USC pledges to help veterans achieve higher education

USC is one of 24 private colleges and universities in California to join the One More Veteran Pledge, an initiative that aims to make higher education more accessible to veterans.

Through signing the pledge, the institutions vow to recognize veterans as assets to their educational communities and to take into account veterans’ service in the admissions process.

The pledge marks the first time since World War II that select private colleges and universities have made a concerted effort to recruit veterans. Historically, standard admission guidelines including high school GPA and standardized test scores have disadvantaged veterans in the admission process. By signing the pledge, the schools strive to admit one more veteran in the upcoming academic year than they did in the year prior.

All of the participating institutions, including the California Institute of Technology, Claremont McKenna College and Otis College of Art and Design, are recipients of the Ahmanson Veteran Scholarship Initiative. The scholarship provides funds to enroll, support and graduate more student veterans.

According to the statement, William Ahmanson, president of the Ahmanson Foundation, said the One More Veteran Pledge demonstrates that educational institutions value veterans’ presence both on campus and in the classroom. He hopes that the initiative will inspire a shift in admissions processes throughout the nation.

“College admissions should treat veterans like national assets, similar to prized athletic recruits,” Ahmanson said in a press release. “With prominent ads in the The New York Times, Internet, radio and social media during admissions season, we have an opportunity to raise awareness, lead by example and effect change.”