Indiana News

Legislators Hope to Smooth Veterans' Transition to College

3/7/2013

Veterans may find it easier to go back to school under a bill working its way through the General Assembly.

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The "combat to college" bill requires large universities to make special accommodations for veterans. Richard A. Jewell, the American Legion's Indiana commander, says the bill began with veterans attending IUPUI who complained they felt out of place amid much younger students with whom they felt they had little in common.

The bill authored by LaGrange Senator Susan Glick (R) calls for schools with more than 200 veterans in their student body to set up a centralized admissions-and-financial aid office for them. It also calls for academic guidance and job-placement programs designed specifically for veterans. Jewell notes the oft-quoted statistic that unemployment is twice as high among veterans as among other workers of the same age -- he suggests some employers don't understand the applicability of skills learned in the military, while others fear veterans will still be dealing with battlefield trauma.

The bill would require university counseling programs for veterans with disabilities or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously and is awaiting a hearing in the House.

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