Missouri's workforce wins when veterans pursue higher education
Nov. 10, 2017
BY ZORA MULLIGAN
Veterans have a key role in helping Missouri achieve its higher education and workforce goals.
About 6 percent of students at the state’s public and independent colleges and universities are veterans or are currently serving in the military. The most common majors are business administration, liberal arts, the sciences, and criminal justice.
Many veterans have specialized skills that coupled with additional education become even more valuable to business, industry, and public service. When veterans earn a degree or certificate our workforce wins, and Missouri moves closer to its goal for higher education attainment.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education has set a goal for 60 percent of working-age adults in Missouri to have a two- or four-year degree or certificate by 2025. The goal is based on research that shows by 2020, about 66 percent of jobs in the state will require some form of higher education. Currently, 51.7 percent of adults in the state have a degree or certificate.
For the past several years, Missouri has been working with 12 other states to develop strategies to help veterans transition from the military to college. The Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit is looking at ways to assist states with creating policies to turn the knowledge and skills veterans gain in the military into college credit.
To help with college costs, our state offers reduced tuition to qualifying veterans attending a public college or university. The Missouri Returning Heroes Act caps the tuition rate for eligible veterans at $50 per credit hour. The reduced rate is good for 10 years following a veteran’s final discharge from service.
To qualify, veterans must have:
Been a Missouri resident when first entering the military.
Served in a combat zone (as designated by the U.S. Department of Defense) after Sept, 11, 2001.
Received an honorable discharge from the military.
You can find more information at dhe.mo.gov/ppc/returningheroesact.php.
In addition, many of the state’s colleges and universities offer specific programs and services to help veterans complete a certificate or degree.
College and university leaders across the state recognize that providing higher education opportunities to Missouri veterans not only makes a difference in the lives of the veterans and their families but also the future of our state.