ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – Bay College is making it easier for veterans and service members to navigate their education journey.
At the beginning of the academic year, Bay College received Gold Level Veteran-Friendly status from the Michigan Veterans Affairs (VA) Agency.
“They look at every single college in the state of Michigan, and they look at what they’re doing for their student veterans,” said Brooke Jorasz, Financial Aid Assistant Director at Bay College. “This is the first year that we got gold status. We have been silver status for quite a time, so we’re kind of excited about it.”
That status was earned through offerings like priority registration for all vets, a Veterans Lounge at both the Escanaba campus and the Iron Mountain campus, and academic credit for experiences and training during their time in the armed forces.
“You did things in the military that others don’t know about,” Jorasz said. “Let’s get you some transfer credits for that so that you can get your degree done quicker.”
Bay also offers flexibility for students who get deployed while enrolled in classes.
“You don’t have to just pick up and leave from your classes and start all over again,” said Jorasz. “We can try to do it online or try to make it so that your life doesn’t have to stop if you have to leave.”
Currently, the Financial Aid office is the point of contact for 25 student veterans. Jorasz works with the VA to help them, as well as their loved ones, succeed.
“Our office does all of the certifying if they are receiving veterans education benefits,” she said. “We work with their families, their spouses, their children if they are receiving those education benefits as well to certify their credits. So overall, we work with about 50 students that are working through different types of veterans benefits.”
Jorasz encourages any veterans current service members, and their families to see how Bay College can make higher education work for them.
“Sometimes, they have different things that they are dealing with in life that you might not be aware of, so they have specific resources that other students don’t have,” Jorasz said. “It’s important for them to know that.”
To learn more about veteran benefits available to Bay College students, click here.