As more military veterans arrive on campus, cash-strapped community colleges have cut programs for veterans, according to an ACE survey, From Soldier to Student II: Assessing Campus Programs for Veterans and Service Members.
Of 690 colleges and universities surveyed by ACE, 62 percent offer programs and services for veterans, up from 57 percent in 2009. Fifty-seven percent of community colleges offered programs, down from 67 percent in 2009. Community college is the most popular choice for GI Bill users, though more are enrolling in for-profit colleges.
Student veterans who receive support services are retained and graduate at rates higher than classmates, notes Inside Higher Ed.
The average number of active-duty students and veterans at the responding institutions has more than doubled since 2009, the survey shows. On average, each institution enrolls about 453 active-duty military students and 370 veteran students today, compared to 201 and 156, respectively, three years ago.
Far more institutions this time around reported that they’re considering “veteran-friendly changes” as part of their long-term strategic plans: 71 percent said so in 2012, 28 percent more than in 2009. And 64 percent said they are “engaging in recruiting efforts” specifically to attract military service members and veterans.
Colleges are shifting focus from offering help with VA benefits and enrollment to creating student centers where veterans can meet, socialize and study.
Colleges with veterans’ services are much more likely to offer counseling for vets with post-traumatic stress disorder, physical disabilities and brain injuries.