Registering for certain classes at some schools can be very difficult, be it from small class sizes, a limited number of classes, etc. Depending on a student’s degree program, this can result in being unable to graduate on time. This delay can result in lost time and increased cost of tuition.
Priority registration is something that most schools have in place to help student-athletes register for all their classes, helping to ensure student-athletes graduate on time. However, most schools and states do not extend priority registration to Student Veterans. In 2018, Maryland passed legislation that required all Maryland public institutions of higher learning to grant priority registration to Veterans and currently serving members of the United States armed forces, joining the few states like Oregon, Texas, and California that give Student Veterans priority registration.
Why Priority Registration Is Important For Student Veterans
For Student Veterans, registering for classes takes on another light as most Veterans have at most only 36 months of educational benefits. Due to this time limit, it is critical that Student Veterans are able to register for all of their classes on time. Priority registration helps ensure that Student Veterans can graduate before their educational benefits run out. Additionally, Student Veterans, unlike most traditional students, may have families and other obligations that make it more difficult to find classes to fit their schedules.
How Priority Registration Helps Student Veterans
Sara Feret, a Navy veteran, mother, and spouse of an active member of the Navy attended the University of Maryland. During her husband’s frequent deployments, she becomes her daughter’s sole caregiver, meaning she had to try and make a school schedule that worked around her daughter’s. Not having priority registration often left her unable to take important classes, either because they were full, or did not give her enough time to care for her daughter.
Since Maryland has given all Student Veterans access to priority registration, Sara and other Student Veterans are able to schedule classes with much greater ease, ensuring that they can support their families, graduate on time, and not run out of their educational benefits.
Veterans Helping Veterans – The Road To Legislation
Mike Rennie, the former president of Terp Vets, spearheaded the effort to have the State of Maryland give priority registration to Veterans. Knowing the benefits of priority registration for Student Veterans, Mike set out to help his fellow Veterans. He looked at Texas’ legislation for inspiration and set to drafting his proposal for Maryland. With the proposal and written statements of support from members of Terp Vets Student Organization, he was able to get the backing of the Terps for Service Members organization, University of Maryland’s Student Government Association, Maryland’s Secretary of Veteran Affairs, and finally the Maryland Legislature. It was through the combined efforts of both Veterans and civilians that led to the passage of this important legislation.
We love seeing Veterans pulling together towards a common cause because we know when Vets work together they can accomplish anything!
If you want to bring an initiative like this to your state or there is something you’d like to see changed contact us HERE