The Senate Higher Education Committee recently released a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senator Chris Brown that would establish an annual grant program to recognize public colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of veteran programs and services.
Sen. Chris Brown’s legislation establishes an annual grant program to recognize public colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of veteran programs and services. (SenateNJ.com)
“Every time I hear about another veteran committing suicide or losing their home, I feel we should and can do more to help our veterans find stability and purpose in civilian life,” said Brown. “Earning a college degree can play a large role in helping a veteran transition into civilian life, but while on campus, veterans should have access to other support services.”
This bill establishes an annual grant program under the State’s Troops to College Program to award up to three public colleges and universities $150,000 each for demonstrating that the school offers a comprehensive array of services, benefits, and programs for veterans attending the institution.
“I am very proud of Stockton University and Atlantic Cape Community College for their outstanding efforts to make veterans feel welcome, appreciated, and supported on campus,” Brown said. “The State should reward colleges and universities that put veterans in a position to succeed.”
Among the factors the State would consider in awarding the grant would be:
- the total number of veterans enrolled in the institution;
- the existence of a veterans’ affairs office at the institution and the number of staff assigned to the office;
- the level of academic and staff support provided to veterans enrolled in the institution;
- the number and type of extracurricular activities designed for and offered to veterans enrolled in the institution;
- the amount of institutional funds allocated to support veterans enrolled in the institution, including the number of scholarships offered to veteran students;
- whether the institution offers veteran housing or provides an area on campus where veteran students may meet and discuss issues of common interest;
- the course completion rate of veterans enrolled in the institution;
- the institution’s retention and graduation rates for veterans enrolled in the institution; and
- the employment and salary status of veterans six years following graduation from the institution.
“Most of our veterans return from service at a relatively young age, but they are wise and mature and, by exhibiting the willingness to work hard and accept personal responsibility, they naturally lead by example,” Brown said. “Veterans create an uplifting and inspirational presence for the entire college community.”