Veteran and Military-Connected Students' Experiences in College

2019-10-16T17:03:42Z (GMT) by Karen A Miller
The United States spent nearly 12 billion dollars on veteran education benefits in 2018 to support the approximately 900,000 military-connected students that accessed educational benefits (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2019). In reference to prior research, veteran and military-connected students reported issues with discrimination based on their military status, incongruence in navigating cultural differences, and perceptions of loss related to their college experience. To more efficiently use the billions of dollars slated for their education, institutions must addresses the issues that may affect veteran and military-connected students’ time in college. Participants for this study were 184 veteran and military-connected students from institutions across the United States, primarily from the Midwest. Results from the study indicated there was a relationship between the gains veteran and military-connected students associated with their experiences in college with their life satisfaction and likelihood to persist. No relationships emerged between perceived discrimination or cultural congruence and life satisfaction and likelihood to persist. Whereas differences also did not emerge among gender, race and ethnicity, and sexual orientation in this study, these results are likely due to underrepresentation and may not reflect the true experiences of veteran and military-connected students of minority statuses. The relationships that emerged between college-related gains and life satisfaction and likelihood to persist suggest that the appraisal of gains is an important factor for the well-being and educational attainment of veteran and military-connected students and could serve as a point for intervention.