Military Connection Salutes D’Youville College:
A Pioneer in Veteran-friendly Education
D’Youville College (DYC) is a small school located in Buffalo, New York. While originally a college for women, the college has always held strong ties with the US military. And in recent years, DYC has been creating a national reputation as a pioneer in Veteran-friendly education.
Military Connection has created the “Veteran School Salute” award to recognize Veteran Colleges and Veteran Schools that go above and beyond to help Military, Veterans and their loved ones use the rich GI Bill education benefits they have earned to make the most of their education experience. The 2013 Veteran School Salute is awarded to D’Youville College.
“At MilitaryConnection.com, we are proud to work with D’Youville College, a premier Yellow Ribbon school that really sets the bar when it comes to integrating their Veteran students,” said Military Connection’s CEO, Debbie Gregory. “We hope their model spreads across all colleges and universities throughout the country.”
DYC offers special tuition benefits for Vets under the Yellow Ribbon Program, in addition to the two grants available to the Veteran community. The Veterans Waiver provides up to a 50% discount on tuition; and the Dependants of Veterans Waiver provides up to a 20% discount on tuition. The school will also wave the $25 application fee for Veterans who apply. But assistance with tuition and fees are not the only services that DYC provides to its Veteran Students. The school also has a very involved Office of Veterans Affairs that champions the education of D’Youville’s Veteran Student population.
The Veterans Affairs Office (VAO) at DYC is operated by Veterans for Veterans. The office’s director is Ben Randle, a former Marine Corps officer. Their assistant director is Ed Draper, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer. The VAO’s mission is to serve those who have so selflessly served the nation as members of the armed forces.
“We like to look at it from a Veteran’s point of view,” Randle said. “Our goal is not to recruit [for DYC], but to help Vets reach their educational and professional goals.”
DYC provides many great resources not found at many other Veteran-friendly schools. Their book voucher makes it possible for Veteran Students to obtain their necessary items without any out of pocket cost to them. This alleviates some of the added stress that many Vets at other schools experience at the start of each semester. DYC’s VAO also offers interest free loans and even no-strings attached grants to their Veteran Students who experience emergencies and hardships. The emergency fund is provided for solely through donations from a local Korean War Veteran and his family.
Veteran Students are welcomed and encouraged to visit the VAO to receive academic advisement, mentoring or even just to hang out at the computer and printer equipped lounge. The VAO also coordinates special events that encourage interaction between Veteran Students and the rest of the student body.
“We would like to encourage other schools to get on the bandwagon to help these men and women reach their goals and dreams,” Randle said. “Veterans become leaders in their classrooms, and eventually grow into leaders in their communities.”
MilitaryConnection.com is one of DYC’s main sources for paid advertising and has produced excellent results in getting out the word on their programs, and the fact that D’Youville is truly a Veteran Friendly institution of higher education. But DYC’s reputation speaks for itself. In 2009, DYC only had 35 Veteran students enrolled. As of the Fall, 2013 semester, the school has 438 Veteran Students. With over 13% of their student body consisting of Veterans, it appears that a lot of people are talking about D’Youville College.