Maryland colleges serve military vets

Maryland is mobilizing to serve military veterans attending community colleges and public universities, reports Community College Times. Colleges have signed the Maryland Campus Compact for Student Veterans pledging to create a “go-to” person or office to help veterans deal with GI Bill paperwork, counseling and other issues.

College of Southern Maryland (CSM), enrolls 456 veterans.

“Following the Marines, I wasn’t getting the job I wanted. I knew I needed to get a degree,” said (Vicente) Chavarria, who enrolled at CSM in January 2010 to begin his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Chavarria said that the process of applying for and using his GI benefits has been easy for him through CSM’s online services.

“I go onto veterans services on the CSM website to file for my benefits,” Chavarria said. “All paperwork and registration is done electronically, which makes everything easier.”

Now experienced in the benefits process, Chavarria is a work-study student helping CSM advise and process paperwork for other student veterans.

The compact also requires “training for faculty, staff and student leadership to promote greater awareness of veterans’ issues” and encourages campuses to create student veteran organizations to provide peer support.

Two new veterans groups are supporting — and attacking — for-profit colleges, writes Daniel Luzer in  the Washington Monthly’s College Guide.

Veterans who choose to use their GI Bill benefits at for-profit colleges are “discriminating customers” who see  “good value,” writes Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Ryan Berg, founder of Returning Veterans of America, disagrees, arguing that for-profit colleges exploit veterans