The new G.I. Bill

Useful piece in the Times this week about how some colleges are adapting to an influx of veterans (and in some cases, not trying to adapt at all). It makes a big difference in whether the vet is going to succeed:

“There are some great colleges and universities that deserve an A+,” said Mr. Garcia, a former Marine. “But there are some colleges and universities that perform varying unscrupulous practices, and they deserve an F.” An area needing immediate improvement, according to Mr. Garcia, is career counseling. As of January, 9.1 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were unemployed, higher than the national rate of 8.3 percent.

Clearly, some schools deserve high marks for looking out for student-veterans. Columbia University, which banned the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps in 1969 and allowed it back only in 2011, now ships out admissions staff members to military bases to recruit students.

And what a difference a war makes at the University of California, Berkeley. Rocked by violent antiwar protests during the Vietnam era, the school currently promotes its “military friendly” designation from G.I. Jobs magazine on its Web site for veterans.

Still, Gene van den Bosch, who founded the Arizona Veterans’ Education Foundation, frets that some schools pay student-veterans little more than lip service. “Perhaps some colleges are trying to maximize a public relations benefit and portray themselves as being military- or veteran-friendly,” Mr. van den Bosch said. “And yet when you investigate and say, ‘Define that,’ it turns out it may be in many cases, ‘We have somebody who’s going to help them process their G.I. Bill checks.’ ”

If you (or someone you know) is related to or knows an Iraq vet, pass this article along.