Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

Colleges Support Veterans' Needs on Campus

Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

Colleges Support Veterans' Needs on Campus

Article excerpt

Since the Post-9/11 GI Bill was enacted in August 2009, hundreds of thousands of veterans have been provided financial support to continue their education at public colleges. Many of these students have needs quite different than those of traditional college freshmen, and colleges are striving to meet those needs even as budgets are tightening.

"The VA is creating an environment where they are placing more students on campus but not giving colleges the infrastructure to deal with them," says Michael Johnson, director of military services at George Mason University. His institution is one of many that have expanded counseling and other support services in an effort to help military veterans transition to academic life.

Some veterans need guidance to get academic credit for their military service, help with financial aid and other benefits applications, or accommodations for physical or emotional disabilities. Others face the prospect of redeployment interrupting their studies. Still others have difficulty adjusting to the more loosely structured academic bureaucracy. Campus veterans groups, such as local chapters of Student Veterans of America, can provide peer support and social opportunities for veterans who are uncomfortable discussing their military experience with outsiders. …

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