Today Cal Poly will be celebrating the opening of the Veterans Success Center. This solidifies a significant relationship between the university and its student veterans. The relationship between higher education and the military dates back to the enactment of the GI Bill after World War II. Over 2,232,000 World War II veterans used the GI Bill to go to college during the 1940s and 1950s (Livingston, Havice, Cawthon, & Fleming, 2011).
Here are 5 more facts about student veterans and higher education (Vacchi, 2012):
1. More student veterans will be enrolling in institutions of higher education than since WW II.
2. The new GI Bill offers the best educational benefits for veterans in the history of our nation.
3. Student veterans have greater classroom performance, higher retention rates, and more successful transfer rates from community colleges to four-year institutions than their nonveteran peers.
4. There are currently over 800,000 student veterans attending college.
5. Over 90 percent of student veterans are former enlisted members, not officers.
Military culture is much different from the culture of a college campus. When surveyed, student veterans say that military service has matured them, allowed them to see the world in a different light, and exacerbated the age gap they felt with non-military peers. According to research, student veterans are characterized by self-sufficiency, confidence, self-reliance, humility, and pride (Livingston, et al, 2011).
Check out the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information on the History of the GI Bill.
Livingston, W. G., Havice, P., Cawthon, T.W., & Fleming, D.S. (2011). Coming home: Student veterans’ articulation of college re-enrollment. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 48, 315-331.
Radford, A. (2009). Military service members and veterans in higher education: What the new GI Bill may mean for post-secondary institutions. Santa Monica, CA: Rand.
Vacchi, D.T. (2012). Considering Student Veterans on the Twenty-First-Century College Campus. About Campus, May-June 2012, 15-21.