Veterans Day represents a day that we honor you, a community who not only heard the call of duty but has 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.
Originally known as Armistice Day and initially observed in 1919 to celebrate world peace and mark the end of World War I, this commemoration has evolved into what we now recognize as Veterans Day. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law, officially changing the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. This change was made to broaden the holiday’s scope and to honor the service of all U.S. military veterans. It has evolved to 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.
USC’s proud tradition of support began in 1914 while hosting a training school for U.S. Army officers, and since then, our partnership with the military has remained unbroken. USC has also hosted ROTC programs since 1940 with unwavering support and a commitment to producing the next generation of leaders. Among these leaders are highly decorated military and civilian leaders – including four-star generals, astronauts, Medal of Honor recipients, and officials in the highest levels of government service – who chose to attend USC before or after their military service.
At USC, we aim to support and empower our student veterans by offering opportunities to engage in discussions on various subjects such as current events, employment issues, financial challenges, and family dynamics of service members, transitioning veterans, and military families. These opportunities position our student veterans to achieve academic success and prepare them to impact their communities. Additionally, USC is greatly enriched by our student-veteran population, who bring unique experiences, perspectives, and skills into our classrooms, student body, and community. Their diverse backgrounds, service history, and academic interests help foster the next generation of innovators, leaders, visionaries, and creators.
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 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!
Across campus, USC staff members in various academic and student affairs departments serve as direct contact points for student veterans to address any specific questions or requests they may have as they navigate their educational journey. This includes the Career Center, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL), the Office of Student Accessibility Services (OSAS), the Counseling Center, and more. Additionally, each Admission Counselor in the USC Office of Undergraduate Admission can answer general questions about the application and transfer credit processes. Admission Counselors are assigned to applicants based on their most recent post-secondary institution.
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. 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 a 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.
For further information on USC’s Veteran Resource Center, check the FAQ’s – USC Veterans Resource Center.
Written by Dr. Eric Mejia, former Assistant Director
Edited by Reuben Hernandez, Senior Assistant Director