Tempe, Arizona (NAPSI) - After serving their country, many veterans are returning home to another kind of battle: the struggle to find a job in a recovering economy.
A recent study by the Department of Labor found that “young male veterans (ages 18 to 24) who served during Gulf War era II had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent last year, higher than that of young male nonveterans (17.6 percent).”
For many of these veterans, the problem is the lack of a college education. Fortunately, a generous 9/11 GI Bill allows vets to pay for college.
The bill covers traditional colleges but it also covers institutions known as career colleges. These colleges train students for a specific career, trade or profession—such as nursing, graphic design, medical technician, culinary arts, fashion design and media arts.
There has been some debate about the value of such schools and some critics have said that many of these schools target veterans because they have government- backed tuition money—and then don’t deliver a quality education.
Yet many veterans insist that career colleges address their unique needs. According to the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, individuals who have served their country select these institutions for many reasons, including career focus, flexible schedules, smaller class sizes, concentrated program offerings and other attributes that make institutions military friendly.
One group has come together to address the concerns. Saving Our Student Veterans is a coalition of Veterans Service Organizations, career colleges, and college admissions officials who have proposed a solution that would protect a veteran’s choices but make sure that veterans are not taken advantage of.
One example is Military Families United, a national coalition of Gold Star and Blue Star families, veterans and other Americans who share an appreciation of our military, which has partnered with proprietary colleges to provide opportunities in education.
“Our organization was looking to do something for military spouses-the people who stayed home during the long deployments and cared for the children and kept the family in order,” said Robert Jackson, director of Military Families United. “Our military families chose The Art Institutes because they offer a curriculum focused on getting a job with lots of flexibility, so we were thrilled when they decided to create a new scholarship partnership.”
For more information, visit militaryspouses.artinstitutes.edu.