11veteranFayetteville Technical Community College, which serves over 4,200 military and veteran students and their dependents, was ranked No. 3 nationally by Military Times’ Best Colleges 2018 report. Staff at the All American Veterans Center (located inside the General Classroom Building at the Fayetteville campus) are committed to helping active-duty service members, veterans and their dependents achieve their educational goals.

Most service members exiting the military face some anxiety as they prepare for the next chapter in life. Change, the loss of one’s support network and the unknown future can lead to feelings of frustration. Where and how to begin the educational journey are questions often faced by veterans. What kind of career will allow utilization of military training and experience? Where are military-friendly school environments with staff who understand the needs of veterans? Who can answer questions and offer help?

The staff at FTCC’s AAVC will do everything possible to help veterans find the answers to these questions and more. Veterans may even discover they are closer to a degree than they thought. For some veterans, an associate degree may require less than two years to complete. Staff members evaluate prior learning and experience for applying possible academic credit toward a degree.

Many students enter the AAVC with apprehension but leave with a sense of relief in receiving assistance with the first step of the Veterans Affairs educational benefits process. Members of the AAVC work-study staff, who are student veterans, assist new students with the enrollment process. They explain VA educational benefits options and eligibility, assist students in completing the VA application and much more. School certifying officials are ready to certify enrollment to VA for payment.

VA educational benefits assist with the cost of education. A veteran may be eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) education benefits if active duty service occurred for at least 90 days after September 10, 2001. Individuals eligible for full benefits will receive in-state rate of tuition and fees and a book stipend of $1,000 per academic year. A percentage of the maximum monthly housing allowance of $1,289 is paid based on a student’s enrollment status, such as full-time versus part-time enrollment. FTCC also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program to assist veterans financially with the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.

The AAVC offers a relaxed atmosphere where veterans can engage in conversation with fellow veteran students. The center has computers, refreshments and locations where veterans can complete homework or hold study groups with fellow veterans. While the primary focus of the AAVC is to provide veteran students the tools needed to be successful in accomplishing educational goals, the staff makes every effort to obtain information on any community resource the veteran may need. Volunteers from the Patriot Outreach Center work at the AAVC to offer additional information and support.

If you are at the crossroads of your military service and civilian life, visit FTCC’s All American Veterans Center. You earned your veteran educational benefits, and you deserve them. Now let us serve you at FTCC.

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