Services for Military and Veteran Students

Military and veteran students have unique needs, and we have designed student support services and policies to make your time at Penn State World Campus flexible and convenient. This page includes information on how you can access some of your military student services. You can also learn about using your military financial benefits

Learn more about: 

Military Advising

Undergraduate military students are advised by trained military academic advisers. You’ll work with your adviser to plan your academic program, stay on track to graduate, choose courses and manage the impact of deployments, trainings and relocations.

Meet our team of military academic advisers

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Disability Services

Our disability services team works closely with military advisers to serve students with disabilities, including service-connected disabilities, and identify students who may need accommodations. Learn more about disability accommodations.

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Priority Registration & Honor Cord

Penn State recognizes those who have honorably served or are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces by awarding priority registration and a red, white, and blue honor cord at graduation in acknowledgement of their duty and sacrifice.

Priority registration allows veterans, active duty service members, and reservists to schedule classes ahead of the general student population. Once you have been granted priority registration, you can view your Enrollment Appointment Date in LionPATH to learn when you can register for courses.

The term "veteran" refers to an individual who has served in the United States Armed Forces, including a reserve component and the National Guard, and was discharged or released from such service with a condition other than dishonorable. The term “actively serving” refers to an individual who is currently serving in the United States Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard), including a reserve or guard component.

Dependents of military members, including those using a transferred educational benefit, and personnel serving in state militias are not eligible for priority registration or a military honor cord.

How to Receive Your Priority Registration & Honor Cord

Active duty and veterans using tuition assistance (TA) or Veteran’s Affairs (VA) educational benefits will automatically be given priority registration when benefits are processed, and will receive communications about their honor cord in the semester that they mark their intent to graduate.

If you are not using a military educational benefit, and have not already provided Penn State World Campus with proof of your military service, provide a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility (CoE), DD 214 (indicating character of discharge) or a letter from command stating your dates and characterization of service and signed by your commander. If you would like to use a template for this statement of service, contact our office to be provided with one. Common Access Card (CAC) enabled signatures will be accepted. 

These documents should be sent to the Penn State World Campus Military Educational Benefits Office by fax or email. Please include your Penn State ID number and email address on all documents submitted.

Penn State World Campus Military Educational Benefits Office
The Pennsylvania State University
121 Outreach Building
University Park, PA  16802
Phone: 814-863-6638
Fax: 814-863-1385
Email: [email protected]

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Awarding Academic Credit for Military Training and Experience

Military Credit

If you are a student and a veteran, or a member of the armed forces or the selected reserves, you may be granted academic credit for Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), Rating, or Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC) held in the armed services, in accordance with University policy. Students interested in receiving credit for their educational experience in the military should send their Joint Services Transcript (JST) or Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcripts to:

Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park PA 16802

College-Level Exam Program (CLEP)

Penn State awards credit for CLEP exams at the level recommended by the American Council on Education. For detailed information on the exams accepted and the credit awarded, visit Penn State's Credit Awarded for CLEP web page.

Penn State World Campus does not charge an administrative fee for an active-duty student taking the CLEP exam at the Outreach Testing Center. Military veterans can seek reimbursement from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairsfor CLEP exams and fees.

Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES) Subject Standardized Tests

Special circumstances often prevent service personnel from continuing their education in the traditional classroom setting. Through World Campus, DANTES extends educational opportunities to all servicemen and servicewomen in or outside the United States. If you are a student interested in receiving credit for DSST, please visit Penn State's DSST website.

Prior Learning Assessment 

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is how Penn State determines whether knowledge gained outside of the traditional academic environment is at the college-level and worthy of college-credit. Your military academic adviser can help guide you through the PLA process. Your adviser can also tell you if credits obtained through PLA will apply to your degree program. If you are interested in pursuing PLA, contact your adviser.

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Military Withdrawal Process

If you are deploying, participating in an extended training exercise, or making an unexpected change of duty station, you may request a withdrawal. You will not be charged tuition for the semester of withdrawal, and you will be eligible for "military re-enrollment" to the university, which allows you to stay enrolled in the same major upon resuming your studies. 

To request a withdrawal, complete these steps:

  • Present a copy of your military orders with formal correspondence on unit letterhead to the Registrar's Office at the campus you are attending. The correspondence must include your unit commander’s contact information and the duration and location of your pending assignment.
  • Complete a Withdrawal Form, citing "military" as your reason.

For more information about the military withdrawal process, please visit the Penn State Office of the University Registrar website

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