Regents Approve In-State Tuition Rate for Non-Missouri Resident Active Duty Military, Veterans

Board of RegentsCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 22, 2013 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents Feb. 21 approved an incidental fee rate equal to the in-state incidental fee rate for all non-Missouri residents who are active duty military or veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, including members of the National Guard or Reserves, their spouse and dependents.

The new rate takes effect for the fall 2013 semester.

Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration, said beginning Aug. 1, 2011, the Veterans Administration changed their policy from paying at the top Missouri institution in-state rate, which exceeded Southeast’s out-of-state rate, to paying the actual in-state rate at each institution.

“This caused Southeast’s out-of-state veterans to receive less of a benefit from their GI bill and owe the balance of the difference between in-state and out-of-state fees,” Mangels said.

She added that Tuition Assistance (TA) is a federal and state tuition benefit offered to members of the Armed Forces, both active and reserve. TA is not an entitlement and is subject to funding by each service component. Currently, TA caps the federal amount offered to students at $250 per credit hour (incidental fees only) up to a maximum of $4,500 each fiscal year, October to October. Students charged out-of-state fees, Mangels said, are more likely to reach the tuition cap in one semester rather than being able to use that funding for two full semesters.

“To effectively market Southeast programs, especially online programs, to veterans, active duty and members of their families beyond state borders, it is necessary to establish competitive fees,” she said.

Southeast certified 252 veterans and/or their dependents for or during the fall 2012, semester, of which 26 were from out of state, she said.

Establishing an incidental fee rate equal to the in-state incidental fee rate for all non-Missouri residents who are active duty or veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, underscores Southeast’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students and assists in repaying them for service to our country

Military Friendly School Ranking In September and for the second straight year, Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, named Southeast Missouri State University to the coveted Military Friendly Schools ® list. The 2013 Military Friendly Schools ® list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. Schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.

“We are very pleased that our University has been recognized as very supportive of the members of our military branches,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. Director of Military and Veterans Services Underscoring this commitment, Southeast last fall hired Jeremy McBroom to serve in the newly created position, Director of Military and Veterans Services. This position is providing leadership in the development of recruitment and support programs for students who are veterans of the U.S. armed forces and for students who are currently serving in the military. McBroom is responsible for overseeing a University standing committee to coordinate services for these student populations and advising a veteran’s student organization. “Colleges and universities across the country are experiencing an increase in the enrollment of military veterans, and we are indebted to these students for their service to our country,” said Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success and dean of students. “The director of military and veterans services is providing leadership in the coordination of quality service for both active duty military personnel and for veterans. We want to see Southeast’s veterans achieve success and earn their college degree. In establishing an Office of Military and Veterans Services, students now have a place and a person to offer the support they need to achieve their goals.”

The Office of Military and Veterans Services at Southeast develops and maintains relationships with military service and veterans’ administration organizations, including recruiting stations, veterans’ affairs offices, VFW Posts, American Legion Posts and veterans commissions on behalf of the University. McBroom is developing and implementing a plan to recruit military and veteran students, and help prospective and current students to understand, access and successfully complete the new student processes – admissions, financial aid, billing, veterans’ benefits and registration. McBroom also represents the University at off-campus recruiting events, targeting military personnel and veterans, and refers prospective and current students who are military personnel or veterans to the appropriate academic and support services. He also maintains a website for the office and chairs the University’s Veterans and Military Services Committee to coordinate University services for veterans and their dependents and spouses.

The Office of Military and Veterans Services also researches and advocates for opportunities to implement veterans-friendly policies, procedures, processes, events and support services, advise a veteran’s student organization and host events and workshops for active-duty military and veterans. In addition, the office assists in the research and development of grant applications and other external funding proposals related to veterans initiatives. “Having an Office of Military and Veterans Services is very important to our campus and should be a part of every college campus,” McBroom said. “Military members past and present have dealt with extremely stressful situations and have made sacrifices for our nation that many citizens will never realize. This office was created to ensure that their service to our nation does not go without recognition. It will provide advice and support to military and veteran students with the goal of successful integration and retention in the academic setting.”

Southeast Partners with Missouri National Guard on Officer Training Program In addition to creating the Office of Military and Veterans Services, Southeast and the Missouri Army National Guard last August entered into an agreement to launch a SHOW ME GOLD officer training program to begin at Southeast in fall 2013. The Missouri Army National Guard Officer Leadership Program (SHOW ME GOLD) will offer citizens of Missouri the opportunity for professional development to become commissioned officers in the Missouri Army National Guard. The officer training program will consist of credit-bearing classroom instruction, leadership laboratories and physical conditioning training. A Missouri Army National Guard officer is based at Southeast and is recruiting students, developing an academic program and will provide instruction for cadets. The SHOW ME GOLD program is expected to enroll approximately 20 students for fall 2013 and each subsequent year. According to Major Gen. Stephen Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri Army National Guard, “Southeast Missouri State and the Missouri National Guard share a rich tradition of being and providing leaders for our state and nation. This new program will muster the full resources of both institutions to mold a new generation of leaders.” Dobbins says the SHOW ME GOLD program will be similar to other Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) such as the Air Force ROTC program at Southeast. Student participants in the program must satisfy admissions standards of both Southeast Missouri State and the Missouri Army National Guard. Those who qualify for any of Southeast’s merit–based scholarships will be eligible to receive the full value of this scholarship in addition to other financial benefits received as a result of the student’s service in the Missouri Army National Guard. Additionally, students who live in on-campus housing will receive a $2000 award, to be used toward Residence Life room and board costs. Students will enroll in Southeast’s regular academic programs, but also will take credit-bearing leadership courses offered through the Missouri Army National Guard and fulfill other additional requirements. Dedicated offices and classrooms are planned for the program. Dobbins said some four-credit hour SHOW ME GOLD leadership courses will be open to all Southeast students, regardless of whether they participate in the officer training program. “These courses will assist students in developing outstanding leadership skills,” the president said. He praised the Missouri Army National Guard for partnering with Southeast on this new initiative. “The SHOW ME GOLD Program shows the faith the Missouri Army National Guard has in both the leadership and the academic programs of Southeast Missouri State,” Dobbins said. “We thank Major General Danner and the Missouri Army National Guard for bringing this program to our campus, and we look forward to working with them to develop this program for the citizens of Missouri,” Dobbins added. “Working with our partners at Southeast Missouri State, the Show Me State is setting a new standard for producing trained, educated, and outstanding Citizen-Soldiers that we are certain other states will emulate,” said Major General Danner. “Once again, Missouri is leading the way.”