Photo: Daniel Martin is one of about 100 students who use VA benefits to attend HSU
Hardin-Simmons University ranks among the schools across the nation doing the most to embrace America’s veterans and military personnel as students. Once again, HSU has been named to the list of Military Friendly Schools published by G.I. Jobs magazine. The 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools, released today, September 17, 2012, is put together as a tool to help military families select schools that best meet their needs.
Criteria for making the list include efforts by universities to recruit and retain military and veteran students. The Military Friendly distinction also takes into account a school’s ability to be flexible if military personnel are called to active duty.
HSU has 98 students using the veterans’ benefits this fall semester and those numbers have been increasing over the last three years. Tammy Outlaw, in the HSU Registrar’s Office, says just three years ago, there were about 40 students using the benefits. “Plus, we have more actual veterans using the benefits themselves, as opposed to veterans who transfer benefits to their spouses and children,” says Outlaw.
Outlaw is one of two dedicated staff members who help enroll students using VA benefits and who continue to work with those vets and active duty military personnel as long as they are students. HSU also offers master’s programs for VA students to continue using the benefits after getting his or her undergraduate degree. Plus, the availability of evening programs is another advantage vets enjoy at HSU, as well as acceptance of CLEP exams, and ACE credit for military training and experience.
HSU also offers the most requested academic programs among veterans: computer science, healthcare, criminal justice, and business.
HSU President Dr. Lanny Hall says of the designation, “We are very pleased that HSU has been recognized, once again, as a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs. Among our alumni and current students are thousands of armed services veterans and reserve and active duty military personnel. We are very proud of them and proud that HSU continues to be deemed by others as Military Friendly.”
Hall adds, “Given the excellent relationship we have with Dyess Air Force Base and those who serve there, we are especially pleased to have this recognition.”
Daniel Martin started attending Hardin-Simmons University in January 2010 after serving in Iraq for 15 months. Martin enjoyed classes in political science and religion, graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 2011. Martin now continues his education at HSU working on a Master of Divinity degree in the Logsdon School of Theology Seminary.
Martin says HSU’s veterans’ benefits coordinators make the process of using his benefits easy. “Because of their help and proficiency, I have never had to worry about my tuition. It just all gets taken care of for me.
“I absolutely love HSU and Logsdon, the classroom experience has been far superior to my other educational experiences at state colleges and in military classrooms,” says Martin. “The teacher-to-student ratio has greatly aided in more personal and dialogical learning.
“Because of the number of courses offered, I was able to transfer 57 hours for my undergraduate studies, and graduate in just three semesters and some summer school, maximizing my GI Bill tuition.
“I started at Logsdon Seminary last May Term, and have since complete 43 graduate hours in just one year, again allowing me to get the most out of my GI Bill, as it is sort of a race against the clock using the last of my benefits. So, for me, it does not get any more military friendly than that.
“As for my post-graduation plans, my goal is to finish my M.Div in December of 2013, and go back into the Army as a Chaplain. However, I have developed a great love for Hebrew and Greek and can see myself someday teaching at a university.”