Since 2009 when North Central College joined the Yellow Ribbon program, the number of veterans on campus has nearly tripled. Currently, North Central serves 23 student veterans—most are transfer students—and expects this population to increase as more troops make their way home and the College’s commitment to serve this population continues to grow.
“Our veterans are smart, motivated and driven to be successful people,” says Laurie Hamen, vice president for enrollment management, athletics and student affairs. “They exhibit all the characteristics of great North Central students and have good ideas about how to make this campus more veteran-friendly.”
North Central College President Harold Wilde initiated a dialogue with student veterans by inviting them to a reception at his house for an inaugural Veteran’s Day celebration in 2010. As students shared their experiences, the group discussed how the campus community can best support veterans’ adjustment back to academic and civilian life.
Among the outcomes was a revision to an enrollment policy making it easier for veterans to secure their benefits more quickly and easily. North Central also implemented a formal program that raises the profile of veterans on campus while improving access to resources and delivery of services that help them earn their degree and plan their futures.
Officially launched on Veteran’s Day Nov. 11, 2011, the student veteran service program includes the following initiatives:
- Yellow Ribbon program, implemented in 2009. Veterans’ tuition and fees are paid 100 percent; after benefits are paid by the Post-9/11 GI Bill, North Central covers the balance.
- Veterans Resource Team, comprised of staff from various campus offices, provides individualized assistance to veterans.
- Campus-wide training sessions to inform faculty and staff about the needs of student vets. First workshop took place in 2011 and featured guest speakers and panel of faculty and students who are veterans.
- Dedicated pages on the College’s website with information about admission, financial aid and links to programs and services available to student veterans. Visit