New Resources and Opportunities for Young Veterans in Arizona

The state of Arizona recently announced two major efforts to help improve life for veterans.

Arizona State University will open a veteran’s center next fall on its Tempe campus (the Pat Tillman Veterans’ Center). The center is one of eight locations where the US Department of Veterans Affairs will offer its VetSuccess program which helps veterans transition to civilian life. The center will consolidate existing services at ASU and offer support to more than 1,800 veterans and their dependents. The facility will focus on helping with the transition to college life. Veterans have expressed that one of the major difficulties of this transition is financial stress.

In an attempt to address these difficulties and increase opportunities for returning soldiers, Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law that will provide in-state tuition to any state university to honorably discharged veterans.

“Prior to the new Arizona law, veterans had to live in Arizona for a full year before applying for residency classification in Arizona, meaning their first year at ASU or any other state university would be under non-resident tuition.

This posed a problem for veterans who were ready to return to school immediately but couldn’t afford the difference between what the GI Bill covered and the current out-of-state tuition rates, Arizona Legislative Director for Student Veterans of America, Rob Rolinski said.

“You may have to take time off, but you may be ready to go back. Now you have to take an unwanted pause in life,” he said, explaining some veterans’ situations. “Now, if you’re ready to go to school, you can say I’m going to come to Arizona, and get started right away, limiting the number of transitions vets have to make.””

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