Celebrating our Veterans through Improved Access to Higher Education

By Linda Jeschofnig, Founder and CEO of Hands-On Labs 

This week, America honors the hundreds of thousands of Veterans who have so-well served our country and kept it safe from harm’s way. More than ever, since WWII, Veterans are seeking to improve their futures by going to college. The 2009 post- 9/11 GI Bill and numerous institutional initiatives are helping them do so.

The new GI Bill provides Veterans with excellent educational opportunities by covering the cost for in-state tuition and providing stipends to help with books and living expenses. These payments can be applied toward specialized training certificates, apprentice programs, college degrees, and even graduate programs. See:http://www.gibill.va.gov/.

Many colleges and universities have created special services, programs, and even facilities to serve the needs of America’s Veterans. Schools as diverse as theUniversity of Maryland in College Park,  Palm Beach State College in Florida,Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio, and Texas Tech University in Lubbock have allocated resources into special programs for Vets to help them develop the skills they need for college acceptance and subsequent academic success. The services these programs offer range from financial aid to individual tutoring plus provide a community within which Vets can relate with fellow Vets as they pursue their educational goals. Colleges that focus on developing Vet-directed programs have enjoyed substantial increases in Vet enrollments which have also led to increased employment of Vets in their communities.

Online college courses and programs have huge appeal to Veterans. The convenience and flexibility of online courses usually better fit Vets’ busy lifestyles and preferred learning styles. Online courses, especially in the laboratory sciences, also give Vets the comfort of being able to take as long as they need to absorb the materials without the pressure of limited class time and laboratory schedules. Hands-On Labs is especially proud of the fact that its LabPaq products have allowed thousands of Veterans and Military Service personnel to complete their college lab science courses completely online.

GI benefits are as equally applicable to online courses as they are to campus-based courses.  Most online colleges and universities actively solicit Veteran enrollments. Some institutions such as the University of Phoenix and Western Governors’ Universityeven offer special tuition and scholarship awards to Vets, military personnel, and their spouses.

The brave men and women who comprise America’s ranks of Veterans have helped provide a more secure and prosperous future for the citizens of our country. In return, it is only fitting that America help provide a more secure and prosperous future for its Veterans via improved access to higher education. Hands-On Labs is delighted to be part of this process.

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