Groups supporting veterans by helping them get an education

Compiled by Sam Clemence

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Nov. 11 2013 3:10 p.m. MST

A large American flag frames Veterans Day marchers on New York's Fifth Avenue, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. Organizers renamed New York City's Veterans Day Parade, America's Parade, and said it the largest Veterans Day event in the nation.

Richard Drew, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

Veterans Day is a time to remember the men and women who serve this country, and many people are taking the opportunity to help our veterans get a college education.

People like Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who, according to the Associated Press, proposed legislation Friday that would improve career counseling programs to help veterans not get swindled by schools that make false promises.

An article released by the Federal Trade Commission, "Choosing a College: 8 Questions to Ask," warns veterans that for-profit universities may not have their best interests in mind.

According to the article, “(For-profit schools) may want to use your post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to boost their bottom line and may not help you achieve your education goals. They may stretch the truth to persuade you to enroll, either by pressuring you to sign up for courses that don’t suit your needs or to take out loans that will be a challenge to pay off."

Critics such as Dr. Bill Path, president of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, decry the mentality of these types of schools while seeking to help veterans avoid these traps.

“This is why veterans' services, VA coordinators, and even a chapter of the Student Veterans Association are so vital to college campuses,” Path said in a blog on The Huffington Post. “They provide a support system that so many new veterans need as they balance school, family and possibly a disability or counseling.”

Despite the fact that, as reported by the Associated Press on Friday, a million veterans have now taken advantage of the post-9/11 GI Bill, which offers tuition support to veterans, 26 percent of veterans older than 25 don’t have a bachelor’s degree, which shows how serious this problem with certain colleges may be.

For this reason, individuals and organizations around the country are attempting to support veterans as much as possible, such as in the case of the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, which donated the first in a series of $30,000 grants to the Veterans Resource Center at Clark College, as reported by The Columbian. Another example is Gtech Corp., which donated a new computer lab to the Veterans Center at Sierra College, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.

For these people and groups, Veterans Day is more than just remembering the men and women who have served; it’s about showing appreciation for that service.

Sam Clemence is an intern for Deseret News where he works with the opinion section staff and as a reporter for the enterprise team.

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