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As of July, all New York state combat vets are eligible for tuition assistance benefits equal to the cost of tuition at any SUNY undergraduate or graduate institution.
John Stewart, of Marcellus, is a Humanities major finishing up his degree this semester. After serving four years in Iraq, he returned home and took advantage of the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to help pay for college. TAP paid for a portion of his tuition, but this new benefit will cover the entire cost of tuition for future veterans. “I think this is a great benefit for veterans,” says John. “It’s long overdue.”
When he graduates, John plans to attend Syracuse University to study international relations. He also wants to become proficient in other languages, including Arabic. “When I was in the military I felt like I was doing good work. But with the completion of my degree, I feel like I can do “good” on a bigger scale – in a greater way.”
Onondaga is one of a few college campuses with a full-time Veterans’ Affairs Office that provides support to veterans. According to John, “The Vets Office is an overwhelmingly supportive environment. The staff and fellow student veterans really helped me in the transition back to civilian life after four years in combat.”
More info about the Veterans’ Affairs Office.