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MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES OFFER SERVICES TO PROVIDE SMOOTH TRANSITION TO CLASSROOM FOR VETERANS

11/9/2018 - Jackson, Miss.

Serving in our nation's armed forces requires courage, determination, and grit. The men and women who serve, as well as their families, truly understand the meaning of sacrifice. As members of the military transition from service to seeking a college degree, they often find that it also requires courage, determination, grit and sacrifice. In recognition of their service and sacrifice and to serve their needs as students, Mississippi Public Universities offer services to veterans designed to provide a smooth transition to the classroom.

Alcorn State University provides a Veterans Assistance (VA) liaison in the Office of the Registrar. Assistance is given to veterans and dependents of eligible veterans to enable them to derive the maximum benefit from their veteran educational entitlements. The VA representative and his/her contact assist students with questions and/or concerns related to the available benefits and their eligibility. The representative acts as the liaison between the veteran and the VA Regional Processing Office located in Atlanta.

Alcorn also has a Veterans Upward Bound program, one of several Federal TRIO programs, which are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are administered, funded, and implemented by the United States Department of Education.

Designated Military Friendly® by Victory Media, Delta State University has a VA Certifying Official in the Registrar's Office who can assist students with filing the paperwork required to apply for VA Educational Benefits and provide information on the steps and documentation required. The Military Friendly® brand is nationally recognized as the original, trusted resource on post-military education and employment options for veterans and military families.

The Veterans and Military Center at Jackson State University welcomes veterans to campus and assists them through outreach programs designed to provide student support services focused on the special needs and requirements of today's military veterans, service members, dependents and survivors. The Center was established to improve and enhance the success of student veterans, to help them receive the benefits they deserve, to serve as a liaison between the veteran student community and the University and to increase their academic success. Jackson State received Military Friendly® Silver designation by Victory Media.

In the Veteran Career Transition Program, Jackson State ensures that student veterans complete an individualized appraisal program to reach their career potential and provides resources to guide students through choosing a major, navigating their job search, enhancing their resume, and preparing for the interview process. The Latasha Norman Counseling and Disability Services Center offers support to student veterans as they transition into civilian life. This service is designed to discuss issues related to their military experience and provides mental health counseling. JSU's Veterans Work-Study Program offers part-time work to veterans and service members who are currently receiving veteran education benefits.

The G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Center for America's Veterans located on the campus of Mississippi State University is a national leader in providing comprehensive support through a University-based Veteran Resource Center.

The Center supports the Division of Student Affairs and engages military-connected students through educational benefits, transitional assistance and activities to promote learning, well-being and success. These students receive individualized attention to assist with their own unique circumstances and have access to facilities that provide a welcoming and engaging environment where they can connect with one another and the services they need.

Mississippi State University has received the Military Friendly® Gold designation by Victory Media and has been designated a Purple Heart University by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Recently, MSU has worked with the Mississippi National Guard to create a free tuition program for Guard members enrolled full time at MSU, and the university has waived application fees for undergraduate and graduate student veterans.

Named one of the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. and News Report, Mississippi University for Women offers services for veterans through the Registrar's Office. Veterans and dependents using the GI Bill education benefits will automatically receive early registration.

Mississippi Valley State University has a Veterans' Coordinator in the Office of Student Records who assists all students accessing Veteran Administration (VA) Educational Benefits to pursue college degrees. The university has been named one of the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report.

The University of Mississippi is one of America's Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities and was designated a Purple Heart Campus by the National Military Order of the Purple Heart in 2015. It is also an unlimited Yellow Ribbon school, which helps students with 100% VA benefits to pay the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. Yellow Ribbon also allows veterans who served at least 3 years of active duty since 9/11 to go to law school for free. The University of Mississippi was No. 106 in a national ranking by Military Times in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2019 survey.

Veteran and Military Services (VMS) at the University of Mississippi provides comprehensive resources to veterans, military, and dependents to aid in their overall success. As part of the Center for Student Success and First Year Experience, VMS assists students with certification requirements to receive VA education entitlements and provides advice, guidance, advocacy, and outreach services.

This past spring, the university opened a Veterans Resource Center as a space to study, receive support and camaraderie from other veterans and speak with university representatives about veteran issues, such as GI benefits and treatment. The Student Veterans Association created Ole Miss Wish, a philanthropic effort to give children of military families an unforgettable Ole Miss experience.

The University of Southern Mississippi recently received a No. 15 national ranking by Military Times in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2019 survey. Southern Miss also received Military Friendly® Gold designation by Victory Media.

The Southern Miss Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families focuses on attracting, enrolling and caring for military students. Over the last five years the dual-campus program (both Hattiesburg and Long Beach) has gradually expanded its mission in offering "Military Friendly" education support programs.

One of the more innovative initiatives launched by the USM center is the "Textbooks for Troops" program, designed to make available (at no cost on a loan basis) a variety of classroom textbooks and professional development books for student-veterans, service members, and military family members.

The program works and sustains itself by having qualified students check out their textbooks for an entire semester. The students must return the books to the Center so that books can continue to be loaned out to other students for the following semester. These textbooks are available for military students taking courses at any of the University's teaching sites.

Currently, there are 1,779 military students are enrolled at Southern Miss, reflecting a consistent and continual increase since the program's inception in the fall semester of 2014.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

About the Rankings
Best for Vets: Colleges is an editorially independent, objective and rigorous news project that evaluates the many factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. About 500 colleges took part in this year's survey and 208 of these institutions earned a national ranking. Rankings are based on the results of Military Times' annual survey – the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement – as well as a detailed review of public data collected by federal agencies.

The Military Friendly® brand is nationally recognized as being the original, trusted resource on post-military education and employment options for veterans and military families.

U.S. News & World Report recognizes the top-ranked schools in the 2019 Best Colleges rankings that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees.

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