Higher Education Resources for Veteran
Transitioning from military service to civilian life often involves the need for Veterans to seek educational resources in order to enhance their skills, explore new career paths, or fulfill personal aspirations. Fortunately, there are various higher education assistance programs available to support veterans in their pursuit of educational goals. In this post we will explore key programs and resources specifically designed to help veterans access and succeed in higher education.
1. The GI Bill
The GI Bill is a foundational program administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that offers educational benefits to eligible veterans. It is composed of several iterations, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty, and Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve. The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial assistance for tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, and a stipend for books and supplies. Veterans can choose to attend degree-granting institutions, vocational or technical schools, or even pursue apprenticeships or on-the-job training programs.
2. Yellow Ribbon Program
Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon Program bridges the gap between the maximum tuition and fee coverage provided by the GI Bill and the actual cost of attending certain private institutions or out-of-state schools. Participating institutions enter into an agreement with the VA to provide additional funds, which are then matched by the VA, allowing eligible veterans to attend these institutions with little to no out-of-pocket expenses for tuition and fees.
3. VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC):
VSOC is a program offered by the VA in collaboration with educational institutions to provide on-campus support and resources for veterans. VSOC is a part of the Veteran Readiness & Employment program. Through VSOC, veterans can access personalized counseling and guidance to navigate the challenges of accessing higher education. Services include career counseling, academic support, assistance with VA benefits, and referrals to other VA resources. VSOC creates a veteran-friendly environment on campus, fostering a sense of community and facilitating a successful transition to academic life.
4. Military Tuition Assistance:
While veterans have access to the GI Bill, active-duty service members can take advantage of the Military Tuition Assistance (TA) program. TA provides funding for service members to pursue higher education while on active duty. Each branch of the military administers its own TA program, which typically covers tuition and fees up to a certain limit. The program encourages service members to pursue educational goals while balancing military responsibilities.
5. College and University Veteran Resource Centers:
Many colleges and universities have established dedicated Veteran Resource Centers (VRCs) to support veterans throughout their educational journey. VRCs serve as a hub of information, resources, and advocacy for veterans on campus. These centers provide guidance on admissions, GI Bill benefits, academic advising, career development, and social integration. They also facilitate networking opportunities among veterans and connect them with campus organizations and activities specifically designed to meet their needs.
6. Credit for Military Experience:
To acknowledge the skills and knowledge gained during military service, many institutions offer credit for military experience. This practice, known as “military credit” or “prior learning assessment,” allows veterans to apply their military training, coursework, or occupational specialties toward college credits. By receiving academic credits for their military experience, veterans can potentially shorten the time required to complete their degree or pursue advanced standing in specific programs.
7. Scholarships and Grants:
Numerous scholarships and grants are available exclusively for veterans pursuing higher education. These funding opportunities are often provided by government agencies, private organizations, foundations, and educational institutions. Scholarships and grants may target specific demographics, areas of study, or military affiliations. Researching and applying for these resources can significantly offset the cost of education and alleviate financial burdens for veterans.
Don’t let lack of knowledge or funds dissuade you from furthering your education. Talk to a Veteran Resource counselor on your local campus, talk to a local Veteran Service Officer, and/or take a look at our earlier post on education benefits for even more resources for Veterans to access higher education opportunities.