Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Free College for N.Y Veterans and Gaurd

N.Y State recently announced that combat veterans and N.Y State Guard members are eligible for free college at any of the S.U.N.Y colleges. This program allows officers and enlisted to attend SUNY for free up to a master’s degree.

There are simple rules. You must have the served in a combat zone and you must be a NY state resident. Eligible veterans can receive 98% of tuition or $4,287.50, whichever is less, for full time study at the State University of New York. Questions regarding eligible service or how to document service should be directed to the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372. For more information please go to http://www.hesc.com/content.nsf/SFC/2/Veterans_Tuition_Awards

The basics are that if you have deployed as under one of the following conditions then you are eligible:

Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990.
Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.
Veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961 as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

This program brings N.Y State in line with many of the other states that have recognized the extraordinary sacrifices that combat veterans have made to their country.

According to the US Census Bureau, the average earnings for a bachelors degree is $54,000 and for a masters degree it is $79,000 or so therefore earning a college degree but in particular an advanced degree can go a long way towards closing the economic gap for veterans.

For more information for NY state Combat veterans go to the NY Division of Veterans Affairs.

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