Veteran’s Day: Getting Your MBA After the Military

Veterans Business

The prospect of going to business school for your MBA after leaving the military can be daunting. The military and university classes do not seem to have a strong connection. However, that’s not the case. Most MBA programs place a strong emphasis on leadership, and for military personnel, that’s a well-understood concept. In an article for the Military Times, Mary Lea McAnally, the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at A&M’s Mays Business School, stressed that for veterans, who are already well schooled in leadership, “this transition is not going to be as hard as you think,” Mary said. “What they’ve done in the military is so applicable to business school—and business when they graduate.”

Also, there are many generous educational benefits afforded to veterans that can minimize your financial strain. There are two key benefits that you should look for before attending a program.

The first benefit is the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate services on or after September 11, 2001. It also includes individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.

The second benefit is the Yellow Ribbon Program. This program is a provision of the 9/11 GI Bill and allows institutions of higher learning to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public, in-state undergraduate tuition rate. The institution can contribute up to 50% of those costs and the VA will match the same amount as the institution.

There are also many universities that have specific programs meant for military personnel or ranked highly for veterans. We’ve provided information about a few specific programs below. You can also find a list of Best for Vets: Business Schools 2015 according to the Military Times or the U.S. News’ list of Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans.

Marshall School of Business: MBV

The Marshall School of Business at USC has a Master of Business for Veterans (MBV). It’s a one year (2-semester) long on-campus program that was developed specifically for military veterans, active duty, Reserve, and Guard personnel who have a less formal business background than typical MBA applicants/students. The program is half the time of the regular MBA program, and half the price. It’s ideal for non-business military-only professionals who are looking to bridge the gap between business theory and practice. The amount of content provided is similar to that of the one-year EMBA.

Fox School of Business: Online MBA

The Online MBA from Fox School of Business at Temple University was ranked first by the U.S. News for Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans. Temple University has been designated as a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs Magazine for six years and their online MBA program is focused on helping military personal gain their degree. They are also a participating institution in the Yellow Ribbon Program, and veterans are 100% eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The program can be completed in as quickly as twenty months and has a flexible curriculum carousel with multiple entry points.

McCombs School of Business: MBA

McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin recognizes the value that military personnel add to their MBA program and university as a whole. Their Armed Forces Alumni Association (AFAA) is the primary MBA student organization for military veterans. It’s a great way for military student to connect and it helps them draw parallels between the principles learned in the military and those same skills that are required to be successful in business. Their Student Veterans Association also works to serve the needs of students with prior or current military association, their family, and dependents. According to the McCombs website, “We truly appreciate and value the experiences and diversity that our veterans bring to the program,” says Rodrigo Malta, Director of MBA Admissions. “Our students with a military background are natural leaders and great team players. The unique professional and life experiences they have undergone add new perspectives and variety of thought to classroom discussions and teach valuable lessons to classmates, faculty and staff members alike at McCombs.”

There are a variety of schools, MBA programs, and benefits that can be helpful to veterans looking to go back to school for their MBA. The key is to do your research, connect with other veterans, and find schools that hold military or veteran prospective student days. Going from the military to business, is not the leap you think it is—it’s a natural and rewarding step.

Happy Veteran’s Day from the MetroMBA team.

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About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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