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UW System launches new VETS program

November 14, 2014

UW System President Ray Cross today announced the creation of a new University of Wisconsin VETS (Veterans Education and Transition to Success) certification that will recognize campuses that demonstrate exceptional commitment to helping student veterans succeed.

Cross made the announcement at an event honoring veterans on the UW-Waukesha campus. To become UW VETS certified, campuses will have to meet UW best practices as well as a series of criteria developed by the U.S. Department of Education.

A panel including UW System representatives and external stakeholders will evaluate campus applications to determine eligibility for certification. The UW VETS certification will be an additional marker for student veterans and others to consider as they choose a university.

“Today’s veterans are facing significant challenges including higher than average unemployment and increased demand for mental health and other services,” said Cross, who served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. “Each institution within the UW System has a responsibility to provide the services necessary for that transition to be successful. The UW VETS certification process will help us measure and focus our efforts on that front.”

UW System expects the first UW VETS certification in the fall of 2015.

“Wisconsin has a long, proud history of ensuring that our veterans have access to a top quality education at one of Wisconsin’s public universities,” Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary John A. Scosos said. “The UW VETS certification is one more way our state demonstrates its commitment to giving back to those who have served our country and earned our eternal gratitude.”

Veterans receive instate tuition rate Under a new federal law, non-resident military veterans eligible for federal G.I. Bill benefits who enroll in the UW System within three years of being discharged will be assessed in-state tuition rates starting in the fall 2015 semester.

This change to the federal G.I. Bill will help to attract veteran students to Wisconsin who previously had to pay higher out-of-state rates that the federal G.I. Bill benefits didn’t cover.

The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, the largest federal G.I. Bill benefit, covers between 40 and 100 percent of in-state tuition and fee costs, depending on the amount of active duty service time accumulated by eligible service members. Spouses and children of eligible non-resident veterans will be assessed in-state rates as well.

The UW Board of Regents will formally approve the creation of an in-state rate for eligible veterans and their dependents at an upcoming meeting.