WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., June 10, 2015—Williams College is among the participating schools in a new initiative by Service to School (S2S) to connect high-achieving veterans with some of the most highly selective colleges and universities. Along with Williams, Cornell University, the University of Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Smith College, and Yale University are partnering in the new program, called VetLink.
Through VetLink, S2S will identify qualified U.S. military veterans, introduce them to partner colleges, and mentor them through the college search and admissions process.
S2S will provide its partner schools with an effective way to identify, evaluate, and accept qualified veterans. More specifically, VetLink will help its college partners market their programs through non-traditional channels, connect with high-achieving veterans, and evaluate the service accomplishments of each veteran. For the veterans, VetLink will help them find the colleges that are the best fit for them, work through college applications and essays to best showcase their talents, and connect them with mentors as they transition to college.
“Too often, enlisted service members underestimate their skills, competencies, and potential,” said Gus Giacoman, an Army veteran and S2S’s co-founder. VetLink is changing the veteran-to-student narrative, he said. “There are many great schools that are looking for qualified service members, and VetLink will bridge that gap.”
Reagan Odhner, a veteran and S2S leader who helps enlisted applicants, said the program’s target group is young veterans who have served since 9/11, especially in zones of armed conflict. “They possess incomparable leadership, ethical perspectives, and life management skills that add real value and diversity to an elite learning environment, but they need help translating and showcasing that experience for the civilian world,” Odhner said.
Richard Nesbitt, Williams’ director of admission, said, “We are thrilled to be joining VetLink in a partnership to enhance the connection between Williams and qualified returning service members who add such a valuable perspective to the college community and its classrooms.”
Service to School is the only nonprofit in the U.S. whose mission is to provide free application assistance to veterans to help them get into the best schools possible after their time in the military. For more information, please visit www.service2school.org, email [email protected] or call (415) 894-2635.
Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.