A few weeks ago, we reported that Student Veterans of America revoked charter membership at a number of for-profit schools. The schools were charged with violating the terms of their agreement with SVA, which includes a clause stipulating the chapters would be run by student Veterans.
SVA’s executive director weighed in on why the violations are significant:
1) It defrauds veterans seeking advice from SVA’s student leaders;
2) It deters veterans who would otherwise form chapters at these campuses;
3) It misrepresents these chapters as being a point of contact for veterans seeking out their peers who can help them with transition issues and introduce them to a community of individuals that share similar experiences;
4) It undermines the legitimacy and reputation of SVA.
Many military and veteran-friendly school lists cite having a SVA chapter as a criterion for becoming ‘veteran-friendly’. The term ‘military-friendly’, or ‘veteran-friendly’, as it relates to academic institutions is ill-defined.
The last point is considerably relevant and concerning. Out of the 26 schools that saw their SVA chapters pulled, 14 appeared on a major “military friendly” school list, which is then used by for-profits to attract active duty troops and Veterans. One school with three revoked SVA chapters took the number one spot in the online and nontraditional category for the Military Times Edge “Best for Vets: Colleges 2011”.
Universities and colleges are increasingly the place where Veterans choose to go for their first foray into the post-military world. Their choices and experiences will impact the rest of their lives, so it’s important that student Vets make the most of their time and benefits. Be sure to do your own research (along with our handy pointers) so you can make the best informed decision possible.