Help available for veterans looking to further education

Adjusting to a college environment from high school is hard enough. For those who have been away at war during the past decade, an ally on campus can make a big difference.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the College of Southern Nevada have resource centers to help veterans interested in higher education.

CSN’s Veterans Educational Center, in Room 204 of the D Building at the Charleston campus, 6375 W. Charleston Blvd., has dedicated staff members to assist veterans. The center opened about a year ago and serves about 1,300 registered veterans at the three CSN campuses.

Registrar Pat Zozaya said there are probably many more veterans attending CSN, but they cannot be tracked because they do not receive benefits through Veterans Affairs.

Brad Gruner, interim dean of student services at CSN, said he hopes the center can serve as a one-stop shop for veterans, young and old.

“It’s just full of resources,” Gruner said. “There are pamphlets and other literature. (There is) a private sitting room where vets can be with other vets if they want. The intention was … to have a safe, comfortable environment for vets.”

The center primarily helps veterans registering for VA benefits. The Post 9/11 GI Bill, for example, covers tuition and includes a monthly housing allowance of at least $1,020 for full-time students and a $1,000 annual stipend for books and supplies. The program pays up to 36 months of education benefits for up to 15 years following release from active duty.

The bill also allows for some service members to transfer those benefits to dependents.

CSN’s center also offers free counseling services for veterans.

“Oftentimes, we’re dealing with issues that might be related to stress,” Gruner said. “We see adjustment issues, (post-traumatic stress disorder) issues. Our counselors try to help ease that adjustment and work with them to build strategies to succeed in college.”

For more information about services for veterans at CSN, call 651-5060 or visit

UNLV’s Office of Veteran Services, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, includes the Rebel Veteran Education and Transition Support, or VETS, and an administrative office for VA services. The office is in the Student Services Complex A, Room 311. It serves more than 850 students who receive GI Bill benefits.

The Rebel VETS organization works with the on-campus veterans group, UNLV Student Veterans Organization, and a committee of faculty and staff members “to make the campus more vet-friendly,” said Rebel VETS program coordinator Sally Caspers.

“Whether you’re brand new to UNLV or you’ve been here for a while, we can be that primary place you go to with questions,” Caspers said.

Rebel VETS often coordinates social programming with the SVO and launched a program this semester to train faculty and staff members to work better with student-veterans.

For more information about services for veterans at UNLV, call 774-4611 or visit For more information about the UNLV SVO, visit

For more information about the different GI Bill programs, visit

Contact View education reporter Jeff Mosier at or 224-5524.

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