Veterans are given priority registration at Texas A&M

Veterans are given priority registration at Texas A&M

In December 2021, Texas A&M University officially approved a proposal to provide priority registration to student veterans and those who are currently serving in the U.S. military. This new policy will go into effect for the upcoming registration period for summer and fall 2022 courses.

Texas A&M joins leading peer institutions such as the Universities of Michigan and Florida and the Ohio State University, among others, offering priority registration to veterans.

Thanks to the diligent efforts of the Student Veterans of America (SVA) at Texas A&M leaders and the support of the Graduate and Professional Student Government, Student Government Association, the Don & Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource & Support Center (VRSC), and the Office of the Registrar, the proposal was quickly approved by Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Tim Scott ’89.

Achieving this milestone has taken a number of years. VRSC Director Col. Jerry Smith ’82 USMC (Ret.) strategically collected data and information over the last nine years that the SVA leadership used in their proposal.

“I am extremely proud of our student veterans who applied their leadership and sense of selfless service to create a proposal that will enhance student veteran success and further demonstrate our Aggie commitment to serving well those who have served,” Smith said.

The ever-growing veteran population of non-traditional students face unique challenges in higher education. Many enter as transfer students with much of their core curriculum complete, and they rely on a combination of federal and/or state military education benefits, federal financial aid, and scholarships to afford their education. With upper-level coursework having limited seats and offerings among a large student population, getting into the necessary courses during the appropriate semesters has become increasingly difficult.

The aforementioned occurrence, along with the military education and federal financial aid requirements for coursework, often limits the student veterans in their ability to meet eligible full-time registration. Consequently, veterans can experience a reduction in financial aid and benefit eligibility, which not only impacts their ability to afford their student bill, but their living allowance, as well. Priority registration will help ensure these students, who have so selflessly served our nation, are able to get into the courses necessary to keep them on track and on time for their expected graduation with as little student debt as possible.

“Seeing this through was a blessing for me. I know this will add immense value to our university and the student veteran experience,” said former SVA president John Sada. “As the nation’s top senior military institution, A&M can now lead Texas as the most veteran supportive.”

Current SVA President Cory Griswold believes this policy approval was an important achievement by the SVA at Texas A&M.

“Having spent much of their lives away from families and friends due to their service, our student veterans can now create academic schedules that will foster familial dedication and holistic veteran success in light of this new policy,” he said. Both Sada and Griswold, along with other SVA leaders who were heavily involved in the proposal, said they are excited to see the new policy implemented.

According to Texas A&M University Registrar Vanessa Heidick, the process for priority registration will be automatic. Provided students have been verified as veterans, they should see the early registration time and no additional steps will need to be taken. Heidick strongly encourages student veterans to take immediate advantage of the early registration window, especially those receiving benefits or tuition assistance, so that enrollment can be submitted to the necessary entities to generate payments.

Student veterans who do not see the early registration window should contact the VRSC about the veteran verification process at 979-845-3161.