The Ahmanson Foundation has announced grants totaling $1.25 million in support of efforts to recruit and retain military veterans at twenty-five private colleges and universities in California.
Awarded through the newly established Ahmanson Veteran Scholarship Initiative, the grants will be used to help students eligible for the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 attend and ultimately graduate from an institution of higher education. Schools participating in the effort range from small liberal arts colleges such as Occidental College to large universities like the University of Southern California. Funds awarded through the initiative may be used by participating institutions to develop recruitment plans and implement outreach efforts to veterans, help cover tuition, create on-campus veteran service centers, and/or support a more veteran-friendly campus life.
"By pairing AVSI with federal assistance, we were able to offer a 'free ride' package to an outstanding veteran in our latest transfer class," said Occidental College president Jonathan Veitch. "It was hard to tell who was more delighted: the young veteran or our director of financial aid."
"Though our initiative is California-based, we believe campuses nationwide could benefit from the contribution of veteran students," added foundation president William H. Ahmanson, who listed expanding veteran admissions in private colleges and universities and achieving a 100 percent graduation rate for these students as AVSI's long-term goals. "Seeing more philanthropic organizations in other parts of the country participate in a veteran scholarship of their own would be the proverbial icing on the cake."