Government and Higher Education

College earns $1.3M grant to assist veterans

November 23, 2017
TAGS GVSU / veterans
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Student Veterans' Lounge in GVSU Kirkhof Center
The Student Veterans Lounge in GVSU's Kirkhof Center. Courtesy GVSU/Amanda Pitts

A local college will use a $1.3-million grant to establish a program for military veterans.

Grand Valley State University said last month it received the five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish a TRIO Veterans Upward Bound program, which provides free academic support services to low-income veterans completing degree programs.

The grant provides $263,000 each year to serve 125 pre-college, low-income and first-generation veterans per year from Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Allegan counties.

Jesse Bernal, GVSU VP for inclusion and equity, said there are more than 65,000 veterans in that four-county region. Of that population, 8 percent are unemployed, 2,000 are homeless and 77 percent do not have bachelor's degrees, he said.

The services, tailored to veterans, will include advising and mentoring programs, instructor-led computer courses and access to course materials and supplies.

A search for a TRIO VUB director has begun and participant recruitment will follow.

GVSU is one of two Michigan universities offering a TRIO VUB program, the other being Wayne State University.

"Grand Valley has a well-established commitment to serving veterans," said Thomas Haas, president, GVSU. "TRIO VUB will extend existing notable efforts by providing needed resources to support veterans who are pre-college or transferring from community college or other institutions."

More information on the school's veterans services is online.

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