College Board and Ithaka S+R Host Veterans Week Conference to Increase the Number of Veterans Who Enroll In, and Graduate From, College
Higher education and veteran leaders highlight solutions for improving the transition from the military to college, enriching campus support for veterans, and increasing veteran graduation
Arlington, Virginia — The College Board and Ithaka S+R are partnering to improve college opportunities for veterans. At a kickoff conference held November 13-14, they convened more than 100 leaders from higher education, military, and veterans service organizations who announced their commitment to increasing the enrollment and graduation of veterans at colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates. The following organizations announced the steps they will take to achieve these important goals:
- The American Council on Education (ACE) will support expanded opportunities for veterans by providing workshops for high graduation rate schools and by sharing emerging success stories across the higher education sector.
- The Coalition for College, in addition to its veterans application fee waiver, will connect veterans who receive college-planning assistance from community-based and/or college access organizations that are part of its Registry with Coalition schools that seek veterans’ unique skills, including leadership, teamwork, and service.
- The College Board will make it easier for colleges and universities to recruit veterans by expanding its Search program to service members. This will shine a light on veterans who might otherwise be overlooked and allow colleges and veterans to begin discussing their transition to campus earlier. The College Board is also launching a webpage (www.collegeboard.org/military) to help service members make the most of their education benefits while still in the military.
- The Common Application is developing a more inclusive military friendly application highlighting the service experience of veterans, creating new resources for navigating the college application process and learning about institutions that offer programs and fee-waivers for veterans, and, through the Reach Higher initiative, celebrating the stories of veterans who have successfully navigated from military life to and through college.
- The Posse Foundation will double the number of students it serves by 2025, adding six to eight university partners to serve 500-600 veteran students each year.
- Service to School is renewing its commitment to transforming higher education for veterans by specifically committing to support the fastest growing population of veterans: women. Service to School will work with colleges and universities to understand how they can create and showcase policies and programs that will attract and support women veterans to the student body.
- More than 30 member institutions of the American Talent Initiative (ATI)—a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported collaboration between the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program, Ithaka S+R, and a growing alliance of colleges and universities—have committed to increase their recruitment, enrollment, and support of student veterans, as part of the broader ATI effort to enroll and graduate an additional 50,000 low- and moderate-income students by 2025.
"Veterans deserve every opportunity to earn the best possible education," said David Coleman, CEO of the College Board. "Together with our partners, we are committed to helping many more veterans enter and complete college. These men and women have chosen to serve, and we must help clear a path for them to continue to own their futures."
"Only one in ten veteran students is enrolling in the colleges and universities that have the highest graduation rates," said Catharine Hill, managing director of Ithaka S+R. "But we know they can succeed at these institutions. We also know that they will enrich the educational experience for all, bringing their diverse life experiences and skills into the classroom and onto the college campus."
"Over half of all service members enter higher education within seven months of leaving the military, where they outperform their classmates who have never served," said Jared Lyon, CEO of Student Veterans of America. With over 1,500 chapters representing 750,000 student veterans in higher education, SVA is committed to sharing the voice of the largest student-centric, chapter-based organization in higher education. "Imagine the impact if the highest performing colleges and universities more actively recruited them, enrolled them, and included them when building inclusive classes."
The conference provided concrete guidance on how to improve the recruitment, support, and graduation of veterans. Several college and university leaders shared how they have improved college opportunities for veterans through targeted advising, veteran-friendly admission policies, improved veteran support, and transfer programs.
The agenda for the conference, including participants, can be found here.
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About Ithaka S+R
Ithaka S+R (sr.ithaka.org) provides research and strategic guidance to help the academic and cultural communities serve the public good and navigate economic, demographic, and technological change. We generate action-oriented research for institutional decision-making and act as a hub to promote and guide collaboration across the communities we serve. With our partners, we design and evaluate projects that make higher education, scholarly communication, and cultural collections more accessible to diverse populations.
Ithaka S+R is part of ITHAKA (ithaka.org), a not-for-profit organization that works to advance and preserve knowledge and to improve teaching and learning through the use of digital technologies.