By Nick Nahas

A long-standing relationship with the military led Troy University in Alabama to offer extension classes at nearby military bases in the 1950s. Those classes have evolved and expanded into 20 Troy Service Centers in seven U.S. states, including one in Tampa.
Troy offers a wide variety of classes and degree plans at the graduate and undergraduate levels. A Masters of Science in Counseling and Psychology in Clinical Mental Health degree is offered at the Tampa campus. Other degree plans are offered online as well. All of the Tampa Bay region online students are provided support by the Service Center, such as proctored exams and assistance from the staff.

To accommodate the large military presence in Tampa, Troy offers programs, as well as scholarships for military students. The Military and Family Scholarship Program reduces the tuition rate for all active duty members and their spouses and dependents, for both graduate and undergraduate programs.

According to Ed Siler, area coordinator for Troy University, this is about a 50 percent tuition discount off of the regular tuition rate. “Troy has been very tied to the military for quite some time,” Siler said. “We see it more as a duty to serve the service members and just do what we can in order to assist them in earning their degrees and progressing in their education.”

The rare opportunity to earn a degree from a traditional university that has an NCAA Division 1 football program in the Sunbelt Conference, as well as sororities and fraternities from afar, is something that makes Troy University unique from other online programs out there. Troy also makes classes as flexible as possible for students who have different needs than the average students, such as those that may have full-time jobs and can’t attend regularly. The in-class programs are only offered on evenings and the weekends for maximum flexibility. The online classes that are offered are very adaptable as well. Students are also allowed to select the amount of credit hours per semester that they want to take, even if it’s just one class.

According to Siler, because Troy is a state school, their cost is very competitive. Also, since they have the Service Centers in Florida and they are so connected to this area, they do not have an out-of-state tuition rate for Florida residents.

Classes begin on August 14 and registration goes through August 21. Visit

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.