News: Marines offered nonstop entry to higher education
Story by Sgt. Marcy Sanchez
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.- Marines exiting the Marine Corps can have an advantage to being admitted to colleges and universities nationwide over other applicants.
The Leadership Scholar Program is a Corps-wide program which allows Marines either front-of-the-line privileges or guaranteed acceptance to some universities.
“Going to school is a process alone, but applying to a top-end school is more difficult and challenging,” said John R. Maki, a transition employment specialist with Camp Pendleton’s Transition Assistance Management Program. “Marines that are seeking a top-end school and wanting to do bigger and better things could really benefit from the program.”
The LSP is a direct avenue to the admissions office, said Beth E. Morgan, Director for Higher Education Initiative, Marine and Family Programs Division, Headquarters Marine Corps. Association with the program is weight that goes with the admissions package signifying to universities the individual is highly qualified and a good candidate for their school.
Although the admission procedure to a school is the first step towards a degree, it can be lengthy and very competitive.
“Some prestigious universities have about 10,000 applicants for one freshman school seat,” said Casey Roberts, the business management officer with Marine Corps Installations West. “We will submit an admission package to the Marine’s desired university to ensure they are looked at.”
The LSP allows Marine veterans whom are seeking admissions in the near or immediate future to be considered as serious candidates for admission in an extremely competitive process, said Curtis Rodgers, Dean of admissions and enrollment management at Columbia University.
Many schools are also interested in military veterans because of their experiences and leadership skills.
“There is a real commitment to making sure education opportunities exist for Marines,” said Rodgers. “They bring enormous value to our classrooms.”
“We’re excited about the response from universities so we want more Marines to take advantage of the opportunity,” said Morgan. “Marines who have served their country bring with them insights and life-experiences unknown to most college students.”
The program is open to all honorably discharging active-duty Marines, reserve Marines, and Marine veterans who meet the following requirements:
-Honorable discharge before the beginning of the school semester.
-Must have a recommendation from the chain of command.
-Must be a high school graduate.
-Have an AFQT score of 70 or above.
-Have a GT score of 115 or above.
In addition to requirements for the program, Marines must also meet all prerequisites of the school they choose to attend.
Morgan said some schools take a long time for admissions, so the sooner Marines get started the better chance they have to exit the Marine Corps and go straight into school. Marines should apply to the program 18 - 24 months before getting out.
“A number of Marine veterans are enrolled and doing extremely well,” said Rodgers.
“Marines have become leaders in the classroom and around the campus,” said Morgan.
For more information on the Leadership Scholar Program visit their website, http://www.leadershipscholarprogram.com or call Beth E. Morgan at 760-429-4124.