GW makes national list for veteran support

G.I. Jobs said GW's commitment to training and counseling helps the institution top the magazine's list as a 'veteran-friendly' University. About 550 veterans are enrolled at GW.

September 15, 2011
by Sarah Corcoran

The University is one of the most military-friendly institutions in the country, according to an armed forces magazine that cited the institution's support of veteran counseling and finances.

G.I. Jobs magazine pointed to the programming offered by GW's Student Veteran Services, GW Veterans and the GW Career Center to assist previously deployed students' transition to campus life.

This year, 1,518 colleges out of the 8,000 schools surveyed were approved for their veteran-friendly programs and policies, according to the magazine's press release.

"The Military Friendly Schools list is the go-to resource for prospective student veterans searching for schools that provide the greater opportunity and overall experience," Michael Dakduk, executive director for Student Veterans of America, said.

University President Steven Knapp and other senior administrators have pledged to support college veterans, often trumping what other universities offer in the way of financial assistance for members of the military.

GW expanded its commitment to the Yellow Ribbon Program in 2010, providing a 35-percent increase in tuition benefits for graduate student veterans enrolled in the provision of the Post-9/11 G.I. bill. When lagging payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs forced student veterans from across the country to scramble to pay tuition in 2009, GW stepped in and provided emergency payment for its students.

There are about 550 veterans attending GW. Last year, about 100 active duty students took courses on campus or online.

G.I. Jobs praised GW’s Yellow Ribbon Program contributions, which the magazine noted as “among the highest in the country.”

This year, the University also reduced tuition for 78 undergraduate veterans and 182 graduate students.

“Those are very generous numbers,” Mary Warring, outreach coordinator for GW's Student Veteran Services, said. “A lot of other schools in our market don’t have anywhere near that many [scholarships] available.”

GW scored low on the G.I. Jobs list for its limited degree offerings, as well as the lack of a specific career placement counselor for the veterans.

Waring said while GW doesn’t designate a specific adviser for veterans, the office works closely with the Career Center through job search and resume building workshops.

“We want to work hand-in-hand with our student vets,” Waring said. “We help them get their degrees, and go on with their civilian lives. And GW is happy to help with that.”