From Salutes to Sic 'Ems
Baylor ranked 47th nationally among Best Colleges for Veterans in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings — second among Big 12 Conference schools and in Texas — due, in part, to the program known as VETS (Veteran Educational and Transition Services).
“Baylor’s VETS program really helped me navigate through some of the challenges that vets face when we transition from military life to civilian life,” Adley Vahue, United States Air Force veteran and junior psychology major, said.
All Baylor student veterans qualify for free benefits, including a veterans transition course, faculty and staff mentorships, the Veterans of Baylor student organization, academic support, career and professional development, VA work-study opportunities and a free textbook lending library for veterans and dependents.
Kevin Davis, B.A. ’12, a Marine Corps veteran, serves as the VETS program manager.
“My goal is to help our vets and encourage them to bring a vital and valued asset to our campus community through their strengths,” he said. “The addition of their unique perspectives and gifts makes our entire campus better.”
A Veterans Affairs VTIAL (Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership) representative was recently hired to work alongside Davis as a clinical social worker and direct liaison for student veterans to VA services on campus.
The Yellow Ribbon tuition assistance program for veterans has expanded at Baylor from providing benefits to fewer than 300 students to currently benefitting an unlimited number of students. Additionally, veteran enrollment increased from the University’s average by about 50 percent last year.
“This is all due to the incredible community of people supporting this mission from all over our campus,” Davis said. “We define our success by the communities our students go on to serve.”