+ Beyond the GI Bill: Sites and Suggestions for Military and Veterans

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From a list in a New York Times article by Cecilia Capuzzi Simon:

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • For the Disabled — Veterans given at least 10 percent disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs are eligible for a program with greater benefits than the GI Bill.  To qualify, veterans must demonstrate that their injuries prevent them from doing jobs they previously would have gotten.  The program, rooted in WWI and part of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employments Service (www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/) entitles them to learn new skills or go to college.  It pays tuition, private or public, plus an allowance of $500 to $800 a month.  Veterans also receive help with tutoring, employment and various other extras.  There are 97,000 veterans enrolled in the program; more than 20 percent of them fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Paying for Privates — Under the new GI Bill, veterans can apply the cost of the most expensive in-state public college to a costlier private university.  But that leaves thousands of dollars in unpaid tuition.  The Department of Veterans Affairs is hammering out the details of the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program.  Under the program, the Government will match dollar for dollar whatever a college provides, up to half the difference between cost and GI Bill benefit.  Institutions will have to sign up, and only veterans with at least three years service will be eligible.  www.gibill.va.gov/s22/Yellow_Ribbon.htm
  • Tuition Discounts — Whether for patriotic or marketing reasons — most likely both — many private institutions have come to the aid of servicemen and women.  Pace University in New York cuts tuition by half for post-9/11  veterans enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs, including online.  At Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill., Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who pursue an associate degree in business administration or a bachelor’s in management pay no tuition.  Online programs in particular draw students from the military.  Kaplan University covers up to $7000 toward its online bachelor’s degree or $3000 toward an associate degree for up to 100 veterans a year.  Florida Tech University Online reduces tuition by 40 percent for active-duty military and 10 percent for veterans.  Grantham University grants 54 full four-year scholarships each year to physically or cognitively disabled National Guardsmen.
  • State Help — Not all veterans must rely on the GI Bill to get to college.  State schools waiving tuition for vets include those in New York, Connectiut, Wisconsin and Illinois.  Ohio charges in-state tuition to vets from elsewhere wishing to enroll in its public colleges and universities.  Most states offer tuition reductions to currently serving members of the National Guard; 27 will waive it entirely.
  • Trade School Scholarships — Vocational training is covered by the new bill only when it takes place at degree-granting colleges and universities.  The Imagine America Foundation Scholarship Program (www.imagine-america.org) which supports career and technical school education, grants a one-time $1000 scholarship to veterans entering any of 300 colleges participating in its Military Award Program.  Its Leadership Award grants up to $5000 to active-duty members of the military or veterans in any accredited career school who meet certain GPA and attendance standards.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

  • Entrepreneurship Boot Camp — www.whitman.syr.edu/ebv will take you to a consortium of business schools — at Syracuse, Florida State, Texas A&M, and UCLA — which provides disabled Iraq and Afghanistan veterans practical training and mentoring in developing new ventures and running small businesses.  Candidates are not required to have degrees but are evaluated through letters of recommendation, work achievements in or out of the military and desire to start a company.  This year, 73 enrolled.  The program is free, including travel to one of the four business schools, and meals.
  • American Corporate Partners — Visit www.acp-usa.org for a mentoring program that operates in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, New York, Philadelphia and Norwalk, Conn.  Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are paired with employees from one of six corporations — Campbell’s, General Electric, Home Depot, Morgan Stanley, Pepsico or Verizon.  These mentors — 50 from each company — meet with proteges four hours a month for a year.  The idea is to smooth their entry to corporate America and help them leverage military skills in a business context.
  • Outward Bound — Outward Bound (www.outwardboundwilderness.org/veterans.html) educates through experience.  It wants to build practical skills, confidence, self-reliance and leadership in its participants.  It also tries to teach veterans to establish supportive communities with one another and to ease readjustment to civilian life.  Wilderness expeditions for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are free, including travel to and from sites in California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota and Texas.

sole source:  article by Cecilia Capuzzi Simon in the NY Times on 11/2/08.  Also see associated article by Lizette Alvarez “Combat to College.”  www.nytimes.com

reading tutoring in Columbus OH:   Adrienne Edwards   614-579-6021   or email   aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

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