Veterans of military service who are students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham now have a new space dedicated to their needs and greater support from the university through scholarships and credits.The new space for UAB’s veteran student population is in the heart of campus. The new Office of Veterans Recruitment and Student Services will host an open house from noon-2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Suite 313 of the new Hill Student Center, 1400 University Blvd. UAB's Vice President for Student Affairs John Jones III, Ph.D., will speak.
Officials there will also formally announce a new Yellow Ribbon scholarship commitment and a sixfold increase in the number of military credits that UAB will accept and apply toward a degree, from four to 24.
UAB has a rich history of supporting veterans, and the new efforts continue that commitment through improved scholarship offerings and by increasing the limit of acceptable military credits, says Bradley Barnes, Ph.D., vice provost for enrollment management.
“Specifically, by increasing the availability and value of our Yellow Ribbon scholarship to an unlimited status, qualifying nonresident veterans may be able to attend UAB tuition-free,” Barnes said. “Additionally, veterans will now be able to transfer in an additional 20 semester hours of military credit for a total of 24 hours, aimed to improve timely progress toward degree completion.”
The Yellow Ribbon Program at UAB will now expand to include graduate students as well as undergraduates. Effective fall 2016, UAB will support this military scholarship program with no limits placed on scholarship amount or number of students. Veterans earn credits depending on their experience; many veterans have taken classes in leadership and communications during training. Those credits may be directly applicable to the student’s major.
The UAB Veterans Student Center, directed by retired U.S. Army veteran Walter C. Stewart III, provides a place for veteran students to socialize as well as to participate in activities that are specific to members of the military population and their families. The center offers computer access, resource materials, and lounge and study space. Center staff members provide information and counseling on benefits eligibility, Veterans Administration educational services and other veteran-specific information. One important goal is to enhance this population’s sense of community at UAB. VRSS staff members are committed to help in the transition from military to civilian life as well as assisting these students as they progress in their academic careers, Stewart says.