Duke, VA partner to offer vets scholarships

Posted June 19, 2009 12:12 p.m. EDT

— A new partnership between Duke University and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will provide up to $1.5 million in additional financial support each year to military veterans pursuing degrees at Duke.

All of Duke’s schools have agreed to provide scholarships through the Yellow Ribbon Program of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which the federal government adopted last year. The voluntary program encourages colleges and universities to provide extra financial aid for veterans and their families who meet specified requirements, and the VA matches the scholarship support up to designated limits.

“With the generous support of the VA, we will be able to significantly increase financial aid to veterans who pursue a Duke degree,” Duke President Richard Brodhead said in a statement. “We welcome this opportunity to expand our support of veterans – and not only as a way to thank them for their service to our country. The fact is that Duke benefits immeasurably from their presence. Veterans bring a perspective and set of experiences that enrich our classroom discussions and campus life.”

Former Marine Corps Sgt. Paul Salem, a rising sophomore and member of the Student Veteran’s Association at Duke, said his group looks forward to working with veterans who enroll as Duke students.

“This new program will help ensure that qualified veterans consider Duke a viable option for their undergraduate or graduate studies,” Salem said in a statement. “As an organization, we are coordinating with the Student Affairs Office and others on campus to create a community that will ease the veteran’s transition to academic life and enhance their chances for success.”