Between 2002 and 2006, Portia Scott was deployed in Kuwait for three months and in Balad, Iraq, for a total of 15 months, where she served as an admin­is­tra­tive assis­tant to the lieu­tenant colonel of her battalion.

Today, Scott is one of 24 vet­erans who attend North­eastern through the fed­eral Yellow Ribbon Pro­gram. A grant-​​matching part­ner­ship between the U.S. Depart­ment of Vet­erans Affairs (VA) and par­tic­i­pating col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, the pro­gram is designed to cover higher edu­ca­tion costs for post-​​9/​11 veterans.

The Uni­ver­sity has com­mitted $2 mil­lion to the program.Because ofthe size of the University’s sup­port, qual­i­fying vet­erans who enroll at North­eastern receive grant aid that covers most to all of Northeastern’s tuition and fee charges, depending on the degree pro­gram they choose. Vet­erans have access to a full range of pro­grams, including bachelor’s, master’s, doc­toral and law degrees.

Scott, who is working toward earning a bachelor’s degree in busi­ness man­age­ment through the Col­lege of Pro­fes­sional Studies, has made a seam­less tran­si­tion from the mil­i­tary envi­ron­ments of Kuwait and Iraq to the aca­d­emic world of Northeastern.

I have enjoyed all of my classes and the pro­fes­sors are phe­nom­enal,” she said. “It is very impor­tant for a lot of vet­erans to be able to go back to class and not have to worry about taking out loans or how to pay for living expenses. It’s a great pro­gram to take advan­tage of.”

For the past sev­eral months, the Uni­ver­sity has focused on how best to inte­grate ser­vice men and women like Scott into col­lege life, cre­ating an expe­ri­ence for them that is helpful, wel­coming and sup­portive, said Ed Klotz­bier, vice pres­i­dent and dean of stu­dent affairs.

Since the begin­ning of the fall semester, the Office of Stu­dent Affairs has been in touch with all vet­erans on campus via face-​​to-​​face meet­ings and e-​​mail, and cre­ated a Face­book group, Mil­i­tary Vet­erans Attending North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, to pro­mote cama­raderie among the roughly 200 vet­erans enrolled each year at the University.

Stu­dent affairs will host a social recep­tion for all North­eastern vet­erans next Tuesday, November 17 in the Alumni Center from 6 to 8 PM. Vet­erans will have a chance to meet each other as well as get acquainted with staff from stu­dent affairs, finan­cial ser­vices and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of stu­dent clubs and orga­ni­za­tions, said Klotzbier.

Vet­erans are in dif­ferent sit­u­a­tions depending on age, whether they are single or mar­ried, whether they have been to col­lege before or are fresh out of the mil­i­tary,” he explained. “We work on an indi­vidual, case-​​by-​​case basis to decide how to best help vet­erans make that tran­si­tion to campus life and suc­ceed at the University.”

North­eastern looks for­ward to wel­coming more vet­erans over the next sev­eral years, said Seamus Har­reys, asso­ciate vice pres­i­dent and dean for enroll­ment and career ser­vices, noting that between 600,000 and 1 mil­lion vet­erans are expected to return to civilian life over the next 18 to 24 months.

Yellow Ribbon par­tic­i­pants are appre­cia­tive of Northeastern’s com­mit­ment to giving back to the many vet­erans who have served the country since the first GI Bill was passed in 1944, throwing open the halls of col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties to vet­erans returning from World War II.

I’ve had sev­eral stu­dents come up to me and thank me for Northeastern’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the pro­gram and for being a good member of our com­mu­nity in making sure that we assist those who have served our country,” added Harreys.