As the Post-9/11 GI Bill continues to be utilized, help your school step up and support student veterans transitioning to your campus. Share these recommendations below with faculty, staff and students to make your school a welcoming environment for our nation's newest veterans:
- School Websites
- Student Orientation
- Tuition, Fees & Scholarships
- Veteran Groups
- Veterans Day
Problem: School websites are hard to navigate for veterans which gives them the impression that veterans are not welcome.
- Provide clear links to a veteran page on the website
- Have contact information for the schools VA certifying official listed
- Provide links to other veteran resources such as the VA, IAVA, VFW, SVA and other veteran websites (See Below)
- Good School Websites:
Problem: Many veterans are not being identified when they start school, therefore they are having a difficult time getting their benefits because they do not know where to go or what to do.
- Solution: Identify veterans from the beginning - Have a box for veterans to check on the application which will send the veterans contact information to the VA certifying official at the school, then have the VA certifying official contact the veteran to make sure the veteran knows the process to receive the education benefits they have earned
Problem: Many veterans are just returning from deployments overseas and do not have time or are still overseas and do not have the capability to fill out the application before the deadline
- Solution: Extend the application deadline for veterans.
Problem: Many veterans have outdated SAT and ACT test scores so when they apply to college they are simply being turned away due to an incomplete application
- Solution: Offer alternatives or waive the requirement completely.
Problem: Many veterans have been out of school for many years and no longer meet all of the schools requirements
- Solution: For veterans that have been denied at a four year institution show them a clear path on how to get in the four year institution (i.e. recommend a community college to go to and tell them what they need to take and what grades/courses they will need)
Problem: VA payments are arriving late--both tuition/fees and the student-veteran's BAH stipend
- Ensure School Certifying Officials (SCOs) submit enrollment certifications to the VA as quickly as possible and with correct information
- Encourage veterans to routinely interface with SCOs on campus
- Ensure SCOs stay connected with the VA for program updates
- Provide veterans awaiting GI Bill payments with information on available financial assistance
Problem: The new student orientation does not meet the needs of student veterans.
- Have a veteran’s only tour that would specifically show the veterans where the VA certifying official works, where and what the disabled student office does, and where counseling is available for students in addition to whatever the standard new student tour does.
- Have the tour conducted by another veteran or someone who can answer veteran specific questions
- Schedule VA officials to come to the campus and talk about other VA benefits such as health care during the tour
- Accept military credits – follow ACE guidelines (e.g. SMART transcript for Marines/Navy)
- Train the academic advisors on military credits as well as to answer veterans specific questions
Tuition, Fees & Scholarships
- Give in-state tuition for all veterans regardless of residency status. Many veterans have spent the last few years stationed in various parts of the country, or the world, and they do not have the time to establish a permanent residence
- Participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and give out veterans-only scholarships
Problem: Many veterans are older than their student peers and have gone through different experiences; as a result they may have trouble feeling comfortable with other student organizations.
- Create a veterans office, a one place stop on campus to get information pertaining to them
- Encourage someone to start a student veteran group where veterans can meet other veterans and talk about their issues. The group could also perform community service or volunteering for campus events and have brown bag lunch discussions
- Schedule VA officials to come to the campus and talk about other VA benefits such as healthcare, home loans, and life insurance
Veterans Day – November 11
- Remember to honor veterans on Veterans Day (e.g. provide a veterans lunch with the administration, give out football tickets, front page article in the school newspaper etc.)
Examples of Veteran Friendly Schools:
Other Useful Links: