Choosing a School

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With so many school choices, it is important to utilize a variety of resources to find the best academic institution to suit your individual needs. The tools below can help you determine the best option to achieve your education goals.

On-Base Schools

The Navy invites colleges and universities to teach classes on-base at times (evenings, weekends) most convenient for Service members. Courses are offered, often in accelerated terms, at the vocational/technical, associate, bachelor, and graduate level. Completed courses count for credit toward a college degree or vocational/technical certificate. For more information regarding on-base schools, review the On-Base Schools page.


Department of Defense TA DECIDE small square with diagonal arrow extending from it is a dynamic information and comparison tool that is designed specifically to aid participants of DoD’s Tuition Assistance (TA) Program in making informed choices on schools and education programs. The TA DECIDE engine is fueled by more than ten recognized and trusted data sources from across the Departments of Defense, Education, and Veterans Affairs. The goal of TA DECIDE is to provide high value, actionable information on educational costs and outcomes to compare educational institutions.

The Institution List small square with diagonal arrow extending from itis a searchable list of all institutions that are currently participating in the TA DECIDE program.

SOC DNS Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC) Degree Network System (DNS)

The Servicemembers Opportunity College Degree Network System small square with diagonal arrow extending from it (SOC DNS) consists of colleges that offer associate and bachelor's degree programs on or accessible to Navy installations worldwide through resident courses or distance learning. Colleges taking part in each curriculum area guarantee to accept each other's credits for transfer. The "home" college issues an official evaluation of all prior learning on a SOC DNS Agreement. This agreement serves as the student's long range degree plan.

Why become a SOC DNS student? SOC DNS colleges offer degrees in many different areas (called networks). Students do not lose credits; transferability of courses within the same network is guaranteed from one SOC DNS college to another. Required residency is kept to a minimum. Many SOC DNS networks are closely related to Navy ratings, resulting in maximum award of credit for Navy training. Participating colleges all over the world can be used to satisfy the degree requirements of the home college. SOC DNS programs are available at many military installations; distance learning options are available everywhere. The greatest added benefit to having a SOC DNS degree plan is preventing the student from duplicating courses already completed.

Further information on SOC DNS is available from: SOC small square with diagonal arrow extending from it.

Other Resources

OPE Accreditation Database small square with diagonal arrow extending from it – The US Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) provides an accreditation database called the US Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, which provides information about institutions accreditation status. Accreditation is an important factor in choosing a school.

College Navigator small square with diagonal arrow extending from it – College Navigator is a service provided by the Institute of Education Services and the National Center for Education Statistics to provide data and statistics about educational institutions. This tool allows you to compare schools for a side-by-side analysis to decide which one is right for you.

NCPACE – The objective of NCPACE is to provide personnel assigned to sea duty type 2 and 4 Unit Identification Codes (UICs) with educational opportunities comparable to those available to shore duty personnel. NCPACE offers participating Sailors high quality learning opportunities and experiences with both Instructor Led (IL) and Distance Learning (DL) courses from post-secondary institutions accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education.