What Are the Benefits of Enrolling Veterans for Colleges and Universities?
Written by Veterans Education Project, a partner of CollegeRecon.
There are a number of benefits to having Veterans on campus. This article will go through the reasons why every educational institution in America can benefit from enrolling more Veterans.
Benefit #1 – Money
Let’s start with the obvious: money. There are a number of finance-related incentives to motivate the increased recruitment of veterans. Veterans have access to many generous financial benefit and support plans, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon program. To understand what this looks like, we can examine the financial information of Student Veterans at high-graduation-rate institutions (+70% graduation rate over six years).
On average, the GI Bill covers around 98% of attendance costs at public institutions. For those private institutions that participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, federal aid for Veterans can cover roughly 70% of attendance costs. If the cost of attendance exceeds the allocation set by the GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon program permits an institution to split the remainder with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Veteran Students…are often in their early 30s; married with kids; have had a career; and, enrich the class discussions with their maturity and unique perspectives.
Nearly 40% of Student Veterans Are Eligible for Pell Grants
As a result, post-secondary educational institutions can more easily enroll lower-income students at a reduced cost to themselves. Veterans are also often entitled to further federal and state support, such as Pell grants. In fact, almost 40% of Student Veterans are eligible for Pell grants, placing them above the national average. Consequently, Student Veterans are less likely to require need-based financial aid than other lower-income students. They are also more likely to be the first in their family to get that post-secondary education and gain access to greater opportunities. If your school is not only seeking to expand educational opportunities, but also socio-economic opportunities to the less-advantaged, increased enrollment of Student Veterans is the right way to go.
Benefit #2 – Experience and Perspective
However, Student Veterans bring much more to the classroom than Uncle Sam’s wallet. Veterans bring a wealth of experience and perspective to class discussions. The average non-Veteran student is unmarried, in their early to mid-20s, and came straight from high school or undergraduate programs. Veteran Students, on the other hand, are often in their early 30s; married with kids; have had a career; and, enrich the class discussions with their maturity and unique perspectives.
Benefit #3 – Student Veterans Consistently Thrive
Furthermore, Student Veterans consistently thrive in their chosen educational path. They average a 3.4 GPA and the metrics of Veteran educational achievements have been climbing since the early 2000s. Student Veterans bring soft skills such as leadership and communications training, but they also bring the technical skills to pursue high-demand degrees in engineering, technology, health, and business. This brings us to our final key advantage in enrolling Student Veterans: post-graduation success.
Benefit #4 – Post-Graduation Success
Student Veterans measure high on post-graduation outcomes. The unemployment rate for Veterans has been consistently lower than the non-Veteran populace, even during Covid lockdowns. Veterans also earn higher incomes than their non-Veteran counterparts, with or without degrees. Strong post-graduation careers increase the chance of giving back to one’s alma mater. Veterans value loyalty and will help future Student Veterans at your institution by becoming mentors and building Veteran-friendly programs on campus. The strong metrics for Student Veterans coming out of your institution will raise your reputation and encourage more Veterans to enroll.
To summarize, enrolling Student Veterans will: benefit the learning experience by diversifying the demographics of the student body; cost less to educate; increase the number of degrees in high-demand fields; raise metrics for post-graduation outcomes; and, lift your institution’s reputation among Veterans and non-Veterans alike.
by Veterans Education Project
For more info on Veterans Education Project, please go here.
“Employment Situation of Veterans News Release.” 2020. BLS 1
Latest Unemployment Numbers | U.S. Department of Labor.” 2019. DOL 1
“Veteran Households in U.S. Are Economically Better off than Those of Non-Veterans.” 2019. Pew Research Center. Pew Research 1
“Missing Perspectives: Service Members’ Transition from Service to Civilian Life.” Institute for Veterans and Military Families. IVMF 1
“Revisiting the business case for hiring a veteran: a strategy for cultivating competitive advantage.” IVMF 2
“National Veteran Education Success Tracker: A Report on the Academic Success of Student Veterans Using the Post-9/11 GI Bill.” 2017. Lumina Foundation 1
“Find a Yellow Ribbon School.” 2020. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA 1
“Student Veterans/Service Members’ Engagement in College and University Life and Education.” American Council on Education. ACENET 1