Military Connection: how to identify a veteran friendly school
While I was a GI Bill College and veteran student, I had come across numerous colleges and universities that are hospitable to veterans. But considering what each school offers their veterans and military students, may not be enough to deduce what makes a particular school hospitable to veterans.
Five years ago, it appeared as though a school only needed to provide a means of contact for veterans through their VA education benefits to be considered hospitable to veterans. But the year 2015 considers this as the minimum of what they are supposed to meet to be considered veteran friendly. Since many veterans are ignorant of what to look for when choosing a school, the following tips can help.
A good number of schools that provide needs for veterans who are college students usually have a resource center which is home to an office or staff member. This means that they have been trained and they are specialists in handling GI Bill related issues on their campus.
But, having specific staff to attend to GI Bill related issues, is not enough to deem a school fit to be veteran-friendly. In order to pinpoint the resources that the school can offer to GI Bill students, veterans can do well to browse the website for the school. In case a school has prioritized veteran students, they will have websites whose information is easy to access. If the information is hard to gain access to or does not exist, then that school may not be fit to be considered as being as veteran friendly as it claims. The search should provide comprehensive information about the school if in particular it uses Yellow Ribbon Program which is an example of a GI Bill resource that is voluntary and student friendly. You can also expect the same search results if the school has a chapter on the Student Veterans of America or other programs run by its faculty.
In addition, according to my opinion, a school should only be considered veteran-friendly if its education means something. Any veteran friendly school must provide degrees and certificates that should enable veterans to further their education or apply for a job. Veteran college students often face one challenge; being taken for granted by predatory school operating as online, mortar or as brick schools. Such schools can take a veteran’s GI Bill money for a worthless certificate in place of a recognized degree. Based on this, veterans have to inquire about the accreditation of a specific school. In general, although not always, a regional recognition takes presidency over national recognition. Researching job postings that are related to the careers that they want can help veterans to enroll in the right academic program. If you want, you can even get in touch with your prospective employer to find out what degrees they recognize or those which carry weight when applying for a job position. Also ask for internship opportunities during the course of your studies.
Those of us who have taken advantage of the military service to acquire our GI Bill education, feel lucky to be accepted by a college rather than making schools prove their worth to be hosting us. You had given up a lot to earn this privilege, make sure you search for the school that is good for you, your future and your personal goals.