Universities Working to Ease Veterans Back into School

Tim Goral's picture

Anthony Arnold left college his freshman year to enlist in the Navy.

When he returned to finish his undergraduate degree five years later, he wasn't like everyone else. He was older. He was trained in military intelligence. He had spent 15 months in Afghanistan.

"You have some students here who are 18, 19, who have never left the state of Indiana," said Arnold, now 29 and an Indiana University law student. "And their biggest concern is what they're wearing to the party Friday night.

"And then you have older students who have served in a war zone and fought in combat. And so their priorities are different."

With the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, hundreds of thousands of military veterans have come home — and gone back to school. Colleges across the country are scrambling to support growing student veteran populations that don't fit in so neatly on campuses of backpack-toting, fresh-out-of-high-school teenagers.

They're trying to make education accessible for people who volunteered to serve this country. But do colleges really understand what veterans need? Are these students graduating from public universities? In how many years?

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