State schools mostly duck vet program
Purdue, Ball State & ISU a no-show onprogram list
Updated: Friday, 12 Jun 2009, 11:48 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The Yellow Ribbon Program provides money for veterans to go to college after they return home from war. But a closer look finds that with a June 15 deadline just days away, less than a quarter of U.S. colleges and universities are participating in the program -- including some of the biggest schools in Indiana.
The program allows schools to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Contributions are matched by the VA.
Nineteen Indiana schools have signed up to welcome veterans to the classroom (see the entire list here ). But Purdue, Ball State and Indiana State universities have yet to commit to the program.
Purdue said, "We don't expect a decision until next week, when the key people have a chance to meet/discuss it."
However, Purdue acknowledged the deadline is Monday.
Ball State said, "It's so new we haven't made a decision if we want to be a part of it."
That, despite the fact letters went out to schools more than six months ago.
IU is on the Yellow Ribbon list, but -- with an enrollment of over 30,000 students -- is only offering $2,000 per year for only 20 veteran students.
The IU law school will admit only one veteran and offers only $1,000. By comparison, five locations of ITT Technical Institute are offering $100,000 each per student per year to an unlimited number of veteran students.
Valparaiso University offers free tuition to veteran students with their pledge. The school president welcomes them, saying, "We believe that veterans bring a wealth of experience from their military service to the learning experience. We look forward to the knowledge they will share with students and faculty alike."
Elsewhere around the state, the participation status of Notre Dame University and Marian College of Indianapolis is pending.
Of the nation's Ivy League, only Dartmouth and Columbia are on the list of participants.