The U is host to more than 1,100 student veterans. U Vets have an average GPA of 3.3 and can be found in nearly every undergraduate and graduate programs. Most U Vets are funding their education without the financial support of their parents and some are parents themselves. Although the GI Bill can help, only about 60% of U Vets receive the full benefit of the GI Bill, and the benefit received by those who qualify for the maximum amount is more than $2,000 short of the cost of attendance each year.
GI Bill or not, U Vets live on shoestring budgets and make substantial sacrifices to attend. For instance, a 6’4” Navy veteran had to rent a basement apartment with 6’ ceilings so that he could cover the cost of an extra semester at the U that would not be covered by the GI Bill. An Army Nation Guard veteran, after receiving partial GI Bill benefits for two years was notified that the Veterans Affairs made a mistake, that she was actually ineligible for GI Bill benefits, and that she had to reimburse the VA for two years of tuition payment. Many veterans have families, work one or more jobs, or find ways to cut corners, such as replacing meals with crackers over extended periods of financial hardship or forgoing maintenance needed to keep their vehicles safe to drive.
The U’s Veterans Support Center (VSC) helps veterans and their families enhance their overall academic success by providing a “one stop shop” for services, support, advocacy, and camaraderie. Services are highly utilized at the VSC, which received nearly 7,500 visits in the last academic year. Although the VSC provides substantial support to many military connected students, it falls short in providing scholarships.