This is the time of the year where we take time to reflect and think about the many acts of bravery and the selfless sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made for this great country. Today, November 11, represents a day that we honor you, a community who not only heard the call of duty, but have also answered it. This is the day that we honor those who placed their lives in danger and performed their duties with acts of bravery and courage. Initially, this day was meant to acknowledge and celebrate world peace and the end of World War I in 1918. It has evolved to a day which celebrates you, current and former members of our military, –those who sacrificed all in the name of liberty and justice for all. This is a day where veterans across the nation come together to support and honor each other–all those who served, and those who are no longer with us. This is the day we salute you and honor you for your prodigious deeds.
Initially known as “Armistice Day”, to later be renamed “Veterans Day”, I am reminded of the words of President Woodrow Wilson who proclaimed:
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
To my fellow Veterans and to all of you who are currently serving, this is the day I say thank you for the many freedoms that you continue to provide, and to say how proud I am of you and your commitment to this country and to yourselves. This sentiment is shared by my colleagues in the Office of Undergraduate Admission as well as the entire community at the University of Southern California. With a proud tradition that extends back to 1914, our commitment to you has remained unbroken. At USC, we recognize your strengths and contribution to our institution. We remain steadfast in our support to you and we aim to empower you-the student veterans through the various resources that are in place to aid you in your success and experience as students at the University of Southern California. Because of your experiences, perspectives, skills, and contributions, USC is greatly enriched by our student-veteran population.
To continue to support the transition and success of our veterans, USC continuously creates new programs and resources for our student-veterans, active service members, and ROTC students – including academic, financial, and wellness support. Here is a list of resources to address the needs of this student population.
Since 2014, the USC Veterans Resource Center(VRC) has worked to support student veterans in all endeavors of campus life, including everything from outreach and admission to graduation and job seeking. The center collaborates between multiple student affairs offices and administrative divisions and helps serve nearly 1,200 veterans who enroll in USC classes each semester. The VRC provides students with a variety of benefits:
- Study space with access to computers
- Opportunities to socialize with fellow student veterans
- Information about on-campus services
- Check-ins with a designated veteran certifying officer on campus
- Special programs, such as the advisement luncheons offered at the beginning of the semester
- Professional advisement (resumes, cover letters, networking, and interviews) and a job recruitment fair
- Other perks like catered luncheons and complimentary tickets for sporting events!
Clubs & Organizations
To help student veterans establish relationships and build social and professional networks during their time at USC and after graduation, there are multiple student and alumni associations to join. The USC Veterans Association is a student organization composed of undergraduate and graduate students and keeps members informed of various opportunities and resources. On their active Facebook page, students can find out about upcoming social events and workshops, job openings, and research opportunities and apply for leadership positions within the group. The Marshall Military Veterans Association is a group for student veterans pursuing their MBA at the Marshall School of Business. To provide ongoing support for student veterans in their transition to USC, the USC Student Veterans Support Network mission is to help current and former students, staff, and faculty connect with students. Lastly, the USC Alumni Veterans Network is open to all USC alumni who are veterans and are interested in staying involved with the Trojan Family long after graduation.
In addition to their G.I. benefits, student veterans have access to the same scholarships and financial aid resources utilized by all USC students. USC’s Office of Financial Aid and the Veterans Certification Office work with military veterans to help them understand their educational benefits and provide assistance with financial aid and other funding. Check out this video that explains this process more in-depth.
USC is also proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is open to post-9/11 GI Bill recipients and covers up to one-half of tuition and mandatory fees matched dollar for dollar by the V.A. The Schoen Family Scholarship Program for Veterans was established in 1986 by William J. Schoen, a former U.S. Marine and USC alumnus (’60, MBA’ 63), to provide additional funding for student veterans at USC. This scholarship is available to new and continuing students in the Marshall School of Business and the Viterbi School of Engineering who have served a minimum of three years of continuous, full-time, active duty in the past ten years.
Research & Practice
With the desire to meet the needs of our student veterans on campus, the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) is also committed to research, education, and outreach for all veterans and their families. The CIR conducts a wide range of research projects, provides training seminars to behavioral health providers and clinicians, and works with community partners to address the issues that face today’s veterans and military families.
The University of Southern California has continued commitment and dedication to assisting veterans, service members, and qualified family members. USC is committed to providing the tools to successfully assist student veterans in navigating and integrating into the college environment while creating a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable campus environment for veterans. With this said, please take the time to review the resources in this blog post. Should you have any questions regarding the number of resources available or questions regarding admissions and the application process, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on USC’s Veteran Resource Center, check the FAQ’s – USC Veterans Resource Center.
Semper Fidelis and Fight On!
Written by Eric Mejia, Assistant Director