California University of Pennsylvania’s dedicated Military and Veterans Center of Excellence provides resources for veterans, assists with benefits, and provides support for current and former service members, reservists, and their eligible family members. In addition, service members around the world are enrolled in 100 percent online degree programs through Cal U Global Online, which offers a discounted tuition rate for active-duty military, veterans, and their eligible dependents. Cal U is recognized as a Vietnam War Commemorative Partner. Cal U is active in the National Association of Veterans Program Administrators, Council of College and Military Educators, and the Western Pennsylvania Veterans Academic Alliance, and it recognized student veterans for their academic and service achievements through the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society. Dating back to the early 1970s, Cal U’s Veterans Club and Student Veterans chapter is one of the most active clubs on campus. The Cal U Veteran’s Club has hosted an annual Veterans dinner dating back to 1973. Since 2013, Cal U honors alumni, faculty, staff, and family members of university employees by displaying military and veteran banners throughout campus during November. Cal U is part of the Three Rivers Battalion Army R.O.T.C. program. Additionally, Cal U offers students the opportunity to participate in the Air Force R.O.T.C. program through a cross-town agreement with the University of Pittsburgh.
Cheyney University welcomes all veterans, eligible dependents, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and active duty personnel. Cheyney is committed to meeting their educational and campus community goals. The Office of the Registrar provides information about GI Bill and other available educational benefits and is the office where veterans, eligible dependents, members of the National Guard, and selected reserves may apply for their benefits.
Clarion University strives to support the transition of students from their military experience to higher education. The university has a director of veteran services and a Veterans Service Office staffed by student veteran workers, along with an adjacent veterans’ lounge. The VSO is the advocate for student veterans on campus, assisting in coordination registration, financial services, GI Bill, disability services, admissions, and tutoring services. The VSO performs GI Bill certifications and advocates for service members to receive the maximum acceptance of transfer credits based on military experience and training. It is also involved in new student and faculty orientation, ensuring the awareness of veteran programs and sensitivity to veteran issues. Clarion has been awarded the Military Friendly Gold Designation by Military Times. Also, the Pennsylvania National Guard Association has designated Clarion a PNGAS Guard-Friendly School. The Presidential Commission on Veterans on Veteran and Military Affairs includes representatives from all administrative offices across campus. The university maintains a Student Veterans of American Club on its Clarion campus and a Veterans Club on its Venango campus. The university has teamed with Butler V.A. to provide mental health care for student veterans via a Tele-Health program. Clarion’s Department of Library Science is collaborating with the Library of Congress to conduct interviews for the Veterans History Project.
East Stroudsburg University’s Student Veterans Center is a one-stop shop that assists students with everything from applying for financial aid and veterans’ benefits to registering for classes and helping to ensure they are prepared for graduation. It processes all veteran education benefits, including Federal Tuition Assistance, the Educational Assistance Program, GI Bill, and ROTC scholarships for Army and Air Force. The center, which is a designated Green Zone, also hosts a series of weekly meetings for veterans on a variety of topics ranging from employment opportunities to healthcare. The Veterans Task Force meets regularly to identify issues that student veterans are experiencing and implements strategies to help alleviate some of these issues and concerns. ESU extends credit for military training and service, DANTES, and CLEP tests. The university holds a veteran meet and greet every academic semester, a 9/11 moving flag tribute, and a Veterans Day celebration. The office assists with the organization, set-up, and commencing of the Monroe County Veterans Day Parade. The Veterans of ESU Club is part of the Student Veterans of America. ESU is part of the National Association for Veterans and Program Administrators, A’s for Vets, Monroe County Veterans Association, and the Association of Veteran Education Certifying Officials.
Edinboro University has been recognized among the top 15 percent of higher education institutions nationwide in service to veterans, earning G.I. Jobs’ Military Friendly ® designation in each of the last 10 years, earning Gold Status for 2020-21. At the center of the university’s support for veterans and military families is the EU Veterans Success Center, which was founded on campus in 2012. The center serves as a one-stop shop for assistance to veterans, active military, and military dependents, providing expert guidance for all GI Bill programs and other services. Also, Edinboro University and the Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center have partners to make VA Telehealth Services available to veterans through the university’s Ghering Health Center and through the organization’s mobile applications.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Military and Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) serves as a one-stop shop, providing a wide range of services for military, veterans, and military-affiliated students and family members. Student workers who are veterans or military-affiliated staff the center. More than 4,000 individuals have visited the MVRC since its opening, and staff members have helped more than 750 IUP students to use their GI Bill benefits. The center also coordinates special Veterans Day events and campus-wide programming. IUP has an active Veterans Outreach Committee that meets regularly to improve university services to students who are veterans, a Veterans Support Group, and a Student Veterans Organization. The MVRC director sits on a number of advisory boards of organizations that provide assistance to veterans and their families. IUP has one of the largest Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in Pennsylvania, commissioning its 2,000th cadet in May 2015 and counting 12 generals among its ROTC graduates. The IUP ROTC program has earned the MacArthur Award, a national award given to the top programs in the country. IUP ROTC is also a three-time recipient of the Governor’s Trophy, presented to the most outstanding military science program at a Pennsylvania college or university. IUP is a Yellow Ribbon university and is recognized routinely by military publications for excellence. IUP was recognized as a 2020 Best for Vets university by Military Times and as a Guard Friendly School by the Pennsylvania National Guard Association.
Kutztown University provides a supportive atmosphere in a thriving campus environment. Military-aware, appreciative and knowledgeable faculty and staff are dedicated to meeting the needs of our military-affiliated students (veterans and family members using benefits). A centrally located Veterans Services Center, staffed with a coordinator, provides a place where students can relax or study, obtain military benefits assistance and services that ease the transition from the military to college environment. To make the pursuit of academic goals more manageable, veterans liaisons assist with a variety of services such as priority class registration, military excused absence and deployment options, academic advising, career planning, counseling and disability services. KU participates in the MyCAA spouse program and students receive academic credit for equivalent military training and DANTES (CLEP, DSST). Leadership and learning opportunities exist through military-related programming, the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), Student Veteran Organization and SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society. Scholarship opportunities are provided through the local business community and local American Legion chapter. Student-veterans are recognized for their achievements with patriotic honor cords worn at commencement and challenge coins presented for excellence. Faculty and staff participate in Veterans Green Zone awareness training and an advisory board of administrators, faculty, staff, students and local VA and veteran-related organizations meet regularly to assess university needs. KU is military-committed and recognized as a top-ranked university by prominent publications and organizations for its veteran-friendly policies and practices.
Lock Haven University’s veterans’ advisory group meets monthly to coordinate university efforts in identifying and meeting the needs of student veterans, as well as veterans in the community. The group coordinates Veterans’ Appreciation Month activities celebrated in November, including an on-campus Community Veterans’ Expo, a Veteran Pinning Ceremony, and LHU Army ROTC’s Commemorative Run. In addition, LHU’s Student Veterans Alliance serves as a liaison for student veterans, providing a variety of resources and special services, including personal and financial counseling. A Veteran’s Center is available for all military and veteran students.
Mansfield University waives the application fee for all veterans. The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs offers counseling to enrolled veterans on benefits, career resources, and more. MU is a Yellow Ribbon Program participant. Mansfield University’s Veterans Support Group is comprised of campus and surrounding community professionals who meet regularly to discuss and implement ways to support military and veteran students, faculty, and staff. The MU chapter of Student Veterans of America (MUSVO) is open to all students, faculty, and staff who have served or are serving in the military. MUSVO offers a program that pairs each incoming student veteran with a current student veteran as a mentor. The group also offers several programs throughout the year for veterans and the entire campus community. The university’s Military Resource Center has computers, study space, a television, refrigerator, and microwave for student veterans to use. Several scholarships have been established at MU to provide recognition and financial assistance to veterans and active-duty personnel.
Millersville University provides resources for veterans to receive academic support and assistance in attending, transitioning through, and successfully graduating from college. Housed on campus at the Mercer House, the Veterans Resource Center and the Student Veterans Association welcomes veterans and military family members to share their experiences and explore opportunities for resources and leadership on campus in the community. It also serves as a source of fellowship and support for families of soldiers who are currently deployed or preparing for deployment. The School Certifying Official in Financial Aid handles paperwork for individuals applying for educational benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and ensures that veterans receive all of the benefits they are entitled to, including qualifying for the in-state tuition rate. Millersville coordinates with the VA’s work-study program to ensure that the students staffing the VRC are also GI-Bill recipients. Millersville is regularly recognized for being among the Military Friendly Employers ® and Schools and was honored with the Seven Seals Award by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. In 2020, Millersville received the gold classification for being Military Friendly from Victory Media. Millersville participates in the Concurrent Admissions Program with the Army, Army Reserves, and Army National Guard. In addition, Millersville offers as two-part, four-year program in military science, ROTC.
Shippensburg University offers a variety of programs and assistance-based services for military service members, veterans and their dependents. These services are centralized through the Veterans Service Office, whose mission is to help simplify the transition to continuing education. The Veterans Resource Center in the student union building is a relaxing place to study, eat and connect with those with a shared experience. Additional learning and outreach opportunities for student veterans include an active Student Veterans of America chapter and the Army ROTC Raider Battalion. The campus is an easy commute from Letterkenny Army Depot, U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Navy Support Activity in Mechanicsburg, National Guard Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap, and Army Medical Command installation at Fort Detrick.
Slippery Rock University sponsors a Student Veterans Center, providing veterans, their dependents, active duty personnel, reserve, and National Guard members, and ROTC cadets a place to gather, share information, and relax. The center’s location in the Smith Student Center supports a synergy and integration among student veterans, the Student Government Association, and other student activities, and is involved in fundraisers to benefit organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Foundation and the American Red Cross. SRU is utilizing grant money from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for an equine-assisted recreation program, which provides recreational therapy to veterans at the university’s Storm Harbor Equestrian Center. SRU was the first university in the country to participate in the Veterans Administration Telehealth system. Students are eligible to participate in the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps program. The university annually promotes several “Salute to the Military” activities at which former, current, and future military personnel are recognized and receive free admission. SRU has received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to prepare military veterans for teaching jobs in school districts and subjects that are in need of certified teachers. SRU’s chapter of Student Veterans of America (SVA) offers opportunities for social and education activities. In addition to fundraisers that benefit organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Foundation and the American Red Cross, the SVA has partnered with New Hope Assistance Dogs Inc. To raise funds and provide service dogs to student veterans at SRU.
West Chester University offers scholarships for returning veterans and provides a variety of services through its Veterans Center and the Student Veterans Group, including a weekly support group. The Veterans Center regularly connects with the West Chester VFW Post 106 for breakfast, support, and networking. Students are eligible to participate in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program through a formal cross-enrollment agreement with the Widener University Department of Military Science and in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) through an agreement with Saint Joseph’s University. The Greg and Sandra Weisenstein Veterans Center at West Chester strives to create an intentional culture of understanding, acceptance, and success for veterans, active military, and those who support them. The Veteran Center facilitates communication among campus offices to provide a coordinated system of service for a meaningful transition from the military to college. West Chester ranked 38th in the 2019 version of U.S. & World Report’s Best Colleges for Veterans.