On March 9, SGA passed SR-03, a resolution that calls for financial assistance for active-duty soldiers attending UCCS. The senate also heard from Assistant Director of Military Affairs Jeff Deickman during the meeting.
TA Matching Resolution
The purpose of this resolution is to lower the undergraduate per credit hour costs to a $250 rate for active-duty students — known as tuition assistance (TA) matching — so they do not have to pay out of pocket for tuition.
Senator of Military Affairs Ashley Hoff authored the resolution and thinks it will help UCCS better show their support for military students.
“UCCS claims that we are military-friendly, but by not matching TA rates, we are sending a very different message to our current prospective military students,” Hoff said.
SGA does not hold the power to implement these changes on its own, so Hoff hopes the resolution will reach Chancellor Venkat Reddy and CU’s Board of Regents so they can put forth the needed legislation.
According to Hoff, other competing schools in Colorado Springs do TA matching, leading to approximately 50 prospective students per month walking out of UCCS’ Education Center in Fort Carson and into other competing schools’ offices.
Hoff said that CSU Global’s TA military population is around 17% of their total student population. UCCS’ military population is approximately 0.5% of their total population.
Senator-at-Large Amanda Ford sponsored the resolution and described TA matching as a long-term investment.
“This would be the time to implement it, so that down the road we’re going to generate more tuition revenue instead of slowly losing those active-duty members to [Pikes Peak State College] now that it’s not a community college anymore,” Ford said.
Hoff thinks that lowering the TA rates gives these students some of the positivity they gave to the UCCS community through their service.
“Matching TA rates for service members is the right thing to do for our community. It’s giving back to the service members who have positively impacted our community by providing them with accessible and affordable education,” Hoff said.
Assistant Director of Military Affairs Jeff Deickman
Deickman gave a brief overview of what the Veteran and Military Affairs (VMA) Office does. He noted that 1 in 5 students at UCCS are connected to the military in some way, and most of them are student veterans.
Deickman pointed out the difference between the number of active-duty soldiers at UCCS in comparison to PPSC, noting that there’s about 50 UCCS students compared to the almost 3000 at PPSC.
“That is important because we are working to try to improve that connection and bring [in] more of those students, and that will also help us with enrollment and diversity,” Deickman said.
According to Deickman, there’s about 1,500 military-affiliated students at UCCS. Those students alone bring about $15 million in direct payments to the university, which could be even bigger with more military-affiliated enrollments.
Deickman also discussed how the office helps cultivate the mental health of military students by providing training to faculty and staff so they can adequately support their individual needs.
Additionally, the VMA office covers the cost of nine visits to the Wellness Center every semester so that student veterans can get the help they need without worrying about the bill. “We don’t want them to have any concerns other than being a student,” Deickman said.