MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- A new program in effect Oct. 26 benefits Marines leaving active duty who wish to go to college in California.
The Special Admissions Program offers honorably discharged Marine Veterans who meet the requirements for priority admission to selected California State University campuses.
"This program is specifically designed to meet the needs of Marine Veterans, as well as those of the other military services," said Casey Roberts, business management officer with Marine Corps Installations - West. "It provides a Marine Veteran the opportunity to use his or her G.I. Bill benefits to gain a first rate college education and to do it without having to compete for admission with the general population."
To be eligible for the program, the applicants must be a California resident, have no remaining active duty service obligations and must be a high school graduate.
Roberts said that Marine veterans must also ensure that all the documentation identified in the Marine Administration is included in the application package, and that the Marine's chain of command endorses the package. The completed packages will be screened and endorsed by the commanding general of MCI-West and hand delivered to the CSU System SAP Administrator.
"The commanding general of MCI-West and the President of San Diego State University started a pilot program at [San Diego State University] and it was so successful that the Chancellor, California State University System introduced the program to all 23 campuses," Roberts said. "He did so because he realized that the presence of Marine veterans on CSU campuses enriches the educational experience of all the students and better positions Marine veterans to become successful contributors to society in general, and the California economy in particular."
Roberts stated that the program is an extraordinary benefit during these tough economic times for the state of California where thousands of its citizens have been denied enrollment due to the state's budget constraints.
Applicants accepted for the program will commence school during the fall semester 2010. Actual school reporting dates vary by campus, as do freshmen orientation requirements. Completed packages must reach the business management officer with Marine Corps Installations–West no later than Dec. 10.