University of Wisconsin-Stout was honored Thursday, Nov. 9, in Madison by the UW System Board of Regents for service to veterans.

Two days before Veterans Day, seven UW System institutions were recognized for achieving UW VETS — Veterans Education and Transition to Success — certification. In addition to the undergraduate and graduate tuition benefits the UW System awards to veterans under the Wisconsin G.I. Bill, the certification recognizes each institution’s commitment to helping student veterans succeed.

To be VETS certified, a campus must go above and beyond in providing a wide range of critical supportive services, including counseling, a welcoming campus environment and giving student veterans a voice in university life.

“The UW System is a national leader in offering exceptional higher education services to student veterans,” said UW System President Ray Cross, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam. “I am pleased to recognize these seven institutions, which have taken comprehensive steps to ensure student veterans have the best possible educational experience on their campuses.”

Accepting the award for UW-Stout were Chancellor Bob Meyer and Associate Registrar Eric Konsela.

UW-Stout’s achievements include:

A comprehensive evaluation, conducted by students, of the Veteran Services Office,,; the Veterans Club; and the Military and Veteran Resource Center, The evaluators concluded that assistance with education benefits is the most important service provided on campus and that additional outreach is needed to connect online students with services.

A $10,000 Vet Center Initiative grant to the Veterans Club. The grant was sponsored by Student Veterans of America and Home Depot. Funds were used to furnish the Military and Veteran Resource Center in Bowman Hall with kitchen equipment.

Earlier this year, UW-Stout was named a national Military Friendly School, a Best for Vets School and a Top Military School.

The other institutions recognized Thursday by the Board of Regents were UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls.

Last fall, six UW institutions earned UW VETS Certification in the first year it was available: UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Superior and UW-Whitewater. Institutions must reapply for certification every three years.

The Wisconsin G.I. Bill can be used for undergraduate or graduate education for full-time, part-time and Flexible Option students. Eligible veterans, as well as spouses and children of disabled veterans, are not charged tuition and fees up to 128 credits, or the equivalent of four years of free tuition. Veterans are given priority registration at all UW institutions. In fiscal year 2017, 3,820 eligible veterans and 1,790 eligible family members took advantage of nearly $24 million in UW-funded tuition, fee and related benefits.


Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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