Jan. 16, 2018
Biola University has bolstered veteran support on campus by increasing the university’s financial contributions to the Yellow Ribbon Program — the GI Education Enhancement Program’s matching initiative. Through Biola’s increased financial contribution to the Yellow Ribbon Program, along with the establishment of a new Biola Veterans Association and community outreach campaign, Biola is providing more support to veteran students and their dependents.
The Yellow Ribbon Program, a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, allows veterans to enroll at private institutions and graduate programs that exceed in-state tuition costs. Biola’s contribution to the matching portion of the program allows veterans who are 100 percent eligible under the Post-9/11 GI Bill to attend Biola University tuition-free. Additionally, last year’s 32 student cap on the Yellow Ribbon Program has been lifted, allowing an unlimited number of eligible prospective veteran students to access these benefits.
Biola also offers assistance from other veteran education benefit programs such as the Montgomery GI Bill, VA Vocational Rehabilitation, Dependents Educational Assistance and Selected Reserve.
In addition to supporting students through the Yellow Ribbon Program, Student Development recently launched the Biola Veterans Association (BVA), a chapter of Student Veterans of America. Student Development formed the BVA after observing a need for additional resources to aid veterans transitioning into civilian life.
“Four years ago we had an event and realized there was a large group of veterans on campus who needed support,” said Jennifer Alvarez, administrative coordinator for commuter life, who helped develop the new BVA, with Katie Tuttle, director of commuter life.
The Student Veterans of America, a non-profit organization focused on addressing the needs and concerns of American military veterans, was established nearly a decade ago. Since then, universities across the nation have created campus chapters. The Biola chapter will provide spiritual and emotional resources for veterans to offer support and camaraderie to one another on campus. The resources are also available to students who are active duty military members and their families.
“The best support for a veteran is another veteran,” said Joshua Allen, Biola student veteran and president of BVA. “[The BVA] brings in a community of veterans who support others [and] are able to work together to discuss what is going on spiritually, emotionally, and academically.”
Membership is open to all veterans on campus seeking fellowship and an environment to connect with others who have served in the military.
Biola is also hosting a holiday Mail for Heroes campaign — a new partnership between the City of La Mirada and Biola University. Students, staff and faculty will be given the chance to acknowledge the men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States through sending holiday mail to them.
The campaign gives students the opportunity to write handwritten letters for veterans who live in the city of La Mirada and Biola’s local community.
There will be on-campus opportunities for students, faculty and staff to write letters to veterans on Nov. 10 to Nov. 29.
For more information on Biola’s veteran services, visit the Biola website.
Written by Kili Wall, public relations intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, Media Relations Manager, at (562) 777-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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