Military, VA, & First Responders

Military, VA, & First Responders

Columbia International University is proud to offer the following scholarships, services, and/or discounts to those that serve/have served our country and our communities.

CIU Military Scholarship

Columbia International University offers active duty service members, veterans, and their eligible spouses educational benefits in the form of a Military Scholarship. This scholarship is available to online undergraduate students, residential and online graduate students, and doctoral students who qualify and are in good academic standing. Residential undergraduate students and students in competency based programs (CBTE) are not eligible. The Scholarship will be awarded by the Financial Aid Office once the student has been deemed eligible and is registered for courses for the semester. Other discounts or scholarships cannot be applied.

Scholarship Amounts

  • Online Undergraduate Students
    • Up to $2,500 per semester (3semesters per year)
  • Graduate Students (MA, MDIV, or MED)
    • Up to $2,500 per semester (3 semesters per year)
  • Non-Standard Graduate Students (MBA or MOL)
    • Up to $3,500.00 per semester (2 semesters per year)
  • Doctoral Students
    • ​​​​​​​Up to $1,500.00 per semester (3 semesters per year)

Required Military Documentation

  • Service Members & Veterans (Submit one of the following):
    • Valid DD-214 or NGB-22 showind honorable discharge
    • End of the Month LES (within the last 3 months)
    • Most recent set of orders (within the last year)
    • Discharge or Retirement Certificate showing honorable discharge
    • Signed and dated letter on official letterhead from a Commanding Officer containing branch of service, current status, and rank.
      • or
    • VA Service Letter showing honorable discharge if applicable
  • Military Spouses
    • One of the required military documents from the above list
      • and
    • A copy of your Marriage License/Certificate


Military Identification cards cannot be accepted as proof of military service or for personal identification because Federal law prohibits copying or reproducing military IDs in any way.

Military Transfer

CIU is proud to be consistently ranked among the most military-friendly institutions of higher learning in the nation. Military transfer applicants complete the same application as non-transfer students. Credit is awarded based on the official transcript from the military. ACE recommendation must be submitted for the course. Military credit is designated as upper or lower division by ACE.

Courses Eligible for College Transfer

In order to receive full credit for a course, the course must be completed at a college/university accredited by or having candidate status with a Regional Accrediting Organization, ABHE, TRACS, or other accrediting agency recognized by the American Council on Education (USDE). Courses must be submitted on an official transcript. Courses must be college-level. The student must have an earned grade of C or above. (Note: A grade of S or P may not constitute a C or better.) A two-hour course can meet the requirement of a three-hour course, but the student must make up the additional hour.

Courses Eligible for Graduate-Level Transfer  

Courses must be earned at the master’s level. Bachelor’s-level courses may serve to meet prerequisites only. Courses must be earned at an accredited institution with a grade of C or above. The courses must fit into your program choice at CIU.

Complex Transfer Situations

Decisions are made by the associate provost. At the graduate level, decisions are made by the academic dean of each college.

Transfer Policies PDF Download

Download a PDF of CIU’s transfer policy.

Military Tuition Assistance (TA)

The Military Tuition Assistance Program (TA) is available to active duty, National Guard and Reserve Component service members. All four branches and the U.S. Coast Guard offer financial assistance. The Tuition Assistance Program can be used to fund your college tuition and certain fees with the following limits:

  • Not to exceed $250 per semester credit hour
  • Not to exceed $4,500 per fiscal year, Oct. 1 through Sept. 30

Tuition assistance may be used for the following programs:

  • Undergraduate programs
  • Distance-learning programs
  • Independent study
  • Graduate programs

For more information or to find out how to apply for this benefit visit the Military Tuition Assistance page on the Military OneSource website as well as speak with your Educational Service Officer. You can also download the Military Tuition Assistance Info PDF below for more detailed information about applying for and using this benefit at CIU.

Military Tuition Assistance (TA) Resources:

Military Tuition Assistance Info.pdf


VA Education Benefits

Program-eligible veterans, their spouses, and children can use VA education benefits to help cover the cost of their CIU tuition. For more info on using VA benefits at CIU, please visit our VA Education Benefits page here.

First Responders Discount

Full time employed or volunteer first responders  (EMS, firefighters, sheriffs, police, and state patrol) who enroll in online programs at Columbia International University will receive:

Tuition Savings - Take advantage of reduced tuition to earn your degree - $500 discount per semester for full-time studies and $250 discount per semester for part-time studies.

Visit our First Responders page to learn more.


CIU Financial Aid Contact:


Laura McCall

Associate Director for Online Financial Aid & Military Benefits