May 21, 2008
New UI grant program helps veterans fill gap left by GI Bill
The University of Iowa has created a Veterans Grant Program to help fill the financial gap that many veterans face with existing GI Bill benefits.
The UI will provide grants of up to $500 per semester to offset educational expenses for veterans who entered service from the state of Iowa and who were on active duty to serve in support of the Global War on Terror, or other periods of hostility.
The UI has allocated $100,000 for the Veterans Grant Program, according to UI President Sally Mason.
"This grant program was created to support our veterans who have given so much to our country. It's the start of an effort to help these students who have returned to the University of Iowa to improve their lives through education," Mason said.
Larry Lockwood, assistant provost for enrollment services in the UI Office of the Registrar, said, "Many of our students have had to delay their educational goals because they have been called to active duty to meet the needs of our country. The University of Iowa will give back to our veterans and eligible dependents in a small way and do what is right for this generation, as well as past generations who have served in times of conflict."
John Mikelson, advisor for the UI Veterans Center, explained that while the current GI Bill covers some tuition and fees for veterans, it does not cover all costs, depending on individual situations.
"In a best-case scenario, approximately 60 percent of these educational costs are currently covered for veterans, and the UI grant will be a big help to current students," he said, adding that the UI is among the first universities in the country to offer this kind of grant to veterans.
The new UI Veteran's Grant is based on need as determined by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Students who are eligible for benefits as a dependent of a veteran who became 100 percent disabled or died as a result of military duty may also be awarded this grant. The Veterans Grant is renewable, but cannot exceed eight semesters. To reapply, the veteran must complete the FAFSA each year and must submit an application.
To apply, students are required to complete the FAFSA, and present military discharge papers to the UI Veterans Affairs office, Office of the Registrar, Room 1 of Jessup Hall. Proof of eligibility for benefits can be submitted by dependents of veterans. The Veterans Affairs Office will provide a brief grant application.
OTHER INFORMATION: For a profile about Mikelson and the UI Veterans Center, see http://www.uiowa.edu/be-remarkable/portfolio/people/mikelson-j.html. For information about the University of Iowa Veterans Association, see http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiva.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Mark Warner, UI Student Financial Aid, 319-335-3127; John Mikelson, Veterans Center, 319-384-2020; George McCrory, University of Iowa News Services, 319-384-0012, firstname.lastname@example.org