By Lian Mlodzienski
Congratulations to East Stroudsburg University for achieving the designation of 2015’s Military Friendly School.
The title was awarded by Victory Media, a business that helps veterans and active duty military find quality education and employment opportunities in one place.
June Pepe, an ESU veterans counselor, said in a press release, “I told every single person in our department about it when the news came out. It was very exciting.”
The 2015 list of Military Friendly Schools was created through extensive research and a data-driven survey. This survey consisted of more than 10,000 schools nationwide which were approved for Veterans Administration (VA) funding.
ESU is ranked in the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools around the country that are working to embrace military service members, veterans, and spouses as students. One of ESU’s main goals is to ensure the success of these students.
One way that ESU is working towards this goal is by forming a Veterans Task Force. The job of this group will be to identify and resolve any issues that student veterans are experiencing.
There is an ESU Veterans webpage that contains current information about the application process for veteran educational benefits and scholarships.
Another resource for veterans is the Student Veterans Center, which is located in ZimbarLiljenstein Hall, Room 160.
The center provides services such as Veterans Education benefits, Educational Assistance Programs (EAP), and Federal Tuition Assistance.
This office will plan to host weekly veteran-oriented meetings for the upcoming academic year.
One goal is to monitor the rates of veteran student enrollment, persistence, and completion.
“We aim to help our veterans on campus get the services they need,” said Pepe.
Another program that ESU is involved with is the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program.
This program helps pay the difference in tuition for out-of-state students who are eligible for the Chapter 33 (post-9/11) benefits at the 100 percent tier level.
Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, an active duty service member or a spouse who is using transferred entitlement is not eligible.
There are other circumstances that make someone eligible.
One of the criteria is having served a cumulative period of 36 months of active duty after September 10, 2001.
If you were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and have served 30 continuous days after September 11, 2001, then you are eligible.
You also qualify if you are a dependent who is eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill based on the service eligibility criteria listed previously.
For more information about this service, visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/yellow_ribbon.asp
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