Vassar Today

Vassar-Posse Foundation Partnership to Bring Veterans to Campus

By Lance Ringel

Vassar will be the first college to enroll groups of military veterans through a new partnership with the acclaimed Posse Foundation. The Veterans Posse Program is a pilot project aimed at increasing the college-going and graduation rates of veterans at selective colleges and universities across the country. Ten participants (initially from New York State) will join the Vassar student body in the fall 2013 freshman class.

Since 1989 the Posse Foundation has helped top colleges enroll thousands of talented public high school graduates who might have been overlooked by traditional admissions processes. The foundation identifies public high school students with academic and leadership potential and gives these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams (“posses”) of 10 students. The foundation’s partner schools award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships. Similarly, through the Veterans Posse Program, each Veterans Posse Scholar will attend college tuition free through a combination of the college’s scholarship aid and GI Bill® benefits, and the students will continue to receive support through graduation.

“Providing the opportunity for a top-rate college education for men and women who have served our country in the military is critical,” says Posse president and founder Deborah Bial. “Posse is tremendously grateful to Vassar for signing on as the first college partner.”

As President Catharine Hill explains, “With more than two million veterans currently eligible for the GI Bill® and more expected to be added over the coming years, we’re confident there are many veterans for whom highly selective colleges and universities like Vassar will be a great option.”

Hill has been highly vocal about the need to open Vassar’s doors to veterans who make it possible for the country to continue to avoid a military draft. She addressed the topic in her column for this magazine’s Winter 2012 issue, as well as in an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “The Posse initiative is a pivotal step in the right direction,” says Hill.