Another “badge” for CSU’s veteran efforts

Colorado State University is moving up the ranks. The university was recently designated a Top School in Military Advanced Education’s 2015 Guide to College & Universities. The guide measures best practices in military and veteran education.

According to MAE, the guide arms students with information about institutions that go out of their way to give back to the men and women in uniform. The guide presents results of a questionnaire of the military-supportive policies enacted at more than 600 institutions including private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, four-year, and two-year colleges. This year, schools were evaluated on their military culture, financial aid, flexibility, on-campus support and online support services.

Support at CSU

There are countless programs, services and scholarships available to veterans at CSU.

The New Start program provides individualized services and support for veterans who need help developing strategies in dealing with learning difficulties, memory problems, accessibility issues, and an array of challenges that create barriers to success. The program is able to offer services to student-veterans at no cost, thanks in part to a generous $2.5 million contribution from CSU alumnus Dennis Repp, ’60.

Colorado State participates in the Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, also known as the Yellow Ribbon Program. While the Post 9/11 GI Bill covers resident tuition and fees, the Yellow Ribbon Program allows U.S. universities to enter into an agreement with the VA to fund nonresident tuition that exceeds the resident rate. The institution can contribute up to 50 percent of those expenses, and the VA will match the institution’s contribution. Colorado State provides additional funding that, with the match from the VA, pays 100 percent of undergraduate nonresident tuition, with no limit on the number of students served. The Post 9/11 GI Bill can be also be transferred by an active-duty service member or veteran to a dependent.

The Veterans Educational Benefits Office helps more than 900 Colorado State student-veterans obtain benefits under five different chapters of the GI Bill and active-duty military tuition assistance programs.

In 2013, RE/MAX founders Dave and Gail Liniger donated $2 million to establish the Liniger Honor, Service & Commitment Scholarships. These scholarships serve full- or part-time undergraduates and graduate students who have participated in combat operations and have been awarded a campaign medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, a service combat medal, or a Purple Heart. During the 2014 fall semester, 197 scholarships were awarded to student-veterans at Colorado State.

CSU’s Office of Adult Learner and Veteran Services offers programs, services, and support for veterans including the Veterans Success Program, eight veteran-specific scholarships and awards, outreach and training for faculty and staff regarding veterans in the classroom, peer mentoring, study group initiatives and tutoring. The office also partners with the Career Center and a full-time Colorado Department of Labor and Employment veteran representative who helps veterans better understand their skills and interests that translate into résumés and help them network with community members to find a sustainable job in their chosen careers. Additionally, ALVS hosts VA professional staff members who provide student-veterans assistance with Veterans Health Administration Services and support CSU faculty and staff in military and veteran-specific culture as part of the Veteran Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) program.  ALVS is also the founder and national headquarters of SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society.