Many service members return home intent on attending a higher education institution. Whether it is to start from scratch on a new skill for a fresh career path, or to get the necessary certifications for skills that were developed in the military, colleges are a common location for young veterans following their duty. Because of how important a college education is to seizing job opportunities in the currently competitive employment landscape, many groups have been pushing for more programs that support veterans who want to attend a university. 

Scholarship programs are available, while the Department of Veterans Affairs and other government agencies do offer guidance to service members who are looking to finance their higher education and get the degrees they need to step into preferable positions. Across the nation, communities appear to be getting behind veterans and their families in hopes of improving the quality of life among service members in their areas, including Massachusetts. 

State's overwhelming support
The Lowell Sun recently reported that the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed bill H-4278 unanimously last week, which will now go to the State Senate for final approval. The bill, which gained a vote of 154-0 in favor, relates to several propositions and initiatives that span from housing homeless veterans to supporting the children of those who either fell prisoner overseas or lost their lives in active service. 

Massachusetts representatives have passed a bill involving scholarships for children of POWs.Massachusetts representatives have passed a bill involving scholarships for children of POWs.

According to the news provider, should the bill pass through Senate, veterans would be given preference when applying for public housing, while the statutes within the Public Service Scholarship will be expanded as well. This scholarship, the source noted, has traditionally been specifically targeted at children of prisoners of war from the Vietnam War, but this latest legislative change would open that up to all children of POWs from any war. 

The Lowell Sun pointed out that this was not the only move by the House of Representative in favor of veterans last week, as another unanimous vote passed a bill to exempt veterans from the automotive excise task in the state. The bill would also push for more donations to veteran benefit funds. State-level support for veterans has played a massive role in the improvement of service members' livelihoods throughout the past several years. 

Re-integration implications
The Yakima Herald recently reported that many veterans have started their civilian lives at Central Washington University, which boasts almost 600 service members in its current undergraduate and graduate programs. The school also has a veterans club and center, as well as other assets and programs that are focused on improving the assimilation of veterans into college life. 

More concerted efforts from universities will likely be necessary in the coming years. According to the source, the VA estimates the volume of veterans receiving education credits reached 1 million in 2013, and that the number will grow by another 20 percent in the near future. Veterans can find specialized academic programs and scholarship opportunities specifically tailored to their unique needs.