Alaska University Campuses Adapt To Fast-Growing Veteran Enrollment

Tegan Hanlon | Alaska Dispatch News | September 14, 2014

...The veteran population at Alaska’s two largest universities is increasing at rates that outpace the growth of total enrollment.  At UAA, the number of student veterans and their dependents jumped 38 percent between 2009 and 2014, compared to 4 percent in campus-wide enrollment. In the same period at the UAF, the total student population shrank by 8 percent while the number of veterans swelled 61 percent, according to university records.

The trend is national. Some 1 million student veterans were enrolled in colleges in 2013, double the number in 2009, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. As the military continues to downsize, the VA expects the numbers to keep growing.

To accommodate student vets, UAA and UAF have made changes. Staff has been hired and student veteran resource centers have been created as campus hubs to help with VA paperwork, health care, housing and enrollment. The centers also act as meeting spots for veterans who rely on one another to regain the camaraderie lost when they left active duty...