Plan for College
The steps to attend college sometimes seem daunting. Thus, we have provided a checklist to help aid the process. If you need additional help, or if your situation is not covered in this checklist, please contact your educational institution of choice directly for more assistance.
You can also search for types of Degrees, Majors and detailed program information offered throughout the Montana University System at the Degree Program and Course Search.
The Veterans Benefits Administration provides a GI Bill Comparison Tool that calculates your benefits and helps you research approved programs.
10 Steps to College Success
Step 1: Decide which school you want to attend.
There are many factors that help decide which school is best for you including proximity, cost and degree programs offered. Cost is often one of the greatest concerns. Veteran benefits may be available in addition to scholarships and/or grants. For scholarship information, contact your school’s financial aid office. For veteran information, contact your school’s veterans office.
The Veterans Benefits Administration provides a GI Bill Comparison Tool that calculates your benefits and helps you research approved programs.Top of Page ↑
Step 2: Check Admission Requirements
Requirements for admissions can differ depending on age, numbers of credits taken, and type of program. Please view admission requirements for all details.Top of Page ↑
Step 3: Apply for Admission
- Check with the individual school for requirements.
- Send official Transcripts to Admissions office.
- Have official transcripts of university, college, and military training to the institution that you plan on attending for evaluation of transfer credit. Each school upon receipt of transcripts determines credits awarded and how the credits are assigned.
- Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy transcripts can be requested at JST — Joint Services Transcript. https://jst.doded.mil/smart/signIn.do
- Air Force can request transcripts from Air University. http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/transcripts.asp
- Transcripts for other college-level coursework must be requested from the individual school where the course(s) were taken.
Step 4: Apply for Veterans Benefits
Benefits vary due to a host of factors but include time and type of service and residency. You may also be eligible for multiple benefits. Review Veteran Benefits to determine your eligibility.Top of Page ↑
Step 5: Apply for Financial Aid
- Complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) — fafsa.ed.gov
- The FAFSA determines your eligibility to receive student loans, state/federal grants, and can be used to determine additional school aid.
- Remember to report any veteran/military benefits you will be receiving.
- Financial aid offices
Step 6: Search for Scholarships
- Many local scholarships are available to Veterans in addition to the ones offered nationally.
- Other scholarships may be available to you. Check with the college financial aid office for other scholarships.
Step 7: Take Placement Tests (if required)
- Placement tests are often given to place students for appropriate course placement.
- Check with your school for details.
Step 8: Attend Orientation
Orientation provides information on campus services, class registration and other information. Check for the availability of veteran specific opportunities.Top of Page ↑
Step 9: Register for Classes
Class registration is usually done at orientation with the help of an advisor.Top of Page ↑
Step 10: Check out Additional Campus Services
- Student organizations
- Counseling — personal and career
- Disability Services
- Campus Veterans Offices