I just wanted to say Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service if you are in the military or have served. I’m making this post in honor of my dad, who served in Vietnam in the early and mid sixties. While he was lucky enough to have attended college before he enlisted in the navy, the experiences he had as an officer in the Navy also provided a lifelong education and impact on his life, some of them which he has only become comfortable sharing with family as he’s grown older. And, in many ways, his experiences in Vietnam affected my life as well. I was born while he was serving and the impact on him as he grew into adulthood obviously created an impact on his family.
If you’re a veteran or a dependent of a veteran, the first and most important thing I want to share with you is to take care of your mental health. There are multiple resources available to you now that weren’t available to my father at the time, so please take advantage.
And if you’d like to attend college, there are resources out there to help you through your college admissions journey. You may also qualify for some extra benefits to help with the cost of college.
Some helpful tips and advice
I’ve collected these wise words from admissions and school counselors, other consultants, and admissions officers over the years:
- Contact and check in with the Veteran’s liaison at the colleges where you’re applying just to see how things work there and if there are any concerns.
- That person will help the family make sure the courses are certified and how to make sure the portion of the GI Bill benefit that is dispersed directly to the college is applied properly.
- Some of the benefits are paid to the student directly (the housing allowance and the book stipend) and then the student uses those funds to pay any remaining balance.
- Check Yellow Ribbon benefits.
- There is a VA certifying official on each campus, so they can go straight to them or simply tell admissions/financial aid and be connected that way.
- Learn the differences between Yellow Ribbon and post-9/11 benefits, gain an understanding of what documents to track down early on, etc.
- There’s usually an option to identify on the admissions application. That info is usually shared with the military liaison on campus.
College Admissions Resources and Helpful Experiences
- A Young Man with a Dream
- Service to School – Service to School (S2S) is a free service that can provide you with college admissions help, including interview prep, essay reviews, and networking opportunities.
- Harvard Admissions – Harvard is a Yellow Ribbon school and a member of Service to School’s VetLink program. They automatically waive the application fee for all U.S. military veterans.
- Columbia Admissions – 17 of Columbia’s schools and programs participate in the Yellow Ribbon program. In addition, Columbia has multiple student veteran organizations available for you to join.
- Ivy League Blog
- Don’t give up! Here’s an A2C post about some post-application Reflections From a Veteran.
- u/freakyfreiday gives out some great veteran resources in this post. Military and Veteran Resources. If you’re looking for a short program, the Warrior-Scholar Project offers free one to two-week college prep programs for enlisted veterans and transitioning service members. When you’re looking at colleges, you can reach out to their Student Veterans of America chapter and ask them about their experiences at their school.
- PSA Vet Tuition Michigan State
- Veterans chapter from my new book, Hey AdmissionsMom: Real Talk from Reddit. There might be some repeat resources in here, but thought you might find something helpful here, too: Thank You For Your Service
More Important Links Veterans and Dependents of Veterans:
These resources are a work in progress, so please feel free to share your experiences and any resources that have been helpful to you!
there are resources available to you, so don’t hesitate to reach out, do research, and ask questions.