New ASU program offers high school students who join military a seamless entry into university at end of service

A man in a graduation gown with a Navy military stole smiles and gives a thumbs up to the crowd

Arizona State University’s Enrollment Solutions Lab has announced a new program that enables Arizona high school seniors who plan to join the military after graduation the option of attending ASU immediately upon completion of their military service contract.

The Veteran’s Commitment Plan is intended to ease the friction of going to college after military service. Typically, veterans who are released from duty and want to go to college have to reconnect with their high school to get transcripts, test scores and other items in order to apply for college admission. The Veteran’s Commitment Plan would eliminate those steps by helping students prepare for their post-military college education while still in high school.

“ASU takes pride in being a military-friendly school and meeting our learners where they are throughout their academic journey,” said Matt Lopez, associate vice president for Academic Enterprise Enrollment and executive director of Admission Services. “Graduating high school students with a drive to serve our nation shouldn’t feel they need to choose between earning a college degree or joining the armed forces.”

Here is how the plan works: An Arizona high school student who plans to join the military immediately after graduating high school would apply to ASU. If they meet admission requirements, they are automatically admitted. Then they would defer their enrollment for as long as their service contract was in effect — and if a student voluntarily extends their service contract with the military, they are still eligible for the program. As they near the end of their service, ASU will be in communication to help prepare them for their next steps, and they will be put in touch with ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center — the university’s unit that supports student veterans with benefits, paperwork and veteran fellowship. Once they are honorably or medically discharged from the military, they can join ASU at the start of the following semester.

Participants in the Veteran’s Commitment Plan are also eligible for ASU’s New American University merit scholarship. This award is offered in varying amounts based on GPA, test scores and other academic criteria. Additionally, students can begin taking ASU courses through ASU Online while still on active duty. Students graduating from high school in spring 2023 will be the first cohort eligible for the Veteran’s Commitment Plan. 

“Through ASU’s Veteran’s Commitment, we make it easy for Arizona’s admitted high school graduates who choose to become service members to pursue and fulfill their educational goals,” Lopez said. “Veterans are a vital part of Arizona and the ASU community, and the Veteran’s Commitment will hold a spot for students when they complete their service.”

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