Student veterans, active military and their families at Georgia Perimeter College will receive more personal attention, increased scholarship opportunities and potential help in emergencies, thanks to a Marcus Foundation grant. The grant was announced during a special ceremony held Tuesday, March 17 on the GPC Decatur Campus.
The three-year grant, the first of its kind at the college, will employ three military student advocates – one on each of GPC’s Decatur, Dunwoody and Newton campuses. The grant also will provide 10 scholarships per semester for military veterans and provide a Veterans Emergency fund for student veterans who encounter financial emergencies that could affect their ability to attend college.
Georgia Perimeter College serves more than 1,100 student veterans and their families.
“Teaming up with the Marcus Foundation, we will be able to do more for our military students and work to make a greater educational impact in their lives,” said Mark Eister, director of GPC’s Military Outreach Center programs.
Established in 2010 and funded through a grant from the University System of Georgia, GPC’s Military Outreach Center currently is housed on the Clarkston Campus. The grant will physically extend the center’s programs and assistance to all GPC campuses, Eister says.
“The Marcus Foundation grant will provide essential, one-on-one support for every veteran and military-related student at Georgia Perimeter College,” Eister said . “We now have hired Military Student Advocates to be positioned on each campus, where they will offer personalized advice and guidance to each and every student veteran, including our online military students.”
Eister noted that the new Veteran Emergency Fund for student veterans will give financial assistance to active duty, Guard, Reserve, veteran or military dependents who face unanticipated financial challenges that could impact their ability to remain in college.
“It is one thing to say you care about veterans, their education, and their future; it is quite another to put your money where your mouth is and make it a reality,” Eister said. “The Marcus Foundation will greatly extend the college’s ability to help veterans transition to college life and move forward in their careers.”
The grant will remain active for three years and is not expected to be affected by GPC’s consolidation with Georgia State University, Eister says.