The University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana (UAHT) has a program that many people may not be fully aware of that will help veteran and their family receive an education.
UAHT, through the Department of Veteran Affairs, offers many different programs that are geared towards helping veterans along with their spouses and family members.
“We have different chapters,” Kyla Walker, Financial Aid Officer and the UAHT School Certified Official, said. “We have post 9/11, which is for those who have served over in Iraq. We have Chapter 30, Chapter 35, which is survivors benefits for dependents and spouses of veterans. We also have Chapter 1606 which is for the active reverses.”
The post 9/11 program is made to help pay benefits for veterans that have served in Iraq get their tuition and books paid for up to $1,000 a year.
“They also get monthly benefits and they also get housing per semester,” Walker said. “The other Chapters, they will just get a monthly benefit and that will help towards their cost of living as well as their cost of education.”
UAHT also offered transfer benefits for those that have served in Iraq where they can transfer all their benefits to either their spouses of their dependents.
Walker’s husband was in the marines so she knows first hand how much these types of programs help.
“It’s a good program for those who are eligible,” she said. “I encourage anyone that can to apply because they have served for our country and they are entitled to these benefits so if you’re planning on going to school, check with your local school certified official and see what’s out there and what’s available.” .
Before the COIVD-19 pandemic, the program at UAHT had about 30-40 veterans a year, but since the pandemic started that number has dropped to around 20, but Walker says that those numbers are starting to go back up again.
To register for the program, people can go to www.va.gov and submit an application. The application usually takes about 30 days to get processed where the applicant where then receive a certificate of eligibility in the mail that they can present to their hopeful school, like UAHT. Walkers says there’s also a paper application that people can pick up, but that that is a longer process.
All students that enter these programs must be working toward a degree and also only specific courses may be applied toward VA certification and graduation, but Walker says that UAHT has had many success stories through the Veterans Affairs programs.
“I’m aware of some of the students that have gone through the funeral service program and one that actually has their own funeral home,” she said. “I also know of some that have gone through the nursing program and are now in the nursing field.”