Veterans bring life experience and a unique perspective to college classrooms. So why aren’t vets found on the campuses of the most selective schools in the US?
Out of about 1 million veterans and their family members enrolled in higher education under the GI Bill, just 844 veterans are enrolled in the nation’s 36 most selective schools.
“In leadership and life, symbolism counts. Intentional or not, the low numbers of veterans signals to all of higher ed that these students do not matter,” community college writing professor Wick Sloane told The Hechinger Report.
Even when these schools try to reach veterans, application criteria and a lack of understanding about the military system and experience works against many students.
For example, Princeton University (NJ) previously didn’t allow students who had taken any college courses after high school to apply.
“That was a huge penalty to military veterans,” Elizabeth Colagiuri, the deputy dean at Princeton and a Navy veteran herself, told Hechinger.
Princeton rescinded this restriction in 2017 and ended up admitting five veterans as freshmen in the following year’s class.
Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.