Helping Veterans Earn a UConn Degree

Stickers on a refrigerator at the Veterans Oasis in the Student Union. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

Stickers on a refrigerator at the Veterans Oasis in the Student Union. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

Seeking to further ease the way for veterans to earn their college degrees, the University of Connecticut recently announced two new initiatives.

Beginning this summer, the University will expand the current fall and spring tuition waiver for veterans to include courses during the summer and winter intersessions. This provides the opportunity for veterans admitted to UConn for an undergraduate or a graduate program to take courses tuition-free year round and pick their own timeframe for completing their degrees.

Additionally, beginning this fall, veterans applying to UConn will be able to do so at no cost. The Undergraduate Admissions office has agreed to waive all application fees for veterans.

“We did this because this is the right thing to do for our vets,” says Kristopher Perry, director of the Office of Veterans Affairs and Military Programs.

The initiatives are the latest work of an office that, in the year since it was established, has quickly gained a reputation as a leader in support for veterans.

“We are in the forefront in higher education in terms of our support services for veterans,” says Perry, who was tapped to give a presentation this semester at the National Student Affairs Convention about how to establish a veterans’ support office. “We are quickly becoming a model for other schools.”

About 900 veterans from all branches of the military are currently enrolled at UConn. The most recent initiatives are among numerous efforts aimed at continuing to grow that population, according to Perry.

The initiatives also meet a need identified by Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to boost ways to put veterans into the workforce as quickly as possible.

“The feedback from the vets about the tuition waiver has been incredible,” says Perry. “We’ve heard plenty of vets remarking ‘I’m going to be able to graduate in three years.’”