In and Out: Veterans in Transition and Higher Education
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spends nearly $12 billion annually on education benefits (VA, 2016). Veterans are showing up on campus in ever increasing numbers. While recruiting veterans makes sense from an enrollment management perspective, as most veterans come to campus with financial aid, how well prepared is higher education to receive them? Given the investment the government, taxpayers, and individual veterans are making, colleges and universities would be well served to understand these students. This article explores how veterans have changed the landscape of higher education, delves into the culture of the military and its impact on veterans, examines the challenges many veterans face as they transition out of the military, and concludes with a discussion of ways in which higher education institutions might thoughtfully and intentionally assist veterans’ transition into life as successful college students.
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