Amidst all the chaos of the government shutdown which has only further compounded the issues of sequestration and downsizing, there are still signs that military and veteran education remains a priority. The Marine Corps released information today regarding its “Leadership Scholar Program”, which is designed to connect outgoing Marines directly with universities, assisting greatly in the admissions process. Unfortunately for those already enrolled in American Public University System or another school, the Leadership Scholar Program (LSP) will not be a very useful tool – LSP does not have any funds allocated to it, and so there would be little reason for a student already enrolled in college to apply for it, unless they wanted assistance with admission to a new university which participates in the program. Still, the fact that information regarding LSP is actively circulated during this critical time is a good sign, though it does not mean other programs will be restored prior to a resolution by the House, because it does not require VA support or funding.
For anyone with an interest in LSP, whether to apply yourself or to pass on to any interested Marines, here are the basics:
The program is open to Active Duty Marines who are eligible for an honorable discharge with no further active duty obligation before the beginning of the academic school year (In this case for Columbia University, with the option of 21 January 2014 or 2 September 2014).
Requirements to apply as an Active Duty Marine are as follows:
1. Must possess a High School Diploma. Current the GED is not accepted.
2. On the ASVAB, must possess a AFQT of 70 or higher, and a GT of 115 or higher.
4. Must take or have taken the SAT or ACT within 8 years, and achieved a score of 1150 on the SAT or 25 on the ACT.
Qualifying applicants who are accepted into the program will attend an interview with a university representative in a designated UOD, and must be prepared to submit high school and any college transcripts at this time.
The Marine Corps appears to be attempting to develop this program and expand relations with other universities aggressively, and that bodes well in a time when funding is limited. It is a shame that TA and VA benefits are suffering at the moment, and there is real concern over the endurance of TA in the future, but this does not mean that veterans should not be given every chance to achieve their education goals. LSP is a way to adapt to the fiscal climate while still maintaining this focus on education. For those of you already enrolled in AMU/APU or other universities, you may not see the need to promote a program which does not help your alma mater, but I wanted to bring it up in order to show the direction in which military education is moving under current conditions, and find this type of adaptation admirable, if somewhat distressing in the lack of funding.
The LSP site is: www.leadershipscholarprogram.com/