A 200+ Year Partnership: Military Students & University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati’s connection to serving our nation’s heroes began more than 200 years ago, and it’s still going strong! The partnership started when UC opened its doors back in 1819.

More recently, just a little more than 20 years ago, the University of Cincinnati (UC) turned its attention to creating online programs. The initial offering of UC Online degrees and certificates was much smaller than it is today, but over the past two decades, our mission has remained the same:

We design high-quality educational programs for people who want the convenience and flexibility of studying 100% online when and where they want to.

In no time at all after UC Online opened its virtual doors, military students began going the online route to earn their degrees. They found it a workable and enjoyable study option whether they were serving in the military or a veteran — and their preference for UC Online continues to today.

UC Online Values Our Military Students

If you’re unfamiliar with what UC Online offers military students, you’ve come to the right place to learn more. We’re a proud yellow ribbon-participating school. This means UC adheres closely to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ principles of excellence in providing a high-quality educational experience tailored to the unique needs of veteran students.

Today, our military-affiliated student body is well over 2,000 — and growing. We welcome active-duty and retired military, members of the National Guard and the Reserves, veterans and military family members. (Meet a military family member who chose UC Online.)

Get to Know One of Our Military Student Advocates

Former Marine Josh Monson joined our UC staff in 2018. Today, he’s the Program Manager for Student Life & Engagement and a tireless advocate for military-affiliated students.

There are many people at UC who are focused on military students’ success. One is Josh Monson, the Program Manager for Student Life & Engagement. As a UC graduate and former Marine, he brings this unique dual perspective to his role.

When asked what his job entails, Josh says, “If I was speaking to another service member, I’d say my role is much like a platoon leader. My job is to inspire and influence the students I work with to accomplish their mission — and that’s obtaining the credentials they need for the job they aspire to.”

More specifically, Josh says inspiring means helping our military students discover their purpose and the direction and motivation they need to achieve their career goals. He adds that if he was explaining his role to someone with no military experience, he’d say he helps students navigate the waters of higher education or “how to college.”

How to Access GI Bill Educational Benefits

Navigating Veterans Affairs benefits and figuring out how they apply to college education can be intimidating for some military students. “There are many policies and procedures to know, and it can be quite confusing,” Josh says. “Surprisingly, many military students don’t recognize their status as a veteran or know the benefits they’re entitled to.”

Josh and the military support staff’s job is to keep up with the various guidelines and requirements, so they can walk military students through the process and make sure they don’t miss any opportunities and resources that will give them a head start as they transition to civilian life.

Because Josh has walked the walk, he often shares his personal story, military background and UC graduate experience. (Fun fact: Josh initially earned a bachelor’s degree in Operations Management and continued at UC to get his MBA.) “I tell our military students that we’ve already been through very challenging things, serving in the military. So, we can easily get through the benefits and admission process,” he says.


UC Online recently received the “Best for Vets” award from Military Times and College Consensus’s Best Online College for Veterans in the U.S. commendation.

Nine Reasons Why Military Students Choose UC Online

We asked Josh what might compel a military student to choose UC Online, and these are the top reasons that stand out:

  1. 100+ degree programs and certificates – UC Online offers a variety of fully online programs, which gives students an almost unlimited opportunity to study whatever they want. Programs include the Application Software Support Specialist (certificate),  Applied Business in Healthcare Management Technology (associate degree) and Business Administration – Finance (bachelor’s).
  2. Unparalleled support for military students – Our Veterans Programs and Services department provides a key support system, ranging from benefits assistance and counseling services to resume and job search help. And we have a Vet Success Coordinator who helps students make the transition from the military to being a student.
  3. Member of VetSuccess – UC Online participates in a VA program that helps veterans, service members and their qualified dependents succeed and thrive through a coordinated delivery of benefits assistance and counseling
  4. Credit for military service background – UC Online accepts and awards college credits for military training and experience in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard, as long as certain guidelines are met.
  5. Personalized enrollment and admissions help – Our university’s Enrollment Services Advisors team helps military students find their best program, move through the application process and talk through previous credits and financial aid.
  6. Enrollment-to-graduation support – We pair students with a Student Success Coordinator whose mission is to help the individual reach their goal of earning a degree.
  7. Accessible learning environment – UC Online is committed to providing equal access to students with disabilities.
  8. Highly ranked educational programs – U.S. News and World Report, Military Times, College Consensus and other third-party regional and national publications rate UC Online among the best online universities.
  9. And as we mentioned earlier, we’re a noted yellow ribbon-participating school!

Positive Learning Environment for Military Students

Josh knows that making the leap from military life to becoming a student isn’t easy for everyone; he says:

It can be like learning a new language. But soon you realize you already know these things, just from a different environment. Take a business plan, for example, like what I studied at UC for my MBA. I couldn’t quote the textbook verbatim, but I could fall back on Marine Corps logic — orientation, situation, mission, execution, logistics, administration and control — and can easily relate these to a business plan.

Josh’s enthusiasm for what he does each day at UC is contagious. When you hear him talk about how rewarding his job is to work with our military students, you know he’s the real deal. “Being a veteran myself,” he says, “this job gives me an opportunity to be an advocate and voice for change here. I encourage our students to let their guard down because it’s a safe environment. For me to be able to facilitate the positive environment has been wonderful. And of course, I wouldn’t have been able to do that if it weren’t for the support from UC administration and the flexibility they give me.”


To learn more about the federal benefits for military student, including the Montgomery G.I. Bill and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, read our informational article that covers tuition assistance and eligibility.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

By now, we hope you see how UC Online and staff members like Josh go the extra mile to connect military-affiliated students with life-changing educational opportunities.

You can take your next step today by exploring our 100% online degree programs. If you have questions, it’s easy to chat online with a UC Online representative or contact an Enrollment Services Advisor team member. If you’d like to speak with someone in our Veterans Programs and Services office, call or email them at 513-556-6811 or [email protected]. You may also contact our VetSuccess Counselor, Jill Cochran, at 513-556-3322 or [email protected].

No matter where you served or are serving, UC Online is here to help you get the education — and the educational benefits — you deserve!

birds eye view of students working at a round table with laptops and study materials
Need additional student resources?
Already an online student? UC Online has additional tips and tricks to ensure you are on the path to success. Check out our Student Resources section for what you need to maximize your learning.
Corporate Taxation professionals having a meeting
Helping You Build a Better Business Through Continuing Education
Employee recruitment and retention is crucial for the growth and profitability of an organization and should be a high priority for every business. At the University of Cincinnati Online, we want to help develop and retain your employees through our Business Partnership offering.

Sign up for updates from UC Online

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.