SOU programs reach out to newly enrolled veterans

New veteran support programs for Southern Oregon University were recently announced.

Under the Veteran Remission Tuition program, veterans admitted to SOU who are enrolled for at least eight credits receive a tuition remission for four credits. The implementation of the program helps veterans receive 12 credits for the price of eight, with a savings of $499.

To be considered full-time, a student must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 credits. Thus, the program helps give the veterans a head start without the financial strain.

"It is being discussed on an ongoing basis how we can help veterans coming into the education system feel comfortable, and we're trying to create a network here to support them and let them know that there are resources here for them. This is a way for them to get into school without going into debt right away," said Diana Watson-Paul, who works in the SOU financial aid office. "It's a way to let veterans know that we welcome them and want to help them pursue their education."

The Oregon University System, including SOU, also recently put into place a Veterans Dependent Tuition Waiver. In order to qualify, one must be a child or spouse of someone who died in service after Sept. 11, 2001, among other qualifications.

SOU's Commuter Resource Center also offers support for veterans and students who work with VA loans and work study.

Veterans also can receive help with advising and financial aid issues. The Commuter Resource Center works to create connections, resources and groups for veteran support.

"It's basically a holistic approach to helping veterans succeed at SOU," Watson-Paul said. "We want to help them make the changes they need to make as it can be a difficult transition."

Those who qualify for SOU's Veteran Remission Tuition program must be veterans who have served active duty in the past 12 months or who are currently serving in the National Guard.

The remission program is only offered fall term of 2008. Currently enrolled or returning SOU veteran students do not qualify.

SOU has also extended support to veterans by loaning five notebook computers and two printers to the Welcome Home Project's "Voices for Veterans," held on Memorial Day at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Angus Bowmer Theatre. The equipment was used by veterans to help share their stories.

The Welcome Home Project is a community-centered project for veterans of foreign wars and their families.

To learn more about veteran support programs at SOU, visit .

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