From combat to college

To protect veterans and service members from aggressive, dishonest college recruiters, President Obama signed an executive order last week requiring a “know before you owe” fact sheet, counseling on how to complete a degree and stronger oversight of improper recruitment practices.

Recently Student Veterans of America revoked charters for campus groups at 26 for-profit colleges, charging the groups were not started by student veterans and don’t provide “a community of individuals that share similar experiences.” Schools may be using fake SVA chapters to advertise themselves as “veteran friendly,” the group charges.

The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill provided more than $7.7 billion for 555,000 veterans and dependents to attend college last year. Most choose community colleges or for-profit colleges.

However, most will not complete a degree, warns the Center for American Progress. Easing the Transition from Combat to Classroom suggests ways for colleges to help vets succeed.

Returning veterans often face myriad challenges when it comes to higher education, including reacquainting themselves with academic work, navigating complicated campus administrative systems, finding support services to meet their needs, encountering negative reactions from the campus community based on their participation in military conflicts, and having difficulty connecting with classmates and faculty.

The report helps colleges analyze whether they have the right veteran-support structures in place. It’s designed to work with the American Council on Education’s “Veteran Friendly Toolkit.”