by Jeff Bell
John Wilson, Veteran representative, is working to certify and guide military veterans through the somewhat confusing educational benefits process. “I want to welcome all new military veteran students and all returning veteran students to a new semester at WVU Parkersburg,” said Wilson.
All veterans have a wide variety of funds and benefits available to them through various federal and state programs enabling veterans the opportunity to return to school. The veteran attendance and registration at WVU Parkersburg has continued to grow due in part to some of these programs and funds; increases of approximately 32 percent over the certified veteran enrollment of Fall 2009. Veteran enrollment is a primary driving force to benefit increase; however, some of the funds are directly related to the credit hours taken.
Veterans need to ensure and maintain updated records at the office of the veteran representative. “I may know of another funding opportunity, another grant or possibly a prevention of overpayment if the veterans keep me informed of any and all changes in their registration status,” said Wilson. Certified veterans need only to maintain basic contact in order to insure proper benefit disbursement. Military veterans who may have not been certified yet may be entitled to benefits for which they are not receiving.
Pell grants and student loans have enabled veterans the ability to register and attend classes at WVU Parkersburg without ever realizing the opportunity of military educational benefits available. “These funds could offset the need for a loan or at the very least help the veterans reduce his/her debt,” said Wilson. Therefore, it is very important for all veterans to check with Wilson in the Financial Aid offices and ensure benefits are not being missed. “It is not a hand out, remember, freedom is not free,” said Wilson.