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ASU groups honor veteran students; vet enrollment has doubled


November 10, 2010

As the nation honored its military veterans on Veterans Day, ASU groups also honored veteran students on Nov. 11. The university’s recently formed Veterans Club and Greek Life placed hundreds of flags around the Tempe campus, on Hayden Lawn and Palm Walk, to remember their service.

ASU offers a wide variety of services to veterans, including a Veterans Student Success course introduced this fall, to forge relationships among veterans and increase their chances of academic success.

The number of students receiving veterans’ educational benefits at ASU has grown dramatically in the past three years. Eight hundred seventy-four were enrolled in Fall 2008, and the Post-9/11 GI Bill introduced in 2009 boosted enrollment to 1,269 that fall. This year 1,767 students are receiving benefits, including veterans and their eligible dependents.

Although it is currently unknown how many veterans are enrolled without receiving benefits, ASU has added a question to its admission application to help identify those students in the future.

ASU also has been chosen as one of five new institutions to be part of a Veterans Affairs (VA) pilot program, VetSuccess on Campus. Two VA staff, a vocational rehabilitation counselor and a Vet Center outreach coordinator, are being assigned to ASU to assist veterans attending school under the new GI Bill.

The pilot program is designed to ensure veterans’ health, educational and benefits needs are met as they make the transition from active-duty military service to college life.

ASU recently was named one of the top 30 “Best for Vets: Colleges 2010” by Military Times Edge magazine, and it also was named as a “Military Friendly School” by GI Jobs magazine.

ASU also participates in the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides financial assistance for veterans with a 100 percent Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility who are in programs which charge tuition and fees higher than the VA-established cap.

“ASU greatly appreciates and honors those who have served in defense of our country,” said Kathy McBride, associate registrar. “We are grateful for their service and honored to help them pursue their educational goals at ASU.”

ASU maintains an on-site Veterans Upward Bound office to help veterans improve their academic skills, offers flexible online courses for military and veterans, and has specialized one-on-one career consultations for veterans.

For years the university has provided services to veterans through the Veteran Benefits and Certifications section of the University Registrar’s Office, which helps them receive the timely payment of their educational benefits. ASU also offers all veterans and dependents the services of a military advocate, who can provide consultation, guidance, referral and advocacy services, to help students navigate the various services provided by the VA and ASU.

The student-led Veterans Club recently teamed with Greek Life to create care packages for troops serving overseas. Their roster of upcoming activities includes a service project to benefit homeless veterans and a speaker from the Tillman Military Scholars program.

All veterans, both freshmen and new transfer students, are welcome to register for the Veteran Success Course, LIA 294, to get to know other veterans and learn about resources available from ASU, the State of Arizona and the VA. Early registration is recommended, as class size is limited.

For more information on resources and benefits available to veterans at ASU, visit http://students.asu.edu/military.