Story by Ana Acosta
Palomar’s Promise Program will be extending a helping hand to the campus’ veteran community.
President Joi Lin Blake hopes that a Veteran’s Promise program will be able to provide students with additional financial support while completing their education at Palomar.
“We’re making sure that we’ve done all we can do for our students,” Blake said in a recent interview.
According to Blake, Palomar administrators began to look at the other demographics on campus who require financial support. When Blake discovered that veterans make up the majority of poverty rates in North County, she wanted to see how Palomar can make obtaining a higher education less of a hassle.
The Promise program is mainly funded through donors and AB 19, the state bill that funds California Community College Promise programs.
Michelle Barton, Senior Director of Planning and Research at Palomar college, is in the process of hosting a survey with veterans currently on campus. The survey will provide more information in regards to determining the structure and functionality of the program.
“We have some veteran students,” said Julie Lanthier Bandy, Acting Director of Public Affairs and Communications, “there are only 10 (veterans in the survey) right now, so the idea is to expand that through the data and the analysis so we understand the best way to (implement the program).”
Once the survey is completed, the program will be established to provide additional financial support for veterans. Veterans who are recipients of the GI Bill can expect to receive financial assistance from the Veteran’s Promise as supplementary funds outside of the GI Bill.
The GI Bill provides financial assistance for tuition and textbook payments for veterans. During winter and spring breaks, veterans can often face a break in funding. The Veterans Promise will work as a wrap-around program and will make sure that veterans have enough funds for living expenses while in school.
The survey will be launched on Sept. 9.
Currently, it is uncertain when the Veteran’s Promise program will be established, but President Blake assures that once the numbers of the survey are in, they will have a better sense of when to initiate the implementation.
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