Some leaders would like to see scholarships given to military veterans who served at least some time in North Carolina to make up the difference between in-state and the more expensive out-of-state tuition at our universities. Others would like to see simply an in-state tuition policy for veterans who served within North Carolina for a period of time.
However the details work out, there is momentum to give veterans a break at North Carolinas institutions of higher learning and thats good. Gov. Pat McCrory is on board, and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr also backs the idea. Tom Ross, president of the University of North Carolina System, also believes offering special opportunities to vets is needed. Theyd also get in-state rates at community colleges.
There are some selfish reasons for the state to make the university system and community colleges more available to veterans. Those who have served in the military typically exit that experience with a strong focus on where they want to go and what they want to do. They have shaken off their doubts and distractions from youth; some have started families and are seeking a way to better provide for them.
And as many nonveteran alums of the Vietnam era can attest to from what they saw in college, veterans are motivated and mature students. They enrich the classes theyre in for other students and set a good example for those students.
We must not forget that these veterans, given the American involvement in foreign fronts in recent years, have done tough duty to honor their uniforms, and a number have been wounded. A better opportunity at a university education doesnt pay our debt in full, but it is a good start.