Veteran-Students in Transition at a Midwestern University

March, 2014

This paper explores the transition of veterans into higher education and the factors that affect this transition.


One of the fastest-growing subpopulations of nontraditional college students is military veterans who enroll in institutions of higher education following their returns from deployment. Although much research has been conducted on veteran-students, much of that work has focused on issues such as veterans’ finances or academic achievement, rather than the individuals’ transitions from deployment to student life. Prior to the 2008 passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, only 22% of institutions offered transition assistance to veteran-students; four years later, that figure has dramatically grown to 37%. Due to the rapidly increasing interest in transition assistance among student-veteran service providers, it is clear that more research is needed on these transitions. Six veteran-students at a large research university in the Midwest were interviewed using a qualitative case study approach. Subjects’ responses were then analyzed within the framework provided by Schlossberg's Transition Theory. The influences that most strongly impacted the participants’ transitions were assets and deficits that were financial, physical, emotional, psychological, and, most significantly, social in nature.

Full Reference

David Luther Albright, Kate Hendricks Thomas, Justin McDaniel, Kari Lynne Fletcher, Kelli Godfrey, Jessica Bertram, Caroline Angel. (2019) When women veterans return: The role of postsecondary education in transition in their civilian lives. Journal of American College Health 67:5, pages 479-485.

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