Making a Successful Transition from Military to College Life

Finding Success on Your Civilian Career Path

Not all students who go to college do so right after graduating from high school. In fact, many students returning to school today have already worked in other careers and are looking to move on to something different. Among these students are veterans who are retiring from the military and getting back into the groove of civilian life.

Making the Switch from Military Strictness to College Culture

Being a college student is a lot different than being a soldier. While you’ll follow a schedule in college, it won’t be nearly as regimented as your military schedule. You’ll also find that there may not be standardized expectations from one classroom or department to the next. Thankfully, the adaptability that you honed while in the military should help you handle the challenges of meeting these demands.

Of course, one of the most important things you can do to prepare for success is to cultivate a sense of eagerness when it comes to sharing perspectives. It’s likely that most of the faculty and students you meet in college won’t share your military background. They may very well have a different outlook on the world and how it works. Many veterans who’ve succeeded in college say being open to new perspectives helped them feel more comfortable interacting with the rest of the student body.

Ensuring Continued Success in Your College Career

Your admissions and financial aid representative can help you with questions that you may have such as getting college credit for military coursework, or military experience, assistance with finding ways to fund your education and getting assistance about course specific accommodations.

It’s also important that you decide whether you should attend traditional on-campus classes, opt for an online program or try a mix of both. Online programs offer convenience and can meet the needs of veterans who live in remote areas or work full-time jobs. However, they lack the in-person component that many recent veterans find helps them adjust to student life.

At Sumner College, we’re proud to serve student veterans in the greater Portland area. Please visit us at to learn more about our programs or you can call us at 503-223-5100 and one of our admissions representatives can assist you.



Learn more: