Military veterans attending Western on the GI Bill can keep going even if their veteran’s benefits run out before they finish their bachelor’s degrees.
Western is the first institution in the state to cover full tuition and fees for undergraduates who have exhausted their veterans’ education benefits. Beginning this fall quarter, veterans who have completed at least 24 credits on the GI Bill at Western are eligible for the tuition and fee waiver.
About 150 veterans are going through Western on the Post 9/11 GI Bill. And most veterans complete their degrees before their benefits run out, says Ann Beck, Western’s assistant director of Veteran’s Services.
But each quarter, one or two Western students find their veteran’s benefits won’t last to graduation. One recently told Beck he was thinking about dropping out of Western and enrolling in a vocational program while he still had benefits left so he could complete on time. She told him to stick around, because help was on the way.
“For the veterans who run out of benefits, it is so frustrating, because they are pursuing a degree they care about and have an end career goal in mind,” Beck says. “Suddenly, they are scrambling to figure out how to pay their tuition.
“They are committed to the Western community, and we want to show them the same commitment with this waiver. We want to see them through to the end.”