The Marine Corps and Education
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  1. #1

    The Marine Corps and Education

    Hello Marines,

    A little background about myself: I'm 18 years old and graduated from high school in June '12. I'm currently taking 2 classes (7 units) at community college over the summer to get started on my education. As of recent, I've been wanting to join the Marine Corps.

    My question is: Is going to community college for 1 1/2 years (completing 60+ units by the end of the Fall '13 semester), then enlisting in Marine Corps Active Duty (serving 4 years), then going to a university afterwards to get a bachelor's degree sound like a logical plan?

    Some concerns I have are: Will getting into university after serving 4 years be difficult in the sense that the 60+ units that I would have completed in community college would be from 4 years prior to applying to the certain university? Would serving in the USMC be beneficial in applying to universities in this situation? Also, I've heard that one is able to take classes while in active duty; however, are those credits applicable to universities such as UCLA?

    Regarding USMCR: I've looked into the pros and cons of being a reservist while attending school and from what I've discovered, it seems like balancing the two can be difficult and detrimental to school life. Unless somebody can persuade me to think otherwise, I would rather serve active duty.

    P.S. I'm not very interested in becoming an officer in the Marine Corps; not that I don't want to, I just don't see myself as being an officer.

    Thanks in advance for all responses.

  2. #2
    That's alot of questions !!!
    I think your best bet is to sit down with a Marine Recruiter and ask all the questions you want.

    The Recruiter will not steer you in the wrong direction.
    " They are Marines "

    Good Luck to you.

    - .... . / ..-. . .-- --..-- / - .... . / .--. .-. --- ..- -.. --..-- / - .... . / -- .- .-. .. -. . ... .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.-

    All Marine, All The Time...

  3. #3
    Here we go....

    You are only 18 years old. My suggestion to you is get 2 years done at your community college, stay in decent shape, and stay out of trouble. At this point you'll still only be 20, if you still want to enlist then go ahead and do it. Go active duty, do your 4 years, and enjoy it as much as you can. If you don't want to re-enlist(or maybe you can't?) then get out. You'll still only be 24 or 25 at that point and you can go back to school utilizing your GI Bill and you go can to the reserve side also. That basically puts you around 26 or 27. You'll be a Marine Corps Veteran and a college graduate. So many doors will be open to at that point, you can either stay in the reserves and possibly get the opportunity to go back on active duty, you can commission as an officer if you can get into OCS, or you can tell the Corps to kick rocks and go your separate ways.

    My point is, your still young. Enjoy yourself in college for a year or two and go from there. If it is something that you really want, the Marine Corps will always be around as an option(so long as you don't do anything stupid).

  4. #4
    There is absolutely no reason you can not research the tail end of your plan now. Some questions you should be asking would include:
    1. Will this university accept all of the credits acquired at the the community college as transfer credits? I'll add that CLEP tests while on active duty are free and equate to either 3 or 4.5 credits per test. I was able to skip my freshman year via CLEP tests.
    2. How many in house credits does the university require in order to award a degree? Basically they want you to spend a certain amount of time and money at their college or university before you can get a degree from them. This might result in voiding out some of the classes you have previously taken.
    Does the school support remote learning? Depending on what MOS/Job/Location you end up in you could potentially enroll in the university while still on active duty and knock out a couple classes before your EAS.

    Something else to consider is that if you are close to a degree when you join and are able to complete the degree while still active there are programs for career Marines to go back to school full time and remain on active duty while pursuing a graduate degree. (That was a heck of a run on sentence).

    Try this link

    Good luck and keep us in the loop.

  5. #5
    So do you suggest that I enlist first (without further attending community college as I stated above) and get my general education units/credits completed while in the Marine Corps?

  6. #6
    I pointed out some options. Up to you to decide. I personnally would go straight into the Marines; take CLEP tests while I'm in then pursue a degree when you get out. At the end of the day being a college grad will be helpful to you in life. The education benefits offered to the military can't be beat.

  7. #7
    I did some research on CLEP tests and I believe that I'm going to stay in community college until I finish my 60 units. I don't want to be limited in my choices of universities, and CLEP tests are only applicable to certain universities. So as of now, I'm planning on going to community college until Fall '13 and hopefully join the Marine Corps sometime early 2014. Hopefully all works out. Thank you Marines for your input and as always, I'm open for any more advice.

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