Veterans are often outsiders to the college system. Many are unaware of options, and even those who are aware do not know how to prepare a winning application.
Service to School is a 501c (3) non-profit founded by veterans and admission experts to provide veterans with free mentorship and assistance to tackle one disproportionately critical transition step: college admissions. The hundreds of thousands of service members that leave the military every year face difficult transition challenges, often, with minimal support. Service to School (S2S) is the only non-profit focused specifically on helping veterans get into the best school possible, and they are prepared to support any veteran applying to a non-profit institution of higher education.
S2S helps veterans win admission to the very best graduate or undergraduate institution possible. S2S was founded by Gus Giacoman, Tim Hsia, Khalil Tawil, and Anna Ivey—three combat veterans and a former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School. All three veterans earned their way into the nation’s top graduate programs and experienced first-hand the difficulties of navigating the admissions process. Anna Ivey has worked pro bono with hundreds of veteran applicants. S2S was born after the group compared notes about the unique challenges confronting military applicants, and realized that there was a wide chasm that many veterans had to cross by themselves. They realized they could fix this broken process by institutionalizing lessons learned from their own experience and creating an organization that could pass off these learnings to their fellow veterans.
S2S’s “pay it forward” model is simple and scalable:
- An applicant signs up on the website and is linked to a Veteran Ambassador. The Ambassador is a fellow veteran who has successfully gained admission to school—either on their own or through S2S.
- The Ambassador provides personalized, free admission services using the TRAIN methodology. TRAIN encompasses everything a veteran needs to address to be successful in the admissions process. TRAIN stands for: Test prep, Resume review, Application and essay review, Interview prep, and Networking assistance. To help with Test Prep, S2S has partnered with several groups—such as Veritas Prep and AJ Tutoring—that offer test prep scholarships and resources. For application, essay, and resume review, the ambassador reviews and provides feedback on the transitioning veteran’s essays—S2S also provides a database of successful resumes and essay tips that other veterans have used.
- The ambassador conducts one to two mock interviews for veterans applying to schools that require an interview. Throughout the whole process, S2S helps the applicant network with veterans at their target schools. In addition to the TRAIN methodology, S2S has MBA, JD, and Undergraduate guidebooks that contain all of the best practices, tactics, techniques, and procedures our applicants have gained from years of experience.
- After a transitioning veteran wins admission, they are asked to become a veteran ambassador and help at least one transitioning veteran applicant a year, thus paying it forward, deepening their own network, and further serving their nation by helping their transitioning brothers and sisters in arms.
S2S is proud to partner with several organizations who perfectly complement the college application and preparation process, such as The Warrior Scholar Project, The Pat Tillman Foundation, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. S2S has also partnered with top schools such as Yale, Amherst, Dartmouth, and Claremont Graduate University to share best practices around veteran recruitment and admissions.
S2S exists to serve our nation’s veterans and to make sure that the Post-9/11 GI Bill is as effective—and as transformative—as the original GI Bill was for the Greatest Generation. To do this, S2S helps veterans win admission to the very best undergraduate or graduate institution possible. To learn more, sign up or visit us at www.service2school.org.
Read more education articles for the veteran community here.