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How to Choose the Best College Course For Your Degree

The best way to choose a college course is to decide on a degree program first. If you have not yet researched college degree, please refer back to Choosing a Degree on this menu. If you have already researched degree programs and have not yet decided which is best for you, it is safe to stick to a general degree program at an Associate (2 year degree) level and take general education requirements until you have made a firm decision. It is recommended that you have a plan in action by the time you have completed no more that one year (30 semester hours) of college. The sooner you make a decision, the less likely that you will take courses that cannot be used in your degree plan.

Once you have decided on a degree plan and you have selected a college which offers your degree, you are well on your way toward your goal. Please be sure that you have a good understanding of the courses required for your degree plan. Make two copies of your degree plan and transcripts of any prior courses, provide one set to your Army counselor, and keep one to carry with you when making decisions and registering for college courses. After you have taken no more than 6 semester hours of college credit with your college, you should have applied to have your college complete a SOCAD Student Agreement for you. If you have taken 6 semester hours of credit with your college and you have not yet applied for a SOCAD Student Agreement, please read the appropriate section on the College menu.

In order to be eligible to use Tuition Assistance, a Soldier must choose a course that fits within his/her degree program. Check your SOCAD/degree plan carefully to ensure that the course is required before requesting Tuition Assistance for it. If you are requesting Tuition Assistance online and you do not have a copy of the course schedule, the college websites will often list the current course schedules and provide all of the information you will need to apply online. Your ACES Service Center website (click on College at the top of the screen) will list colleges on post and in the local area and some will contain links to those college websites. You may also contact your local education center for further information.

It is highly recommended that you take your general courses for degree first, and leave the electives until later if possible. Many students tend to leave Freshman English until later in the degree; however, this course is key to completion of many of your other courses because it teaches students how to compose essays and term papers. Essays and term papers are often requirements in many of your other courses, and therefore, when you take this course may impact on the grades that you receive in others.

Check carefully to see if the course you are choosing has a prerequisite (requires that you take another course first). If there is a prerequisite and your record indicates that you have not yet taken this course, Tuition Assistance will be denied.

Please remember that the Army counselor is only a click or a phone call away. If you have further questions, please click on “Counseling” in the menu along the top of your ACES Education Center homepage to send an email to your counselor or request an appointment. You may also visit your education center, or phone for an appointment to see an Army counselor.

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