form of apprenticeships and veterans need no prior experience to get in. Positions are three- to five-year “earn-as-you-learn” programs, which teach everything students need to know to become a construction professional as well as giving them an opportunity to learn a specialization. The programs are regulated at federal and state levels, which means veterans can use the Montgomery GI Bill benefits while they undergo the training. 

For more information about free training for veterans and a regular listing of jobs, please visit our job board regularly, and follow our blog and social media profiles to get news of job fairs in your area.