Military Service on Enrollment Forms

Person filling out a form

Ask about ‘prior military service’ on enrollment forms.

Promising Practice

Most institutions of higher education already ask incoming students about possible veteran status. This is because some grants ask for the data, or the institution has set a strategic goal that requires this kind of information. However, it should be noted, that not everyone who has served in the military identifies themselves as a veteran. This is because the term ‘veteran’ can be confusing, even to those who have served. There are some agencies that define veteran status by length of service, some by condition of discharge status, and others by location or duty station. Therefore, it is becoming more common for institutions to simply ask incoming students about ‘prior military service’ on admissions and/or enrollment forms. This allows those who have served in the military, but do not consider themselves to be veterans, to identify themselves and provides more accurate data to the institution.

Example of Reframed Screening Question

  1. Have you ever served in the military (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, National Guard or Reserve components)?
  2. Has an immediate family member ever served in the military (father, mother, brother, sister, partner, son, daughter)?

King County Institutions Implementing Practice

Antioch University, Argosy University, Art Institute of Seattle, Cascadia Community College, Central Washington University, DeVry University, DigiPen Institute of Technology, Divers Institute of Seattle, Eastern Washington University, Fuller Theological Seminary, Green River Community College, Highline Community College, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, North Seattle Community College, Northwest University, Renton Technical College, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle Central Community College, Seattle University, South Seattle Community College, University of Washington- Bothell Campus.

From Timm Lovitt's Promising Best Practices: Veteran-Supportive Institutions of Higher Education in King County (Veterans Training Support Center, 2013). See the full report: download pdf, 99 pages

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Project provided by King County Veterans and Human Services Levy
and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.