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  • From Combat to College the Drexel University Way

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    From Combat to College the Drexel University Way

    April 21, 2014


    At Drexel University, educating our men and women in uniform is not only a great privilege; it’s also a longstanding tradition – which has earned us a much-deserved spot among U.S. News and World Report’s top 15 “Best Colleges for Veterans.”  

    Not long after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, our university was selected to run the government's Engineering Defense Training Program, as well as teach classes for the Army Signal Corps and the Engineering, Science and Management War Training Program. And when the war was over, Drexel enthusiastically opened its doors to meet the academic needs of returning World War II veterans, with GI Bill® in hand. By harnessing their powerful experience and considerable skills, these students went on to build a rich campus legacy of leadership and public service.  

    Today this legacy lives on through the Yellow Ribbon Program, yet another extraordinary opportunity for Drexel to further its commitment, by providing a tuition-free education to veterans who meet the benefits requirement. Basically, this program is designed to help bridge the gap between what colleges charge in tuition and what the government actually covers under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, in an effort to make private schools and graduate programs more affordable.  

    Our university is also among a small group of private, non-profit institutions that allows an unlimited number of qualified veterans to enroll under the program, both on campus and online. In fact, Drexel University Online has become an increasingly popular choice among the many transitioning veterans we serve – and with good reason.

    As an online student, you will enjoy the outstanding benefits of a Drexel campus experience without ever leaving home. You will study with the same renowned faculty, using the same accredited curriculum as your campus-based peers. When graduation rolls around, you will also receive the same valuable degree and celebrate your tremendous accomplishment at the same Drexel commencement ceremony. 

    On the other hand, you can attend class wherever and whenever it’s most comfortable and convenient; a decided advantage for veterans who are learning to cope with serious injuries or used to keeping unconventional hours. Equally important, you may get a jump on your academic timeline by earning assessed undergraduate credit for military experience and training.    

    There will also be plenty of built-in support to help keep you moving across the finish line – beginning with your fellow classmates. Like you, our online students are typically older and more experienced than their “traditional” campus counterparts. So they are well-practiced at juggling the additional responsibilities of raising a family or holding down a job, and happy to share what they have learned to help their classmates navigate college life more successfully.  


    On top of that, we will connect you with other former service members, who not only understand the unique challenges you face as a transitioning veteran, but can give you the extra support you need to power through them. What’s more, we are putting social media to work for our student veterans, having created a dedicated Drexel Online Military Linkedin group, as well as a special Facebook page for the Drexel Veterans Association.  

    Of course, after the clear-cut structure of military life, college can seem like a convoluted maze of forms and procedures, schedules and services - which is why Drexel Online’s Military Program Specialist, Jenna Caserta, is here to serve as your central point of contact for everything from enrollment, to academic advising, to military benefits. As an added bonus, your immediate family members will receive significantly reduced tuition rates (10 – 40% depending on the program), should they want to earn a degree or certificate of their own.

    You might say that this is our way of extending our enormous gratitude for your courageous service. Indeed, if you are looking for a world class education in a welcoming university environment, Drexel’s faculty and staff are more than ready to exceed your expectations.


    Dr. Susan Aldridge is President of Drexel University Online and Senior Vice President of Online Learning at Drexel University. For more information on Dr. Aldridge, please visit: www.drsusanaldridge.com

    GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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