More than half of the veterans who enter college after military service complete a degree, according to a newly released report from the non-profit Student Veterans of America (SVA). They succeed despite unique challenges: Many are older than the traditional student, have families to support or are resuming their education after years away from the classroom, according to the survey.
The research initiative, titled the Million Records Project, examined about 900,000 records of student veterans who attended college from 2002 to 2010.
As part of the Raytheon Co.’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and fostering the next generation of innovators, the defense contractor joined forces with SVA in 2012. For the second consecutive year, they will award three $10,000 Raytheon-SVA Scholarships to military veterans pursuing secondary and advanced degrees in engineering. The idea is to not only assist gifted veterans in building new careers, but to bring advanced skills, leadership and discipline to these rapidly growing career fields.
Applications will be accepted July 4, 2014 through October 1, 2014. Military veterans pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in any of the following fields are invited to apply:
- Engineering: Aerospace, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical, Software or Systems
- Cyber Security / Network Security
The three student veterans selected to receive the scholarships will have completed their first year of undergraduate study or higher and have demonstrated leadership in their local communities.
“Upon returning to civilian life, I searched for ways to build upon the knowledge and leadership skills gained during my military service,” said Ryan Wilson, one of last year’s scholarship recipients. Wilson served in the U.S. Navy Seabees, where he worked as a heavy equipment mechanic, and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Irvine.
“I wanted to utilize my mechanical abilities in a rewarding career,” he said.
Raytheon is a sponsor of the Million Records Project, which is the most comprehensive study of its kind. The data it provides illuminates the special needs and challenges faced by student veterans, which enables organizations to further customize support for the student veteran community.
“Given the appropriate resources, veterans possess the capacity to make a huge impact in America’s communities and economy,” said D. Wayne Robinson, SVA’s President and CEO. “As shown through the findings of the Million Records Project, veterans are pursuing degrees in high-growth, in-demand fields including, engineering and information technology. This continued partnership illustrates Raytheon’s commitment to the veteran community and their dedication to ensuring those who have served are afforded every opportunity to succeed.”