Sept. 11 GI-Bill increases veteran enrollment
The post 9/11 GI Bill is changing the lives of many veterans by offering them an opportunity to change, modify or enhance their careers.
After they are discharged from the military, many veterans find themselves looking for ways to make a mark in society as a civilian. The GI bill offers students a housing stipend up to $1,545, paid tuition and a book stipend up to $1,000. This affords veterans an opportunity to return to school full time without the burden of working a full-time job.
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee spoke at the Veterans Entrepreneur Seminar on April 7 and said the bill gives veterans the opportunity to be vital parts of the economic community.
“I believe that their training and dedication to their nation makes them a real asset,” Jackson-Lee said. “It’s a road to success, and I would encourage our veterans to take advantage of it.”
UH has seen a significant increase in veteran enrollment as a result of this program, and the UH Veterans Services Office offers an assortment of services to assist veteran students transition into college life. The UHVSO is an educational center that supports student veterans and their families and provides annual programming, workshops, seminars, work-study employment and scholarship research.
“In the past, we had a daily walk-in population of 175,” UHVSO Director Allen Grundy said. “Now we are at approximately 240 (veterans) per week utilizing computers, study areas or just visiting to shoot the breeze with fellow veterans.”
UHVSO also has an active student organization on campus called the Veterans Collegiate Society, which consists of approximately 800 veterans.
For some veterans, going from the desert to the desk is extremely difficult and may almost seem an insurmountable challenge. But through the funding of the GI Bill and the assistance from the UHVSO, they have help for the challenges that lie ahead.
“Through our many referrals in such things as academic assistance, psychological and career testing assessment, family support and referral to outside veteran agencies, it allows the veteran to get help (and) heal their wounds as they transition from (the) military to the academic world with ease,” Grundy said. “The VSO is a place to discuss their particular issues as a veteran.”