Under the GI Bill, honorably discharged veterans and many active-duty service members are provided with financial support for education, making college a viable dream. The GI bill provides for all or most of the financial requirements associated with higher learning for those eligible. It’s the least our country can do, but hardly enough to ensure success. On-campus programs, including vet-to-vet support and mentoring, are necessary, make-or-break elements for many returning vets, whether they are pursuing an undergraduate degree or attending institutes of higher learning.
A wide variety of colleges and universities are GI Bill certified, but not all provide a rich on-campus life and support system for veterans. Ranking high among the best is Georgetown University, a 104-acre campus comprised of undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, located in the heart of Washington, D.C. Here’s why it is considered by many to be the gold standard for campus-bound vets.
Georgetown University Veterans Office
Hands-on support and help navigating all aspects of college life, from the admissions process through to graduation and work-force re-entry, is provided with in-depth acuity about issues specific to student veterans. One-on-one interaction supports understanding about all aspects of applying for financial aid and scholarships, working with the Department of Veterans Affairs and acing the demands of day-to-day college life and academic success.
Mentoring and Tutoring Programs
Non-remedial tutoring is offered both on and off campus and covers a wide range of curricula. For vets, off-campus academic and personal support is largely provided through the Georgetown University Chapter of Student Veterans of America, a national and broad-based, boots-on-the-ground coalition of student veteran groups, devoted to educational advocacy and support of veterans and active duty military personnel both before, during and after school tenure. Through SVA, peer-to-peer support provides a foundation for nontraditional, military students to achieve, establish friendships and excel in civilian-led life.
The Yellow Ribbon Program
Georgetown University participates in the Yellow Ribbon Enhancement Program, a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This provision provides additional financial support for veterans who wish to attend graduate school programs and privately-run colleges and universities whose costs may exceed the existing state tuition cap, thus eliminating cost-boundary.
Support for Body and Mind
Understanding the unique emotional needs of veterans, Georgetown University provides a number of programs geared toward health, wellness and spiritual growth. These include:
- Center for Personal Development – Confidential counseling services in one-on-one and peer group settings run by a veteran provide a road map for next steps.
- Counseling and Psychiatric Services Center – This on campus, confidentially-run mental health facility has an established, on-going commitment to support the unique needs of returning veterans learning to cope with campus and civilian life.
- The Academy for Veterans at Georgetown – Geared toward personal breakthrough and the ability to establish a long-term life plan, this program is run collaboratively with the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped and Atlas Medical Research. Top-notch medical services are provided here.
- Campus Ministry – Run in the Jesuit tradition, the Campus Ministry welcomes veterans of all denominations and supplies support and programs to help integrate mind, body and spirit.
There are hundreds of wonderful schools throughout the country ready and able to provide education and support for our military. For more information on navigating the process and help identifying the best school for you, watch “Back to School With the GI Bill,” a Google hangout, hosted by the U.S. Veterans Benefits Administration.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.