Today’s veterans face tremendous obstacles in their path of attaining a college degree. These challenges range from a missing sense of camaraderie to a lack of understanding by university faculty and peers. When coupled with the visible and invisible wounds of war, a college degree seems to be an elusive goal for men and women returning from military service. Student Veterans of America (SVA) makes that goal a reality.
To provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation.
Perhaps the most significant challenge facing student veterans is feeling like an outsider on a campus of 18-year-old “traditional” students. Not only are veterans typically older, but they have radically different life experiences and many are first-generation college students. A campus seemingly void of peers with shared experiences makes it even more difficult for a veteran to integrate into the normal flow of college life. SVA chapters are the “boots on the ground” that help veterans overcome such challenges. Each is a local student organization run by and for student veterans. In fact, 61% of respondents in a RAND study rated the support they received from fellow veterans as “quite or extremely helpful to the pursuit of their educational goals.” Social interactions within each chapter are a major component of that success.
Currently, SVA has over 500 chapters in 50 states and 2 foreign countries. Now, SVA is diversifying our set of programs for quality assurance and maximum impact. Our scholarship programs focus on meeting the needs of 21st century demands by providing financial support to student veterans majoring in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering. With the decline in the economy and value of internships increasing, SVA has also launched the internship support program to provide financial incentives to student veterans accepting unpaid internships. We understand the value of internships and want to ensure veterans aren't deterred by a lack of financial support.
Student Veterans of America website: www.studentveterans.org
UM SVA Facebook Page: Student Veterans Association: University of Montana