Important services for military veterans returning to college

helping hand 1Many people ask what sets National Louis University’s Veterans Program apart from others. One of the biggest differentiators is its “wrap around” services. NLU understands that military veterans have many considerations, beyond academics, when returning to college and does its best to support them.

Among its many offerings, the program has a team of professionals that helps military students navigate financial aid, curriculum advising and academic support. Importantly, the program has a dedicated  career development services team that builds important relationships with military-friendly companies and works with students to identify and pursue solid career opportunities. The University also partners with community organizations that specialize in legal services, spiritual health as well as mental health/social service and physical health to support veterans returning to earn their degree.

The services are called “wrap around” because they are not all academically focused, but all play a key role in helping veteran students succeed in their studies and life. Following is a brief overview of just some of these services.

Financial Support
NLU has a team of people who help military veteran students with institutional and personal financial matters. For institutional finances, the program helps students maximize their education benefits and leverage grant and scholarship opportunities. The NLU team serves as a resource to student veterans to understand what opportunities are available and help them to apply and navigate the process. For more information about veterans benefits, contact Pauline DeGrazia, VA Certifying Official, at or visit the NLU Web site.

The University also helps veteran students with personal finances, including connecting them with reputable organizations, such as Money Management International, a member of Illinois Joining Forces, to provide guidance about financial literacy, budgeting, fiscal responsibility, etc. For more information about this service, contact Paul Knudtson, Director of Armed Services Relations.

Career Development
The University has a dedicated licensed career counselor for the Veterans Program. Emily Drake, along with the rest of the NLU Career Development team, has built strong relationships with veteran-friendly companies, which she is able to connect veterans students with in their employment search. Veteran-friendly companies and veterans often have very similar values and approaches to attaining goals, which results in increased employee retention. The Career Development team also works with students on human capacity building. In other words, they help students understand what they are best at and provide them with guidance on how to market themselves to potential employers.

Curriculum Advising
Choosing the right courses that lead to academic progress is not always an easy task. At NLU, there are professionals who work with students to identify the best courses for them to take, as well as help them to navigate the process and leverage the military experience they already have. Additionally, the Veterans Program helps students to identify learning challenges they might be having and help them to create a plan to overcome any obstacles they encounter. For more information about NLU’s curriculum advising for veterans, visit the NLU Web site.

Academic Support
The team is focused on helping students build their academic skills and provide them with necessary tutoring to help them become a better student. The Library and Learning Support (LLS) office offers services especially designed for our student veterans. Services include tutoring for math, writing and study skills, in-class presentations, resources, Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) workshops and admissions assessments; and support for locating materials in print and Web formats as well as guidance for conducting academic research. Additionally, LLS also houses the Department of Diversity, Access and Equity, in which qualified students can access specific academic accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Click here for more information about NLU’s Veterans Program.