In honor of Veterans Day Thursday, I plan to blog all week on issues facing student veterans and what colleges are doing to help.
On many college campuses, honors students and athletes get to register for classes before everyone else on campus. In addition to getting their pick of the most interesting courses, they also avoid having to push back their graduation date because of a required class being filled. (Other colleges do the same for students with disabilities, band members and a host of other groups, according to a 2007 survey.)
Student veterans want the same perk.
Michael Dakduk, president of the Student Veterans of America, said priority registration also speeds up the process of federal dollars arriving at the campus, as most veterans pay for most, if not all, of their tuition and fees through the new GI Bill.
During a welcome back event for student veterans at the University of Arizona earlier this semester, school officials announced that starting next semester veterans can register early for their classes, something athletes have been doing for years, according to the Arizona Daily Wildcat. Student leaders had been advocating for the change for more than a year and a half, and the announcement was met with cheers.
The university's Student Veterans of American chapter was named the top in the country at a national conference at Georgetown University this fall. The group has also worked to open a transition center on campus for veterans, which is staffed by student workers, and organized campus events and outreach programs.
Last year the California legislature mandated that all state universities and colleges give members or recent members of the armed forces priority registration. Mississippi State University started offering priority registration to veterans last semester, according to The Reflector. Eastern Kentucky University is in the process of doing so, according to its Veterans Affairs Web site.
What do you think colleges can do to help student veterans succeed and graduate? What is your college doing (or not doing) to help? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or send me an e-mail, email@example.com.