Colleges compete for vets — and benefits

Uncle Sam wants veterans to sign up for college! And colleges and universities are vying to create “veteran friendly” programs, classes, and centers to attract the ex-G.I.’s—and the billions of U.S. dollars provided by the post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

Onondaga Community College, in Syracuse, N.Y., uses veterans to help new G.I. Bill enrollees. “I’ve seen almost instant rapport between a work-study vet who may have already been in school a semester or two as (s)he meets with a vet applying to school, giving the new student the benefit of their experience and continuing the habit of ‘watching your buddy’s back’ that most have developed in the service,” Keith Stevenson, a college staffer and Coast Guard veteran, told the ACE.

Some colleges have created special courses to help veterans transition back into civilian life.

Sierra College, in Rocklin, Calif., offers Boots to Books, which combines a remedial English class designed for veterans with a course on study skills.

However, some colleges have dropped special classes for veterans, preferring to focus on integrating them fully into the college community.

Most veterans enroll in community colleges or for-profit colleges.