New Data Show the Majority of MA Veterans Choose State Colleges, Universities for Education

Posted by erik devaney

Courtesy of Associated Press

When Massachusetts’ veterans return home to the Bay State in pursuit of higher education, most are turning to public campuses.

According to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 58 percent of Massachusetts student veterans (and their dependents) who make use of GI Bill benefits are choosing to enroll at the state’s community colleges, state universities and the University of Massachusetts

Most of these recipients - 71.9 percent - are drawing benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill program (Chapter 33). Of these students, 32 percent are enrolling in Massachusetts’ community colleges, 15 percent at the University of Massachusetts, and 10 percent at state universities.

Bunker Hill Community College, UMass Boston and Bridgewater State University are leaders in their respective categories when it comes to the overall number of Post-9/11 GI Bill beneficiaries enrolled.

“Our administration applauds all returning veterans who have enrolled in one of the many higher education institutions in Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray during a meeting of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services, which he chairs. The Lt. Governor also announced a new sub-committee within the Council that will include representatives from all higher education institutions, including many of the public institutions with enrolled student veterans using GI Bill Benefits.

“As we continue to promote a range of services and benefits for all veterans, including GI Bill benefits, we welcome designated representatives from public and private higher education institutions who will be participating on the Council and bringing back information about the state’s comprehensive services and benefits to their college community,” said Murray.

Massachusetts student veterans attending the state’s public colleges and universities have their tuition and mandatory fees paid — in full — under the terms of the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvement Act of 2010. The benefit, which is not capped, applies to both undergraduate and graduate programs in the state’s public higher education system.

Additionally, Massachusetts offers all veterans a public higher education tuition waiver, which serves to compliment the GI Bill and enables all resident veterans who may not qualify for GI Bill benefits to pursue degree and certificate programs at reduced cost.

“As a veteran and as an educational leader, these data confirm what I know from campus visits to be true, namely that our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses offer the support, flexible scheduling options, and deep-seated appreciation that our returning veterans deserve,” said Charles F. Desmond, Ed.D., Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.

Between 2007 and 2011, enrollment of student veterans and dependents at the state’s community colleges has more than doubled.

“The community college is particularly well-suited to help veterans convert their military experience into civilian employment,” said John J. Sbrega, president of Bristol Community College. Dr. Sbrega is a Vietnam vet who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for missions under fire and who was named Veteran of the Year this week by the New Bedford Veterans Transition House to recognize his commitment to veterans’ services.

Sbrega continued, “Veterans bring unique experiences to the classroom, but they and their loved ones also need services that shake loose bureaucracy and clear the path from college to career. Quick entry into the workforce is our specialty.”

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  4. Governor Patrick Announces New Plan for Helping MA Veterans Find Employment
  5. Poll Shows Majority of RI Lawmakers Opposed to Immigrant In-State Tuition Policy, Senator DiPalma Tells New England Post Why Opposition is so Strong

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Posted by erik devaney on Nov 10 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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