Survey Shows Drop in Support Services for Student-Veterans

Survey Shows Drop in Support Services for Student-Veterans
Photo by Airman 1st Class Alyssa M. Akers/Air Force

A survey measuring support for service-connected students showed a decrease in available funds and several instances where support offices have disappeared entirely since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The study, released Feb. 1 by Operation College Promise and reported Feb. 23 by Military Times, found 30% of respondents reported a decreased budget for military support, from the 2019-2020 academic year to the current session, against only 3% reporting an increase. Other data points from the 75 schools and more than 200 service-connected students surveyed presented similar trends:

  • Office closures: 72% of schools surveyed have a dedicated military support office in this academic year, down from 80% in 2019-2020. Veterans’ support offices dropped from 82% to 76%.
  • Student groups: 64% of schools surveyed have a student veterans’ organization this academic year, down from 72% in 2019-2020.
  • COVID impact: Nearly 60% of students reported a “financial impact” caused by the pandemic, with 32% reporting an “impact on employment” and 52% citing “mental health implications.”


Operation College Promise teamed with the Texas A&M University System to produce the report.


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“Schools need to be cognizant that these services are often a yardstick for success and strive to find alternative support methods while advocating to maintain existing programming,” the report’s authors write. “The ability to do so will be a critical factor for military-connected student success.”


These online and on-campus support services can be critical to a student-veteran’s learning experience, said Col. Brian Anderson, USAF (Ret), MOAA’s senior director for transition and member services.


“This is another reminder to do thorough homework before making any higher-education decisions,” Anderson said. “Whether you’re learning virtually or on campus, veteran and military groups can provide more than just a support structure – they can be springboards for your growing professional network.”


Need more transition advice? Visit MOAA’s Transition and Career Center for the latest education-benefit news, career-building tools, and much more.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley