Azusa Pacific University recently received a $50,000 Ahmanson Veteran Scholarship Initiative (AVSI) grant from the Ahmanson Foundation. The award, distributed to 25 colleges and universities in California in June 2013, provides funds to recruit, retain, and educate student veterans at these schools.

“This generous gift helps support our veterans in their academic pursuit and transition to the civilian workforce,” said reservist United States Air Force Lt. Col. Vic Bezjian, DBA, executive director of the Office of Military and Veterans Resources. “In addition, the grant helps fund an online training program called Veterans on Campus to assist faculty and staff with serving veteran students and ensuring a supportive and welcoming college environment.”

Through the AVSI, the Ahmanson Foundation supports veterans whose abilities and experience make them ideal college student candidates. Recognizing the difficulty of transition from military life to student life, AVSI provides returning veterans the support needed to attend and ultimately graduate from private institutions of higher learning.

Azusa Pacific University was named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine in recognition of its successful efforts providing military students with quality programs, discounts, scholarships, clubs, networking, and staff support. Azusa Pacific University Veterans Affairs serves military members and their families by assisting with educational benefits. As a GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program participant, APU offers student veterans scholarship funds to help cover the unmet portion of tuition costs.

In 2011, the university established the Office of Military and Veterans Outreach to recruit and enroll new students. Over the last year, the number of veteran students at APU has increased by 38 percent. More recently, APU created the Office of Military and Veterans Resources to ensure veterans successfully transition to life as a college student.