Best Military Friendly Online Colleges

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Military service members and their families have rendered outstanding services to our nation. Often they have offered the ultimate sacrifice. In gratitude and out of a sense of justice, opportunities have now been created for active service members, veterans and their families to earn college degrees at a lower cost and with greater convenience online. This list selects 30 of the Top Military Friendly Online Schools. Our selections consider cost and convenience as well as inclusiveness and support of both military personnel and their families. Each school on our list is widely recognized as seeking to provide the best possible online educational opportunities and support for military students and their families.


DREXEL UNIVERSITY ONLINE

“We make it as easy as possible for servicemen and women and their families to advance their education.”

Drexel University Online, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is rated #1 in Military Friendly Schools in the Top Ten Military Friendly Online Schools for 2017 and has been named Military Friendly for 7 years. It is one of a small group of universities that places no limit on the number of veterans who may enroll through the Yellow Ribbon Program, which awards tuition-free education to eligible veterans. Although Drexel University has 3 on site campuses, Drexel University Online has been enabling students from all over the world to more conveniently earn degrees from their institution for over 20 years through online education. Their 10-week terms that start four times a year allow servicemen and women flexibility as they work toward their degrees.

Tuition Rates:

Drexel University Online offers special discounts of at least 10%-40% tuition reduction in Bachelor’s, Master’s, Certificate and Doctorate Programs. For all Military Discounts and cost for each program see here.

Personal and Family Support:

As part of their service to the military, Drexel University Online not only offers a 10%-40% tuition reduction to active military personnel, veterans, National Guard, or Reserve but also to their immediate families (including spouses, children and parents). The university also waives the new student matriculation fee for these service members and their spouses. Dependents also may qualify for this waiver. Drexel University Online offers Couples Counseling to service members and their partners who are both enrolled full-time at Drexel University Online. For service members whose spouses are not enrolled, Drexel offers referral services for counselors.

Military Scholarships, Grants and Discounts:

Drexel University Online offers tuition assistance to men and women who are serving or have served our country. The following programs are available:

  •     Reduced Tuition on Drexel’s Online Programs
  •     Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30)
  •     Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
  •     Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program
  •     Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA)
  •     MYCAA

To find out more about these programs, visit this website. Also, see the website about transferring the GI Bill to a spouse or dependent.

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AMRIDGE UNIVERSITY

“As a 2017 Military Friendly School, Amridge University proudly supports our veterans by providing programs and tuition rates to help them complete their education.”

Founded in 1967, Amridge University has been offering online education since 1993. It is an accredited, non-profit private university that now uses distance learning as its primary instruction method. Originally called Alabama Christian School of Religion, its main purpose historically has been to provide theological training for ministers in Bible and Christian Counseling. Amridge has expanded its curricula to include other schools of training including a School of Human Services, College of Business and Leadership and College of General Studies. Although Amridge is a small, private school and unranked by U.S. News and World Report, we have included it on our list because it recently became not only a Military Friendly School but also ranked #2 by GI Jobs Magazine Top Ten Military Friendly Schools. Amridge University is revealing itself to be a school that appreciates the service that the military provides and continues to provide to our country.

Tuition Rates:

  •     Undergraduate Rates
  1.         GoArmyEd/Military     $250 per semester hour (no course fee or online service fee)
  2.         Military Spouse             $250 per semester hour (no course fee or online service fee)
  3.         Veteran/Vet Spouse     $365 per credit hour ($40/hour course fee; $110 Course Service Fee)
  1.         Masters – School of Human Services and College of Business and Leadership
  2.         Masters – Turner School of Theology
  3.         Doctor of Ministry – School of Human Services
  4.         Doctor of Ministry – Turner School of Theology
  5.         Doctor of Philosophy – School of Human Services
  6.         Doctor of Philosophy – Turner School of Theology

Personal and Family Support:

Amridge University offers Military Tuition Rates to all active duty personnel. It also offers the same Military Tuition Rates to immediate family members including children and spouses of active duty personnel.

Military Scholarships, Grants and Discounts:

  •     Yellow Ribbon Program and Scholarship
  •     Post 9/11 GI Bill
  •     Veteran Rates
  1.         Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
  2.         Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (Chapter 30)
  3.         Montgomery GI Bill – Selective Service (Chapter 1606)
  4.         Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)

For information on Amridge University’s GoArmyEd and Air Force programs see here.

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NORWICH UNIVERSITY ONLINE

“Established in 1819 as the nation’s first private military college, Norwich University has a long history of innovation in military education.”

Norwich University Online is, not surprisingly, also included in the Top Ten list of Military Friendly Online Universities 2017 by GI Jobs Magazine. Norwich University was founded in 1819 in Norwich, Vermont by Captain Alden Partridge, military educator and former superintendent of West Point. It is America’s oldest, private military college and still functions as a private university. It is considered by the United States Department of Defense as the “Birthplace of ROTC” (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). Norwich University now offers 12 online graduate programs and six online bachelor’s degree completion programs through its College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. According to the website of Norwich University, “…every online program is structured to meet the unique needs and goals of military students as well as working adults from various professional backgrounds.”

Tuition Rates:

For the full tuition and fee schedule see Norwich University’s website. Norwich University also offers assistance through the Yellow Ribbon Program and the Montgomery GI Bill.

Personal and Family Support:

Norwich University has almost 200 years of experience in educating and serving military students and their families. As part of a continuation of this support, Norwich has begun bringing program managers as well as directors and admissions advisors to visit military bases and education centers across the nation. These professionals will talk personally with their students about how to balance nontraditional work schedules, family life, and other obligations while continuing to pursue goals in their academic programs.

Military Scholarships, Grants and Discounts:

Norwich University Online offers many scholarships for its active and veteran military students. They include:

  •     Norwich University Military Scholarship
        This Scholarship is available to active duty, National Guard, and Reserve personnel who are eligible for the military scholarship for any online master’s degree offered through Norwich University.
  •     Veterans Scholarships
        Air Force Association
        American Foundation for the Blind
        American Legion
        American Legion Auxiliary
        AMVETS
        Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association
        Army Aviation Association of America
        Fleet Reserve Association
        Horatio Alger Association
        Military Officers Association of America
        National Amputation Foundation
        National Association of Veterans’ Program Administrators
        National Ranger Memorial Foundation
        Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
        Paralyzed Veterans of America
        Sentinels of Freedom
        Student Veterans of America
        The Fund for Veterans’ Education

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PENN STATE WORLD CAMPUS

“Our commitment to service members, veterans, and their families has been honored by prominent publications and organizations such as U.S. News & World Report; Military Times; Military Friendly; and Military Advanced Education & Transition.”

Penn State World Campus or “Penn State Online” is the online campus of Pennsylvania State University. The online campus was begun in 1998 but Penn State has been working in distance education since 1892. The World Campus offers more than 120 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs in partnership with Penn State. New programs are continually being added to the current online curriculum. The location of the World Campus offices are on the University Park Campus. Penn State World Campus is highly regarded by many military organizations. It is ranked in the top ten by US News and World Report in the following categories:

  •     Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
  •     Best Online MBA Programs
  •     Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBA)
  •     Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs
  •     Best Online Graduate Education Programs
  •     Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs

Penn State World Campus has also recently been ranked #9 by the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 in Online Colleges. Additionally, the school made the Top Ten Military Friendly Online Universities list by GI Jobs Magazine for 2017, coming in 6th.

Tuition Rates:

The current tuition rates for an academic year at Penn State World Campus is around $13,516. For members of the military and veterans, however, the cost of undergraduate tuition can be reduced by up to 44% through the Military Grant-in-Aid Program. For a full list of Military Discounts, see below. Also, according to their website, Penn State World Campus is currently waiving the application fee for associate and bachelor’s degree programs for servicemembers, veterans and their spouses.

Personal and Family Support:

The Military Support Team at Penn State World Campus has full-time staff members who are available to assist their military students in accomplishing their goals. The Military Resources Page on their website also offers specific support to various branches of the military and also veterans, including the Air Force, National Guard, Veterans and Military Spouses. For a full list, visit the website here. Also included in the Military Discounts below is the Dependents Educational Assistance which provides assistance for the dependents of disabled servicemen and veterans.

Military Scholarships, Grants and Discounts:

  •     Program Participant in the Post 9/11 GI Bill
  •     Program Participant in the Yellow Ribbon program
  •     Undergraduate Military Grant-in-Aid program (reduces the cost of undergraduate tuition up to $328 per credit)
  •     Military Tuition Assistance (TA)
  •     VA Education Benefits
  •     Post 9/11 GI Bill – Chapter 33
  •     Montgomery GI Bill – Chapters 30 and 1606
  •     Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
  •     Reserve Educational Assistance Program
  •     Dependents Educational Assistance
  •     Tuition Assistance Top-Up

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

“Our Mission is Your Success”

Liberty University is a private, non-profit Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia. The school was founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell. Liberty University’s online program has over 100,000 students and is the largest Christian university in the world. It has recently been listed as number 4 in the Best for Vets Online Schools for 2017 by Military Times.

Tuition Rates:

The General Online Tuition Rates for 2017-2018 are $455 part-time per hour rate and $390 full-time per hour rate for the Undergraduate program. For the Master of Arts program the Part-time per hour rate is $615 and the Full-time per hour rate is $565. To see the tuition rates for all online programs, visit this website. Liberty University offers many Military discounts. For a full list, see below.

Personal and Family Support:

On this list, Liberty University stands out as having an above average support system for military servicemen and women and their families. The following support systems have been put in place:

  •     Military Deployment
        This service assists servicemen and women in the transition of being deployed
  •     Military Events
        Each semester the office of Military affairs organizes events exclusively for the military population at Liberty. These events are run in order to establish a strong community and support system and are open to servicemen and women as well as their spouses and children.
  •     Military Family Resources
        This page lists resources for the entire family of Liberty’s online students who are in the military. It includes information and support for Deployment, Health and Wellness, Financial, Loan Repayment and Permanent Change of Station.
  •     Military Student Resources
        Liberty offers resources to its students in the areas of Academic Support and Deployment, Career Resources, Education Benefits Support, Financial Resources and Housing Resources.
  •     Military Outreach and Community
        Liberty University states on this webpage that they are committed to providing the necessary tools for each student to “achieve their life’s goals – mentally, physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually. Whether you are studying online or taking courses on campus, we are here to meet your needs….get involved as a Liberty University military student, and even find ways to give back to the community.” This site includes links to Events, Student Groups and Outreach Opportunities available to all families of military students.
  •     VetSuccess on Campus
        In 2013, Liberty became one of many schools that collaborated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to participate in the VetSuccess on Campus program. This program assists Veterans to transition to student life and achieve their goals.

Military Scholarships, Grants and Discounts:

The following military discounts are available at Liberty University’s online programs:

  •     Military Book Voucher
  •     Military Tuition Discount
  •     Heroes Fund Scholarship
  •     LUO Military Benefits Guide
  •     Military Scholarships and Benefits
  •     Tuition Assistance
  •     Veterans Benefits
  •     Yellow Ribbon Scholarship

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BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

Division of Online and Distance Education

We are privileged to work with more than 400 veterans and family members who have selected Ball State as their university of choice.

Ball State University, Division of Online and Distance Education offers more than 70 degrees and programs which can be taken all or mostly all online. Ball State is a state-supported university with around 20,000 students of which nearly 5,000 are online students. BSU Online is ranked number 8 in Online Military Friendly Schools by GI Jobs Magazine. It is also ranked number 36 by US News and World Report for Online Bachelor’s Degrees and number 12 for Best Online MBA Programs. The University’s online classes are taught by the same faculty as their main campus programs.

Tuition Rates: The current online tuition at Ball State University is $7,542. Ball State University, Division of Online and Distance Education offers many Military Discounts for its military students and veterans.

Personal and Family Support:

  •     Ball State University participates in the Indiana Child of a Disabled Veteran program. This program allows the children of eligible disabled Indiana veterans to apply for a Tuition and Fee Exemption at any state supported post-secondary school or university in Indiana.
  •     The Dependents Education Assistance Program (Chapter 35) is available at BSU for eligible dependents of Veterans who are permanently disabled due to a service-related condition or of Veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of service to our country.
  •     Under the Chapter 31 VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program, veterans who are students at Ball State University Online may receive services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching.

Military Scholarships, Grants and Discounts:

  •     Post 9/11 Yellow Ribbon GI Bill (Chapter 33)
  •     Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) and (Chapter 1606)
  •     Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP)
  •     Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP – Chapter 1607)
  •     Federal Tuition Assistance/National Guard Supplemental Grant

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THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES

“To empower deserving veterans with career opportunities, thereby infusing the financial services profession with a talent pool of determined, mission-minded individuals who will be vital to the economic integrity and sustainability of the profession”

The American College of Financial Services (also known as The American College) is a not-for-profit private college in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. The majority of its students study online and the college educates around 40,000 students every year. The American College offers several professional certifications, two types of master’s degrees and a PhD degree. Specializing in providing the best financial service degrees designed by leading financial experts, The American College has been in the field of business since 1927. It is now the largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services. As a 2017 Military Friendly Top Ten Online School, The American College has some unique programs and availability for servicemen and women throughout the world. One of these programs, established in 2012 as the American College Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs, offers special scholarships and support to Veterans (More information below). The American College has been named a Military Friendly School for the last four years in a row.

Tuition Rates:

The annual tuition at The American College of Financial Services is around $13,000. For all military discounts, see below.

Personal and Family Support:

  •     The American College Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs
        Through their fairly recently established Center called the American College Penn Mutual Center for Veterans Affairs, The American College of Financial Services has created particular support for servicemen and women and their families. This program was created  in 2012 through a $2.5 million gift from Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. Its mission is “to provide educational support and career opportunities to eligible men, women, and their spouses who have honorably served in the Armed Forces.” This Center provides scholarships to active duty military, Veterans and also the spouses of qualifying members. The specific scholarships available through this program are listed below.
  •     Veterans Placement Initiative
        The Veterans Placement Initiative “furthers the Center’s mission by connecting talented veteran scholars to a broad network of partners, representing some of the best organizations in the financial services industry.”
  •     Support the Heroes
        The Support the Heroes programs continuously supports military families by promoting their cause with local business and thereby procuring further scholarships and financial support. It also hosts an annual Clambake which is the prime networking and fundraising event of the organization. Additionally, the Support the Heroes program awards a Soldier-Citizen Award  which “recognizes individuals in the financial services industry who have made significant contributions to the United States military, their community, or our society.”

Military Scholarships, Grants and Discounts:

  •     Marigold N. Saunders Scholarship
  •     Provides financial assistance to students who demonstrate support and respect for the Constitution and democratic institutions of the U.S.A.
  •     Henry Farmer Fund for Professional Education
        Provides study scholarships for students with backgrounds in areas other than insurance to promote the understanding of the role of insurance in American society.
  •     Elbert Hardy Vaughn Sr. Endowed Military Scholarship
        “Donated by E. Hardy Vaughn to honor his father who served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. ‘He was proud to serve his country and was an advocate for education, so I know he would be pleased and humbled for me to honor him in this way.'”
  •     John Wallace Blunt Endowed Military Scholarship
        Donated by his son, Chris O. Blunt, Captain John Wallace Blunt was shot down, at the age of 24, into the jungles of Burma. He and his crew walked out, traveling over 225 miles in 15 days becoming the first crew to safely make it out after being shot down, surviving enemy patrols, headhunters, and rampant dysentery.

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CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

“California Southern University is proud to serve those who serve our country.”

California Southern University (CalSouthern) is a private, 100% online university offering degrees in psychology, business, law and criminal justice at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. CalSouthern was founded in 1978 as Southern California University for Professional Studies. The founder was Dr. Donald Hecht, an engineer who had completed his master’s and doctoral degrees by commuting more than 40 miles while working to support a growing family. Dr. Hecht understood the need for distance education and decided mid-career to spend his professional life in the business of higher education. According to the vision of Dr. Hecht, CalSouthern emphasizes personal, one-on-one mentoring.  Another note-worthy aspect of CalSouthern is its desire to see students through their education without acquiring debt. For this reason, they have decided not to continue their Military Tuition Assistance program. To see their statement on this policy, visit this page. CalSouthern is listed in the Top Ten of the 2017 Military Friendly Online Schools by GI Jobs Magazine. It is also a DANTES-affiliated institution (DANTES is a Department of Defense organization created to help service members pursue their educational goals through non-traditional education.)

Tuition Rates:

The current tuition rates for out of state students is $12,309 a year. For students who are in California the annual tuition is $7,309.

Personal and Family Support:

Southern California University provides each military student with a dedicated support team led by a specially trained military advisor who works with the student to provide personalized guidance and support. CalSouthern also offers discounted tuition to military service members, military spouses and veterans. The school waives the application fee for active-duty service members, veterans and military spouses and dependents. CalSouthern accepts many of the educational benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as MyCAA benefits for spouses. CalSouthern has a special page on their website for detailed information on how military spouses can take advantage of the MyCAA program. CalSouthern also offers credit for military experience.

Military Scholarships, Grants and Discounts:

  •     Discounted Tuition
        For a full list of the discounted tuition rates for military students, visit this website.
  •     Application Fee Waiver
  •     GI Bill and other benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs
  •     MyCAA Spousal Education Benefits

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UPPER IOWA UNIVERSITY

“Upper Iowa offers a wide variety of educational opportunities tailored to fit the dynamic lifestyle of today’s military personnel.”

Upper Iowa University (UIU) is a private, non profit university located in Fayette, Iowa. Founded in 1854, Upper Iowa University has a rich military history that has established it as a military friendly school for over 150 years.  In 1861 student soldiers from UIU participated in the Civil War, fighting in 17 major battles. In WWI, male students joined the army while female students organized Red Cross classes on campus. The gym was used as a barracks and the fields were used for military training. 1947-1950 showed an increase in WWII soldiers studying under the GI Bill and post Vietnam also saw record enrollments at UIU. In 1972, UIU started its independent studies and online programs which have expanded to currently serve over 3,000 students. It offers both online and self paced degree programs on all levels. Upper Iowa University is granted Military Friendly status in 2017 by GI Jobs Magazine and is also ranked #1 Best for Vets Online Colleges for 2017 by Military Times.

Tuition Rates:

  •     Self-Paced Degree Program – $975
  •     Online Undergraduate, Online Education, Online Nursing – $1,290
  •     Online MBA – $1,605
  •     Online M.Ed. – $1,527
  •     Online MSA – $1,323

Personal and Family Support:

  •     Upper Iowa University has a unique Deployment/Readmission Policy which allows students who are called into active military duty or deployed as a result of military orders to have their academic standing and financial circumstances addressed accordingly. According to each individual case, servicemen and women will have the option to follow certain courses of action which will allow them to be readmitted in good standing when they are ready to resume their education. This policy is also available to spouses.
  •     Upper Iowa has Military Learning Centers on U.S. military bases that offer classroom settings without leaving the installation. These centers are located in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
  •     Upper Iowa University participates in the Principles of Excellence program through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
  •     UIU offers many other additional resources for military personnel including the Service members Opportunity Colleges and Tuition Assistance “Top-Up.” For a full list see this page.
  •     Upper Iowa University participates in the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program.

Military Scholarships, Grants and Discounts:

  •     Tuition Discount
        UIU offers a 10 percent discount to all military personnel and their families.
  •     Post 9/11 GI Bill
  •     Yellow Ribbon Program
  •     Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30)
  •     Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program Service (Chapter 31)
  •     Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)
  •     Veterans Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 32)
  •     Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)

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CENTRAL TEXAS COLLEGE

“With 50 years experience working with military personnel, we understand their unique needs and challenges….”

Central Texas College (CTC) was founded by the citizens of Central Texas in 1965 to serve the western part of Bell County, Texas. The land on which the campus was constructed was donated by Fort Hood. It opened in 1967. Because of its close proximity to Fort Hood, Central Texas College has grown from a small junior college into a community college which caters to the military. Classes and programs on Fort Hood were established by CTC in 1970 and by 1974 had expanded to Europe in 1974. Because of its successful relationship with the military, Central Texas College opened branch campuses at places such as Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, South Korea, and even on-ship with the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets of the US Navy. By the early 1980s, CTC offered classes to military personnel in the Pacific command, Alaska, and Panama. Classes are still held at many military bases around the world, and the college ranks fifth in the nation among all colleges and universities in online enrollment. Central Texas College is an open admissions community college which offers associate degrees and certificates of completion. The school offers monthly distance learning start dates with 30 degrees and 36 certificates that are 100% online. CTC has been granted Military Friendly status by GI Jobs Magazine and is ranked #2 in Best for Vets online schools by Military Times. CTC is also a member of the Council of College and Military Educators.

Tuition Rates:

  •     Distance Learning – $225 credit hr.
  •     3 hr. – $675.00
  •     4 hr. – $900.00
  •     Distance Learning In-District Resident Rate (Military) –  $80 credit hr.
  •         This Texas rate applies to online classes only

Military Specific Programs of Study:

  •     Army Degree Maps
  •     Marine Corps College Program
  •     Navy Specific Programs of Study

Personal and Family Support:

  •     CTC awards Evaluated Credit for military education and experience and other non-traditional learning.
  •     Military Spouse Students are awarded low in-state tuition rates if their spouse serves in Texas or on the locations of military installations around the world.
  •     Central Texas College participates in MyCAA which provides up to $4,000 of support to military spouses.
  •     CTC participates in Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC)
  •     The VetSuccess on Campus program “is a collaborative effort between Central Texas College and the Department of Veterans Affairs with the purpose of providing a supportive, on-campus environment where student Veterans may gather to obtain assistance and peer support.
  •     The College Credit for Heroes program is also available for military students.

Military Scholarships, Grants and Discounts:

  •     CTC Tuition Discount (See Above)
  •     Montgomery GI Bill
  •     Post 9/11 GI Bill
  •     Yellow Ribbon Program

The VetSuccess on Campus Counselor will assist all military students to find the best military discounts and programs at Central Texas College.

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