Veteran and Military Students
Veteran and active duty military members comprise more than 30 percent of the International Relations Online student body. Pursuing an online degree in international relations helps students build on their experience and skills gained in the military, including leadership, cultural competence, adaptability, and a global perspective. IR Online’s virtual classroom and online learning tools provide active duty students with the flexibility to earn their degree no matter where they are stationed.
American University offers a variety of resources for all veterans and military students through its dedicated support office. Veterans may also connect through the Veterans of American University Club, an official chapter of Student Veterans of America.
Students may focus their studies by selecting a concentration that directly relates to or expands upon their previous military experience:
- Foreign Policy and National Security
- International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
- Global Security
- International Development
The IR Online application fee is waived for military veterans and active duty members.
Hear from IROnline students and alumni about their experience in the program.
Military Benefits FAQ
Does American University participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?
Where can I get information on military education benefits?
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers an overview of the available education and training benefits. You may compare VA education benefit programs and review current payment rates with the department’s comparison tool.
Call 1-888-442-4551 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CST to speak with an Education Specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Education Customer Service Office if you have further questions.
How do I apply for military education benefits?
To apply, you must complete a Veterans On-line Application (VONAPP). You will also be required to complete and submit AU's Veterans Enrollment Certification Request.
Non-active duty service members will need to submit a DD214 along with the VONAPP. You may request your military service records online from the National Archives. Please list American University and your intended program on your request.
What should I expect after I complete the VONAPP?
You will receive your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) by mail in about six to eight weeks.
What should I do once I have received my COE?
Scan your COE and send it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you are admitted, you may contact AU's VA Certifying Official, Val Verra, at 202-885-8012 with questions.
How often do I need to submit my COE and AU's Veterans Enrollment Certification Request form?
The COE only needs to be submitted at the beginning of the degree program. However, the Veteran's Certification Request form must be submitted each time you register for classes. Once tuition and fees, term dates, and credit hours are verified, the VA will send you a letter each semester reflecting the new funds.
What is the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) and how much am I eligible to receive?
The Monthly Housing Allowance/Basic Allowance for Housing is provided to non-active duty members based upon their registration status. The current rate for online training is $754.50 for students attending full-time. The VA will determine the rate of pursuit (full-time or part-time).
Am I eligible for money to help pay for books and supplies?
Members may be eligible for a yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment.
What are some common military education benefits?
- Post-9/11 GI Bill: Provides up to 36 months of education benefits to veterans who have at least 90 days of active duty service after September 10, 2001.
- Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB): Reimburses students monthly up to the current payment rate after students pay while in school. There are two main MGIB programs:
- MGIB Active Duty: Members enroll in their chosen program and pay $100 per month for 12 months, and are then entitled to receive monthly benefits after completing a minimum service obligation.
- MGIB Reservists: Members must complete a six-year obligation in the Selected Reserve to be eligible.
- Yellow Ribbon Program: Matches each dollar of unmet charges the institution agrees to contribute, up to the cost of the tuition and fees (currently $21,970.46). For example, if the institution offers $5,000, the VA will match $5,000 for a total award of $10,000. The Yellow Ribbon Program is only available to non-active duty veterans at the 100% benefit level on a first-come, first-serve basis.
What are some differences in benefit eligibility for active duty vs. non-active duty applicants?
Active duty applicants are NOT eligible for MHA or the Yellow Ribbon program. Non-active duty applicants are eligible for MHA and the Yellow Ribbon per the applicant’s COE if they are at 100% eligibility. Non-active duty applicants can receive a yearly books and supplies stipend.