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Enlistment to Enrollment: A Narrative Study of Student Veterans' Perceptions of the College Admission Process
The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 is the most generous expansion of veteran benefits since the original GI Bill (Radford, 2009). Unfortunately, many service members and veterans are not enrolling in higher education because of three main reasons: lack of easy access to needed information, lack of effective outreach, and lack of veteran-friendly institutions (American Council on Education, 2008). The profile of students who are service members and veterans is often nontraditional. Some service members or veteran students are older than traditional college age students (18-22), may have families and full time jobs, may be first-generation; and tend to be in lower to middle socioeconomic statuses (ACE, 2008). Service members and veterans' unique histories can result in distinct challenges for them while moving into a higher education setting. ^ The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of student veterans who have gone through the college admission process. A qualitative, narrative approach was used to address the research question: How do student veterans describe their experience during the predisposition, search, and choice stages of college admission process? Data were collected through one-on-one interviews with (N=16) student veterans who have gone through the college admission process. Data were analyzed following the seven steps defined by Rubin and Rubin (2012). Fourteen themes in the predisposition, search, and choice stages and five supplemental themes emerged. In the predisposition stage three main themes emerged as student veterans discussed making decisions about their future careers. In the search stage five main themes emerged which revealed issues in finding information about institutions. In the choice stage, six themes emerged covering the factors student veterans considered when choosing a school. Supplemental findings included themes surrounding military education benefits, lack of academic confidence, and military friendly institutions. ^ The findings of this study may be beneficial in identifying ways to streamline the college admission process for veterans. It may also further identify ways in which leaders in higher education can support student veterans during their transition to higher education. Lastly it could influence change to policies and procedures to become military friendly.^
Public policy|Higher education|Military studies
Earle, Erin West, "Enlistment to Enrollment: A Narrative Study of Student Veterans' Perceptions of the College Admission Process" (2014). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3684659.