Twenty-​​three year-​​old rising sopho­more Adam Beatty is four or five years older than most of his class­mates. But that might be the least of their differences.

That’s because Beatty also hap­pens to be a vet­eran of the United States Marine Corps.

Beatty, a finance and accounting major in the Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion, attends North­eastern through the fed­eral Yellow Ribbon Pro­gram. A pro­vi­sion of the post-​​9/​11 GI Bill, this part­ner­ship between the U.S. Depart­ment of Vet­erans Affairs and par­tic­i­pating col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties pro­vides funding toward tuition and fees for eli­gible veterans.

In 2009, North­eastern reaf­firmed its com­mit­ment to edu­ca­tion for vet­erans by pledging $2 mil­lion to the Yellow Ribbon Pro­gram. Sup­port from indi­vid­uals and orga­ni­za­tions like Phi Gamma Pi, a former uni­ver­sity fra­ter­nity that directed pro­ceeds from the sale of its house to the pro­gram, have con­tributed to its suc­cess. This addi­tional backing assists North­eastern in awarding grants to over 160 qual­i­fied vet­erans, who have access to a full range of pro­grams including bachelor’s, master’s, doc­toral and law degrees.

By enabling vet­erans to apply their valu­able knowl­edge and life skills to class­room studies, Yellow Ribbon is also gen­er­ating an oppor­tu­nity for them to become leaders in the pro­fes­sional, civic and cul­tural arenas. “I’m not ide­al­istic, but I’ve seen the real world in a dif­ferent light and I’m not afraid to speak out and share my expe­ri­ences,” Beatty said.

Upon grad­u­ating from high school, he joined the Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Iraq, earning pro­mo­tion to cor­poral in 2010. But he always knew that he wanted to go to college.

Northeastern’s co-​​op pro­gram drew Beatty to the Uni­ver­sity. “I didn’t want to sit around in the summer at 23 with some menial job, so I liked that at North­eastern I’d be able to stay in school year-​​round,” he said.

The Uni­ver­sity has col­lab­o­rated with the Stu­dent Vet­erans Orga­ni­za­tion to help vet­erans nav­i­gate through life on campus. “We had a meeting with admin­is­tra­tors just a couple of weeks ago, and they really went out of their way to help,” Beatty said.

This summer, North­eastern launched a new web­site —www​.north​eastern​.edu/​v​e​t​e​r​ans — that serves as a hub for vet­erans’ pro­grams, the University’s Vet­erans Memo­rial, its cen­ters for defense-​​related research, and Northeastern’s ROTC pro­gram, one of the largest in New England.

If you would like to help make higher edu­ca­tion acces­sible to our vet­erans, you may sup­port the Yellow Ribbon Pro­gram by con­tacting the Office of Uni­ver­sity Advance­ment at 617–373-2520.