Student veterans at Texas A&M have a variety of resources available to them.
Ranked as the No. 1 school for veterans in Texas by College Factual, A&M has two divisions dedicated to helping these students before, during and after their college years: the Veteran Resource and Support Center, or VRSC, and the Veteran Services Office, or VSO.
The VRSC assists student veterans on their educational journey with a focus on connection, said assistant director Sgt. Maj. Donald Freeman, Ret.
“The main thing we do is we connect our student veterans — incoming or current student veterans — with all the resources that are available to them on campus, in community, in the state and even nationwide,” Freeman said. “We mainly focus on on-campus, but we have ties everywhere.”
While the VRSC offers over a dozen programs aimed at veterans, Tanner said the Veteran Aggie Leaders for Outreach and Resources, or V.A.L.O.R., program is one of their main divisions.
“It’s a program that basically helps the student veterans transition from either a community college, senior college or the military itself into a tier one university,” Freeman said. “All the members of V.A.L.O.R. are current students, student veterans attending A&M. They’ll reach out to [veterans] as soon as they open the application. Once [the veteran] gets accepted, they’ll reach out again…to let them know about the services that are provided to them.”
The VSO focuses on the financial resources available to student veterans, such as benefits and scholarships. Assistant director Jeremy Tanner said the VSO helps student veterans determine their eligibility for these monetary aides.
“The [Veteran Affairs] education benefits are provided from the Department of Veteran Affairs, and they’re earned entitlements,” Tanner said. “Based on service time — a lot of different factors as far as service — a service member may become eligible.”
Tanner said he thinks A&M’s history plays a role in why the university is ranked as one of the top schools in Texas for veterans to attend.
“We’re over 100 years of serving those veterans coming back to the school,” Tanner said. “ Everywhere you look… the support for veterans is part of who we are here at the institution.”
Agricultural communications and journalism senior Mason Gold is a current member of the Air Force Reserves who has used the resources A&M offers to veterans.
“It’s been a really good experience working with them,” Gold said. “It really feels like they’re on your side when you’re trying to go through the process of becoming a student. It can be challenging coming from the military, and then going into school because that’s a completely different world.”
Gold said A&M also has a good veteran network that provides involvement opportunities for veterans and recommends the school to veterans looking to attend college after their service ends.
“I would recommend someone considering A&M if they served,” Gold said, “Even with the application process and going through that, they were a great help for me. I imagine they’d be a great help to anyone looking to get a top-tier education.”