Central Texas College (CTC) was recently named to the top 10 list of most popular schools chosen by active-duty soldiers who use tuition assistance to pay for their higher education. In a survey compiled by Military Times “EDGE” magazine, CTC was third overall by military personnel for the fiscal year 2011. Four-year schools American Military University (AMU) of the American Public University System and the University of Maryland-University College finished first and second respectively.
Military Times requested tuition assistance data on students, course enrollments and funds from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army National Guard and Coast Guard. The Air Force information included data for the active-duty Air National Guard. The lists were combined and named college systems were grouped together to determine which schools served the most tuition assistance users in fiscal 2011.
Eighty percent of more than 300,000 service members using tuition assistance in fiscal 2011 enrolled in just 50 school systems. Many of these schools, including CTC, have adapted and/or designed programs to meet the special needs of military students. Those needs include access in dispersed or sometimes dangerous locations, flexibility to accommodate unpredictable schedules and support staff to navigate tuition assistance and transfer credit issues.
“EDGE” began tracking the most popular colleges for active-duty students in 2009. Since then it has seen a sharp increase in those choosing for-profit colleges. 14 of the top 50 schools (five in the top 10) are for-profit colleges. AMU, which was the most popular school last year, widened its lead by 15 percent in students using tuition assistance. CTC remained at number three overall with 24,521 students using tuition assistance.
And for the first time, “EDGE” magazine listed the most popular schools for military personnel using Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits. CTC was ranked 22nd with 4,080 students using the benefits. The G.I. Bill recipients include veterans as well as family members According to the Veterans Administration, family members accounted for more than 100,000 recipients in fiscal year 2011 alone. The current list of the top 50 schools for G.I. Bill users was compiled from data from August 1, 2009, to June 15, 2011.
CTC offers both online and classroom options for military members with sites on 25 military installations across the continental U.S. and Alaska and Hawaii as well as 17 countries in Europe and the Middle East; 30 sites in the Pacific Far East including Korea, mainland Japan and Okinawa; and Naval ships at sea. In addition to classroom and online classes, CTC also offers alternative education delivery methods such as hybrid courses, courses on compact discs (CDs) and personal digital assistants (PDAs).