Columbus State Covers $33,000 in Tuition for Military Students

COLUMBUS, GA — When the federal government “shut down” last month, Columbus State University told military students they should continue to register and attend classes as normal.

Even though military financial aid — such as through GoArmyEd — was suspended, the university did not want its students to miss any classes or interrupt their educational progress.

University officials assumed that, when the government went back to work, military educational costs would be paid retroactively. While GoArmy has been reinstated going forward from Oct. 17, it will not pay retroactively to the beginning of the government shutdown.

So the university is now making arrangements through private scholarship funds to cover more than $33,000 in tuition and fee costs for about 50 military students who incurred costs because they registered for classes or attended classes at Columbus State University during the federal government shutdown.

“It was the right thing to do,” said Columbus State University President Tim Mescon. “Fortunately, we have an amazing tradition of private support here, so we were able to find some privately funded scholarship for these students.”

During any given semester, about 10 percent of Columbus State University’s enrollment is military-related, whether the students are on active duty, veterans or spouses of military members. Those connections prompted the university to ramp up its efforts over the past few years to better serve the military with more online programs, academic credit for military leaders who completed the Captains Career Course, establishment of a CSU office at nearby Fort Benning, expansion of a campus Veterans Affairs office and more.

Columbus State University also now is approved as a university where veterans can apply their educational benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon Program.

These and other efforts have led to repeated recognition of Columbus State University as a “Military Friendly School.”

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