Veterans returning from deployments face obstacles on many levels. While substance abuse, mental health issues, and medical conditions top the list, many veterans are also struggling with simply finding a job. Fighting against unemployment, veterans are enrolling in college to give them an additional weapon in their personal arsenal.
The Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (HECB) statistics show a significant increase in veterans having enrolled in college since the beginning of the recession. Coupling the sparse availability of civilian jobs with the general inapplicability of military skills to the private sector, enrolling in college seems to be the best way for veteran-soldiers to become more marketable to employers.
Enrolling in college helps veterans, the institutions in which those veterans enroll, and the states’ economies. In the State of Washington in fiscal 2009, Washington veteran-students used $119.5 million in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) money on educational and vocational training. The VA’s statistics report this as being a 25% increase over the previous year in federal education benefits being put into Washington.
Because of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, more veterans are enrolling in college to increase their skill levels and become more employable. Many skilled jobs in such fields as construction have declined. Because of this decline, fewer veterans are enrolling in skills-oriented training such as:
- Apprenticeship programs; and
- On-the-job training programs.
While more veterans enrolling in college is generally considered a good thing, their presence resulted in both public colleges and universities being over-enrolled to the tune of almost 11%. Over-enrolled schools result in:
- Crowded classrooms;
- Greater difficulty registering for classes;
- Fewer teaching assistants; and
- Less lab time available for students.
While there may be some drawbacks to a mass amount of veterans all enrolling in school at once, it’s wonderful that these veterans are able to enroll in college and train for their future.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.