James Lyons ’03, one of the first Syracuse University alumni killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, was inducted into the University’s National Veterans Resource Center’s Hall of Honor on Oct. 15. He was also recognized as the “Hometown Hero” during halftime…
University to Guarantee Admission to Eligible Area High School Graduates After Completing Initial Enlistment in US Military
As part of its enduring commitment to veterans and their families and to being the “best place for veterans,” Syracuse University is launching a new program called Operation Veteran Promise. The Office of Admission will grant local students graduating this year a guaranteed pathway to enroll at Syracuse University after receiving an honorable discharge from the military.
The program is available for students who graduate in or after spring 2021 and complete an initial term of service on active duty, in the reserves or the National Guard. Students need to graduate high school with at least a cumulative unweighted high school GPA of 3.0 to be eligible. This program does not guarantee admission to any specific major, school or college. The admissions team will work one-on-one with Operation Veteran Promise participants to find a degree program that fits their experience and interests. For more information visit the Operation Veteran Promise website.
“Research shows veterans are often high-performing students with better grades and completion rates than comparable groups,” says Dean of Admissions Maurice Harris. “Military service often helps people develop the character, attention to detail and work ethic needed to be a successful student.”
“Since World War I student veterans have brought specialized training, a global perspective and the adaptability that comes with serving in the United States armed forces into Syracuse University classrooms,” says Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation and Executive Director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families J. Michael Haynie. “After Syracuse University welcomed veterans at the conclusion of World War II, Chancellor William Tolley helped author the GI Bill and helped millions of veterans access higher education nationwide. Now with Operation Veteran Promise under Chancellor Kent Syverud’s leadership and vision, Syracuse University is again committing to student veterans because our campus knows firsthand the values service members bring to our campus community and beyond,” says Haynie.
Students do not need to declare a major upon enlisting, says Jessica Calhoun, the assistant director of veteran and military admissions. “Exploring degree options will take place as service members are getting close to their separation date. Before their transition, they will work with the Office of Transfer and Veteran Admissions to determine where they see themselves and what career field they want to pursue,” says Calhoun.
The admissions counseling is part of the ongoing support veterans will receive, says Ron Novack, executive director of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA). The University’s OVMA has dedicated staff and resources for veterans and military-connected students that help them transition from the military to higher education.
With more than a 1,000 military-connected students on campus already, participants in Operation Veteran Promise will find a community that understands their unique challenges and life experiences. “Syracuse University is the best place for veterans because we know leaving the military is not just changing scenery, it is transforming your life,” says Novack.
Participants in Operation Veteran Promise will be encouraged to take courses during their enlistment. This will provide the student with a framework in selecting majors and career outcomes. The program is open to students in Onondaga, Oswego, Oneida, Jefferson, Lewis, Wayne, Cayuga, Tompkins, Cortland and Madison counties,
All active-duty service members are eligible to take distance learning courses at University College part-time at the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance rates with no additional out of pocket costs. Operation Veteran Promise will not impact a service member’s educational benefit eligibility.
Operation Veteran Promise is only available for service members enrolling after completion of their first term of enlistment in the military. Any student that voluntarily re-enlists or extends their contract will lose eligibility for Operation Veteran Promise. However, this does not restrict them from applying for admission to Syracuse University anytime in the future using the traditional application process. Any service members whose enlistments are involuntarily extended will retain their eligibility for guaranteed admission.
“We understand the stress and uncertainty that many veterans face after separating from the military,” says Calhoun. “We want these service members to know that their military service is highly valued here on our campus, and we are excited to welcome them to our Orange family.”