UConn shows good judgment in extending benefits to National Guard students

Members of the National Guard are now guaranteed financial aid waivers for in-state tuition. The Ultimate Sacrifice Veterans Memorial is located on the Great Lawn across from Wilbur Cross Library. (Olivia Stenger/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut recently made a righteous decision to include members of the National Guard in their tuition waiver program.

While it is problematic that this change was necessary, UConn’s Board of Trustees did the right thing by voting for this improvement in the veteran’s waiver, an improvement that makes it so National Guard members are eligible for the waiver.

“In interim Provost Jeremy Teitelbaum’s proposal to the Board of Trustees, he wrote how university policies approved in 1994 and 2013 qualified veteran waivers for fee-based programs and intersession programs, but did not explicitly include students using the National Guard waiver,” the Daily Campus reported.

The issue that necessitated this alteration is one based on language, specifically in the waivers for fee-based programs, the part-time MBA and intersession. Due to this vague framing, students in the National Guard were not allowed to take part in these opportunities.

According to Veterans Affairs and Military Programs Director Alyssa Kelleher, students in the National Guard have expressed their approval of the new measure, as well as their intention to make use of it.

Furthermore, as pointed out in a Daily Campus article, some veterans attending UConn have families and jobs. Having access to intersession classes is beneficial to these types of students.

Seeing the university take responsibility for its students who serve is an encouraging sign. Hopefully, UConn will continue to apply that same level of respect and understanding to other students who are in unique situations.

The next step is ensuring that students in the National Guard and other veterans and service members are well-informed on the benefits offered by the university. In light of this effort, the Daily Campus published an article last year, when the tuition waiver wasn’t even in place for National Guard members.

“At the University of Connecticut, veterans and their family members can receive benefits through the Veterans Affairs and Military Programs Office. There are several benefit programs, such as the Post 9/11 GI Bill, vocational rehabilitation benefits, Connecticut Vets Tuition Waiver and the Reserve and National Guard benefits,” the article read.

The article also noted the “Veterans Affair’s GI Bill Comparison Tool which helps veterans pick a college to maximize their time, money and benefits.”

The university adhered to an important maxim in this move: We’d be remiss not to take care of those who take care of us.