Today's Military Learners


Did you know that there are over 820,000 undergraduate military learners? Military learners are active-duty service members, veterans, reservists, National Guard members, and their eligible family members who are seeking to enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities through education and training.

Yet challenges such as family obligations, career responsibilities, and financial restraints may hinder a military learner’s decision to pursue a postsecondary certificate or degree. Higher education institutions together with key stakeholders must prioritize military learner success on our campuses.

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No two military learners are alike.

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More than 50% identify as students of color

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The average age when starting postsecondary education is 23 years

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32% are first-generation college students

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Many military learners are parents who must balance work, education, and home life.

Military learners must balance competing priorities.

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43% have at least one dependent

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14% are single parents

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56% are working full time

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Military learners come to higher education from diverse backgrounds.

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Military learners have unique education needs.

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Half are pursuing a bachelor's degree

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67% are enrolled at an institution in their state of legal residence

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Over 40% attend exclusively online programs

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Military learners can leverage previous experiences into college credit.

Military learners can benefit from more than just continuing their education.

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55% receive grant assistance as part of their financial aid packages

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Nearly 40% receive some form of federal veterans education benefit to help cover post-secondary costs

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Resources to support military learners

ACE is an ally in championing military learner success. We've created this collection of research, informational flyers, and other resources to help serve today's military learners.

Maximize Military Learner Success w/ The ACE Military Guide

Getting Started with Credit for Prior Learning

FACTS IN HAND: Supporting Veterans Through the Post–9/11 GI Bill

Undergraduate Military Learners: Exploring Differences Between Military Learners’ Experiences in Higher Education