Finding a Trade School for Veterans: 5 Questions to Ask

As a military veteran, you might be looking to use your GI Bill to get an education and create better career opportunities. If you’re eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you can get as much as full coverage of your tuition and fees, money for supplies and books, a monthly housing allowance, and more.

The tough part of this is finding a trade school for veterans and a school that’s right for you. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a career and school, and you want to make a decision you’ll be happy with for years to come.

1. How Do They Offer Support to Veterans?

If you’re choosing a trade school as a veteran, it’s important to understand the resources and support they offer military veterans. One thing you might consider is their staff support: do they have staff dedicated to supporting veterans, such as a campus veteran representative? Schools that offer military scholarships may also be of particular interest to you. Choosing a school that’s receptive to your needs is always important, but especially so as a veteran who wishes to use your GI Bill.

2. Is It a Yellow Ribbon School?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill does a great job of helping reduce education costs for current or former military members. Even so, it does not cover your full costs in some cases. Schools who participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program can help account for the remainder of your tuition and fees if you decide to attend an out of state college, a private school, or an online college who takes part in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Choosing a Yellow Ribbon Program school is helpful because depending on your career and school of choice, you may find yourself in need of additional help covering tuition and other costs. With the Yellow Ribbon Program, you’re eligible for additional funding to help cover these costs.

3. What Financial Aid Options Are Available To You?

When attending school — military or not — it’s important to be very educated about your financial aid options. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in college is improperly managing your finances and graduating with more debt than you should have. Generally, this means being aware of the grants and scholarships available to you as well as your federal student loan options.

As a military veteran, you should be aware of the additional benefits available specific to you. These include veteran’s benefits and Military Tuition Assistance. Depending on various factors including time served and which branch of the military you were in, you’re eligible for coverage on up to 100% of your tuition. You should also be aware of any scholarships that are exclusively available to those serving or who have served in the military.

4. What’s the Campus Like?

If you’re going to spend years of your life attending a particular school, you probably want to familiarize yourself with it and the surrounding area. Any school (that has a campus) will allow you to visit the campus and have a look around. Size of the campus and individual classes is an important thing to take note of; do you want to attend a school with larger class sizes or one with smaller class sizes where you’ll receive more individual attention? You also may be interested in finding out what sort of on-campus and online student resources are available. It’s best to attend a school with a wide offering of resources to help you succeed. If you get a chance to look at a course catalog, checking out the available electives may help give you some direction as well.

5. What Do You Want to Do?

Perhaps most important when choosing the right school is knowing what you want to do. There are so many schools available, each with their own niche offerings and unique qualities. By making a career decision and properly researching available schools to determine what they have to offer, it’s easier to narrow down your options and find a good school for your trade.

If you’re a military veteran who’s interested in a career in the Automotive, Commercial Driving, Diesel/Heavy Vehicle, HVAC, or Welding industry, check out Advanced Technology Institute’s many available programs. ATI is a military-friendly trade school approved for Veterans Administration Educational Benefits and is a Yellow Ribbon School. We also offer the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship for surviving children of military members who’ve fallen in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001. Contact us at 800-468-1093 or request information today.

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