USF and Pat Tillman Foundation
The program, named after the former NFL player, provides scholarships for veterans and their dependents.
By Barbara Melendez
USF.edu News Writer
TAMPA, Fla. (Jan 27, 2011) – The University of South Florida is joining forces with the Pat Tillman Foundation as one of five new university partners in support of its Tillman Military Scholars program which provides educational scholarships for veteran and active service members and their dependents.
The other institutions include Columbia University, San Diego State University, University of Michigan – Flint and the University of Wyoming who will be university partners for the 2011/2012 academic year. The five universities join returning university partners Cleveland State University, Mississippi State University, Texas A&M University, University of Arizona, University of Arkansas, University of Maryland and University of Oregon.
USF was ranked eighth in the nation by Military Times Edge, a military and veteran career and education resource publication, in its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2010” issue.
University partners are selected based on their innovative program support services and proven culture of community for military families. As a university partner, each institution conducts outreach to its veteran student population and actively participates in the selection process. Upon selection of Tillman Military Scholars on campus, each then supports the building of community among these students, strengthening their academic and personal experience.
“USF is a national leader in serving students with military backgrounds. Our university community has always believed that active-duty military, veterans and their families enrich and inspire our campus community with their leadership skills and life experiences,” said USF President Judy Genshaft. “We are proud to join the Pat Tillman Foundation in creating new opportunities for these valued students to achieve their educational goals. We have all been inspired by the example Pat set for our nation to serve a greater cause and now we are honored to be a part of the incredible outreach effort created in his memory.”
The scholarship program expresses the Tillman Foundation’s dedication to supporting educational opportunities for service members and military families by filling the financial gaps left by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Tillman Military Scholarships cover not only direct study-related expenses such as tuition and fees, but also other needs including housing and child care. To date, 111 Tillman Military Scholars representing 28 states and attending 46 academic institutions nationwide have been awarded over $1.3 million.
In 2008, understanding the challenges experienced by military families and the increased need for resources, the board of directors led by Marie Tillman, Pat’s widow, refocused its mission: to invest in veterans and their families through education and community.
USF’s Office of Veterans’ Services works in close cooperation with the Veterans Administration to assist veterans, active duty servicepersons and members of the Selected Reserve, as well as dependents of benefits eligible veterans, enrolled at USF, with their financial and academic needs. It can be accessed by visiting http://www.veterans.usf.edu/.
“We are honored to be a Tillman Military Scholar University Partner,” stated Larry Braue, director of Veterans Services at the University of South Florida. “These scholarships will provide unprecedented opportunities for our student veterans to pursue their lifelong dreams. It gives the University of South Florida one more way to demonstrate our commitment to the personal success of those who sacrificed so much to protect our great nation.”
The application to become a Tillman Military Scholar opens Mar. 7. Learn more about eligibility and criteria at www.pattillmanfoundation.org/tillman-military-scholars.php.