By the Numbers - Nov. 23, 2015

By the Numbers - Nov. 23, 2015


The number of Veterans who have used GI Bill higher education benefits as of 2014, according to a new report from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University -- Missing Perspectives: Servicemembers Transition From Service to Civilian Life.

While this sounds like a very large number -- representing about $12 billion per year, covering higher education/training/licensing/credentialing programs -- it actually includes less than half of eligible Veterans, according to the report.

The IVFM research -- which surveyed about 8,500 Service members (active duty, National Guard and Reserves, Veterans, and some families) -- found that the number one problem/barrier to pursuing education was lack of financial resources (56%). Other issues included personal/family obligations (28%), expiration of GI Bill benefits (25%), health/disability problems (23%), and conflict between work and school (22%).

Among those actively pursuing higher education, according to the survey, the top five problems were:

  • Age differences with other students (37%)
  • Lack of financial resources (32%)
  • Working full time jobs (32%)
  • Family responsibilities (29%)
  • Few veteran resources on campus (26%).

Additionally, more than one in five Veterans in college indicated discomfort sharing their military background on campus.

All of these issues notwithstanding, 92% of those surveyed "indicated that education should play a role in their post-service transition."

Are you a behavioral health provider working in a university or college community? The Center for Deployment Psychology's University Counseling Center Core Competency (UC4) program offers valuable and engaging training in an in-person full-day presentation comprising interactive, didactic, and workshop components that address:

  • The culture and experience of Service members and veterans on campus
  • The deployment cycle and its impact on students
  • Reintegration on campus
  • An overview of treatments for PTSD on campus
  • Culturally competent clinical interventions with student veterans