Just how military friendly are Washtenaw County's two public universities?
The county's two public universities —University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University— were ranked among the most military friendly institutions in the nation in 2012 by GI Jobs magazine.
That magazine asserts that 400,000 troops leave the military each year and become eligible for GI Bill benefits, which subsidize the majority of a student's college expenses.
At EMU, 475 students currently receive GI BIll benefits. The school has a total of 583 vets enrolled in classes.
At U-M, 244 student veterans receive benefits. The Ann Arbor university also has 729 faculty and staff veterans.
Here's some of the benefits the two schools offer:
- Both schools participate in the GI Bill for veterans
- Both schools offer scholarships for military students.
- Both schools offer flexibility when active duty military are called to service during studies.
- U-M offers in-state tuition for military dependents (such as spouses and children) who don't meet residency requirements.
- U-M offers scholarships for the spouse of a veteran or active duty military member.
- EMU subsidizes child care for the children of military students who are taking classes at the school.
Additionally, EMU established an Office of Veterans Services in 2009. That office works with veterans to turn some of their military experiences into college credits. It also facilitates community among veterans.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
The office has a lounge center with computers and a television. On Friday, the program shows movies and serves popcorn, said Monique Coleman, EMU's director of veteran services.
EMU has also partnered with the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Hospital. Once a week, a social worker from the hospital visits the campus and offers counseling.
"We're still building that up," Coleman said.
U-M has a smilar office in place. The school's Student Veterans Assistance Program helps veterans and activity duty military by providing counseling and peer groups.
The national group Student Veterans of America was co-founded at U-M by former student and Air Force vet Derek Blumke —who has served three deployments in Afghanistan. That group now has more than 470 chapters throughout the nation.
Washtenaw Community College also is among GI Jobs magazine's most military-friendly institutions in 2012. Last year, the school had 218 active or retired military enrolled. The school also offers limited scholarships for military and allows military called to active service to return without penalty.