Albany Times Union Op-Ed: N.Y. schools welcome veterans

Anthony G. Collins, Ph.D, President, Clarkson University

With today's observance of Veterans Day and remembrances throughout November, our nation recognizes all who have served with honor in the armed forces. New York's independent colleges and universities are among the nation's leaders in creating a year-round welcome for veterans, active duty service members and their children to pursue educational opportunities that further their careers and contributions to society.

Last year, more than 2,200 former service members exercised their federal benefits to enroll at one of New York's independent colleges. Early reports indicate hundreds more have enrolled this year. Through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program and the commitments of New York's independent institutions, New York and Texas stand out as creating the most generous tuition and aid benefits for armed service personnel. This is $1,010 per credit hour in New York, with additional aid for fees.

Many New York institutions also cover counseling needs and family support services outside of the VA program to assist in the sometimes difficult transition from active duty.I know my colleagues at other independent colleges share the same sense of honor and opportunity to show gratitude to the men and women who ensure our freedoms and liberties every day.

We also recognize the tremendous depth of experiences and perspectives they bring to the world view of all students and to the work force they will enter upon graduation. The website http://www.nycolleges.org/veterans provides many links to military friendly campus activities and how veterans can access these benefits.

My institution, Clarkson University, was named in August among the top 15 percent of all colleges as a military-friendly school by G.I. Jobs.Please join me in saluting a true bright spot in New York's commitments to veterans and to the enterprises across the state that will have the opportunity to benefit from veterans' skills and talents in the work force.