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Tarleton announces new benefits for VA students, named as Military Friendly School

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 15, 2009

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS—Tarleton State University is proud to call itself home to a student body diverse in age, ethnicity and cultural background. The university recently revived its commitment to a particular group on campus when it was named as one of the top Military Friendly Schools in the nation.

“G.I. Jobs”, a magazine that devotes itself to the success of U.S. veterans, bestowed the honor upon Tarleton. The university was recognized as one of the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the nation that do the most to embrace America’s veterans as students.

Tarleton has many programs in place to benefit military and former military students. Most notably, has been the school’s response to the passage of the congressional Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

“Any veteran that served anytime after Sept. 11, 2001, may be eligible for benefits through the bill,” said Elizabeth Johnson, Tarleton’s Veterans Affairs coordinator. “It can pay up to 100 percent of tuition and fees and also includes a stipend for housing, books and other necessities.”

There has already been a great response to the bill, which went into effect at the beginning of the school year.

“We have seen an approximate 30 percent increase in students applying for V.A. benefits over this time last year,” Johnson said. “And there are more coming in constantly.”

Tarleton certified 196 students for Fall 2009 with at least 30 additional students waiting for VA to verify eligibility.

“Tarleton’s current and former military students add to the distinctive culture of the university,” said Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio. “We have a long and rich military history at Tarleton, and we are honored to help meet the educational needs of those who serve our country. We have and will continue to implement programs that strengthen our designation as a Military Friendly University.”

The university has stepped up its efforts to accommodate these students. Since receiving the title of Military Friendly School, departments across campus have taken the initiative to develop programs and events for military students.

“Tarleton’s push to truly live up to the ‘military friendly’ title stemmed from President Dottavio,” Johnson said. “Since then, many departments have really embraced it. They’ve stepped forward and asked what they can do to help.”

Many events are scheduled for the upcoming year including a campus-wide recognition for Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11) and a reception for all V.A. students during Homecoming week.

The university also plans to designate its final home football game of the season as a “Military Recognition” game with free admittance to those with a military I.D. and patriotic events planned throughout the evening.

“The average V.A. student is around 28 years old and has had different experiences than other groups on campus,” Johnson said. “We recognize that they have different needs than other students. Our focus is truly on providing a home for these students and making them feel welcome at Tarleton.”

For more information about Tarleton’s programs for V.A. students, contact Johnson at ejohnson@tarleton.edu. More information about the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill can be found by visiting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Web site at www.gibill.va.gov.

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