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Recently, UMD was ranked among the top 15% of military friendly higher education institutions in the nation. UMD's Veterans Resource Center assists eligible student veterans, current military members, reservists, National Guard members, and eligible dependents with questions about G.I. Bill benefits and state and federal benefits programs.
The Resource Center is staffed by students who also receive benefits. “Because they themselves receive these benefits, they are familiar with the process of applying for benefits as well as what is required of them while they are utilizing those benefits,” said Ginger Johnson, student personnel coordinator in the Financial Aid and Registrar office.
The Veterans Resource Center staff not only guides students through the educational benefits landscape, they also support them in navigating UMD as a whole. “We help students get acclimated here,” Johnson said. That can mean anything from helping students register for classes to showing them around the bookstore. The Resource Center can also refer students to agencies in the community who can help them in such areas as employment, family assistance, and transition issues.
“We try to be a one-stop resource for them,” Johnson said, “but if they have a question we can’t answer, we’ll find someone who can.” In addition, a veteran’s benefits liaison visits the campus each Wednesday afternoon during the school year to answer questions.
The Resource Center has a military Common Access Card (CAC) reader in the office so that military personnel can access their records with their military I.D.
If a student is called to active duty during a semester, Resource Center staff will assist them with that paperwork as well. “Students who have to drop classes because they are deployed receive a full refund,” said Johnson.
For more information, visit UMD’s Veterans Resource Center.
Veterans Club On Campus
The UMD Veterans Club is a student-run club. It meets in the UMD library in a room on the first floor (2011-2012 hours are yet to be determined). “We are a social club as well as a service club,” said Jessica Henriquez, the club's secretary. “We have participated in raising money for Toys for Tots for the last two years, and we recently adopted a section of Interstate 35 to do clean up.”
Henriquez was in the Minnesota National Guard and then went to active duty Army for three years. "There is a special bond and camaraderie that comes with being in the service, and that is what helps bond our group together," she said. The club is open to veterans as well as those who support veterans. “We welcome non-military with open arms into our group,” Henriquez said.
For more information, visit UMD Veterans Club.
Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, firstname.lastname@example.org 9/8/11
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