Getting through college with PTSD
According to the Census Bureau of the United States, there were approximately 21.9 million veterans in the United States in 2009. Of these, 26% of veterans 25 and older have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to the 28% of the total population. However, 92% of veterans 25 and older have a high school diploma, compared to 85% of the population as a whole.
Despite the relatively optimistic numbers, many returning individuals have a hard time following-up in terms of graduating from accredited degree programs, due to overwhelming warfare-related psychological conditions. The Veteran’s Newsroom Factsheet reports that from the total number of veterans that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, almost 20% are diagnosed with psychological issues like PTSD or severe clinical depression, and the fraction keeps increasing as more vets return home.
There is nonetheless hope. Getting a degree online is the best and the easiest option for a veteran of consolidating his or her education and getting life back on track. Fees are lower, which makes this form of study more affordable. The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that in 2008, 46.9% of the veterans who received financial aid through their GI Bill used it to pay for their undergraduate studies. Other ways of financing are federal grants, state grants, institutional grants or federal subsidized loans.
However, the real major reason why online college is recommended to veterans is that it avoids overcrowding and potential stressful interactions. Moreover, if the vet will enroll in a college degree that is in the same city or state, most of the colleges will also offer psychological counseling free of charge, done by professional staff.
Subjects are varied, offering opportunities to learn new interesting things for those who never had the opportunity, all this from the comfort of your home. The schedule is flexible, as the only fixed dates are the ones of the exams, each student being in full command of his time. This rather elusive concept of time management will certainly be familiar to former military personnel who have been trained in the utmost discipline and will be almost immune to procrastination.
This advantage that vet has in making his own study schedule is multiplied by the fact he or she can always be close to family members, receive active support from them and in turn help them in everyday activities. Contributing repeatedly to the community and being close to one’s family is a proven way of relieving stress and healing for veterans suffering from PTSD. Getting an online degree can help, by giving the veterans a sense of personal worth and meaning, and empowering them to assert a civilian identity.