Every military/veteran student has challenges that arise from being a veteran or even currently being in the military.  This is largely subjective to every individual for two reasons.  The first is simply that each person is going to have varying degrees of difficulty with the transition to a civilian environment from a personal standpoint.  The second reason that give rise to these challenges is the process of utilizing benefits of various and different programs and the procedures involved.

The University of Denver has been the ideal fit for me as a student-veteran due to their practices and policies.  In fact, these practices directly address student-veteran challenges.  In both personal and professional matters, Daniels has made the transition for me as seamless and productive as can be.

HAVING PEERS EXPERIENCING THE SAME CHALLENGES IS IMPORTANT

On a personal level I have been surrounded by not only outstanding peers, professors and faculty but also several fellow military/veteran students.  Having individuals that are in a similar situation in these matters helps immensely.  Being able to speak to other members of the armed forces is key to the transition back into an education environment.  It is important to talk about, laugh and joke and discuss the changes taking place within and around us.

A great example (among many) is language.  I think that has been a great point of discussion for my group of veteran peers.  It is hard to lose vernacular that we have been forced to speak in for years.  The “P.O.D.” is not required reading, we are not a “klick” across campus and our colleagues do not necessarily have an “E.T.A.” on their “contingency Comms plan”.  This (as well as a long list of more colorful language) is difficult to change.  Having the ability to make light of this with peers and keep this on the forefront of our mind makes the change much more fluid.

A STREAMLINED PROCESS WITH OUTSTANDING FACULTY IS A LIFELINE

Any veteran can tell the horror-stories of bureaucracy in the military.  Paperwork can take, quite literally, days for even routine operations.  Maintenance, permission, safety checks, redundancy and so on, all add up to paperwork that leaves the preparer open to mistakes and is time consuming.

DU has a secret weapon to combat the pitfalls of excessive paperwork.  Our current military certifying official, Michelle Hanson, has made this endeavor a pleasure.  That’s right…a pleasure.  The students utilizing G.I. bill benefits (Montgomery, Post-9/11, Yellow Ribbon) have one, single, short and straight-forward form to fill out.  This is done ONCE!  One time.  Ever.  She takes care of certifying course credit, tuition payments and verifying your status to receive your monthly allotment (BAH).

Having the ability to let veteran students focus on the mental shift to schoolwork, and not have to constantly be concerned with tuition, payments and certifications is amazing.  This distinguishing characteristic of the University of Denver is quintessential to making my experience here as wonderful as it has been.

FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS

Daniels College of Business has made a concerted effort to improve the offered benefits to veterans by maintaining large military kicker scholarships, increasing the Yellow Ribbon by 100% to meet tuition needs, and offering veteran specific positions for graduate assistant and student government roles.  The commitment to veterans has not ended there.  Actively seeking military/veteran students and maintaining our “secret weapon” all combine to make this the absolute IDEAL environment for me.

I’m not only happy with my decision to pursue my education here at Daniels, I am proud of it. I have made it a point to share this with as many prospective military/veteran students as possible for all the reasons I have discussed.  I cherish my time in the military and am proud of all that I accomplished there.  Now, I feel similarly about Daniels.

GO PIOS!

Links provided to Military/Veteran Services below:

Office of the Registrar, Military Services, Michelle Hanson contact information:

http://www.du.edu/registrar/military.html

University of Denver Veteran Services and the Student Veteran Association:

http://www.du.edu/veterans/sva/