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Armstrong still military-friendly
School waives soldiers' application fee
AASU Liberty Center Director Peter Hoffman and biology-anatomy instructor Michael Cotrone
AASU Liberty Center Director Peter Hoffman and biology-anatomy instructor Michael Cotrone talk inside the school. - photo by File photo

Armstrong Atlantic State University recently demonstrated why it’s called a “military friendly” school.
The school is waiving the $25 application fee for active-duty military and members of the National Guard and Reserve. The waiver began with spring semester 2014.
According to AASU’s media-relations representative Allison Hersh, the 79-year-old institution has earned a military friendly designation by and by G.I. Jobs magazine for 2012 and 2013. She said AASU is part of a network of universities that guarantees transferability of college credit for military students, many of whom complete degree programs as nontraditional students.
The school also provides in-state tuition for military members and their families, she said.
In addition to these programs, soldiers and family members in Liberty County have the option to not drive to Savannah to take classes because they have the Armstrong Liberty Center next to the Georgia Department of Labor off Gen. Stewart Way.
“The Armstrong Liberty campus is particularly well-suited for the military-affiliated student,” Liberty Center Director Peter Hoffman said. “We offer evening classes and flex-term, seven-week courses that fit into the busy military lifestyle. We have online courses that allow students to advance their education on their own terms while balancing work, family or military obligations. Blended programs are also available for those who choose to spend time on campus as well as online.”
As he conducted a tour of Liberty Center facilities, Hoffman — who took over as director about 18 months ago, about a year after retiring from the Army — said active-duty military students are exempt from paying the school’s institution fee, which can be $125-$250, depending on the number of credit hours taken. He said Liberty Center students also are exempt from other fees charged on the main campus, including fees for student activity, recreation, athletics, health and student success. The only fee active-duty students at the Liberty Center are required to pay is the $60 technology fee.
Hoffman said the Liberty Center supports its students with tutoring services in math and English, and there is a Student Success Center available to all students. He and biology-and-anatomy instructor Michael Controne said they chose to concentrate on biology and anatomy because of the popularity of AASU’s nursing program. Hoffman said students interested in a program that requires chemistry or physics would have to take those courses at the Savannah campus.
“By far, the most popular degree choice by our military-affiliated students is the health professions,” Hoffman said. “Armstrong is the largest undergraduate health college in the state of Georgia, offering academic programs in nursing, public health, health administration and the allied health professions.”
He said Armstrong accepts military tuition-assistance payments from active-duty students, as well as G.I. Bill benefits. For military spouses, there are several programs available under the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account, which he called a workforce development initiative that provides up to $4,000 in financial assistance.
Hoffman is encouraged by the Armstrong Green Zones initiative, which enables Armstrong faculty members to learn about the military by visiting Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart. The program helps faculty members be more responsive to the needs of active-duty military and those transitioning from the military back to civilian life, he said.
Hoffman is especially excited about the new Liberty Center campus scheduled to be built on Memorial Drive across from the new Hinesville Library. The 24,000-foot facility will give the center more than twice the classroom and office space of the current facility, he said.
“Our goal is to start classes at the new campus by the fall of 2015,” Hoffman said. “We currently have about 300 students. The new campus will have the capacity for about 600 students. My goal is to have about 500 students within two years after the new campus opens.”
For more information about Armstrong Liberty Center, call 877-1906.

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