Christian colleges and universities can help students cope with tragedy
Many American soldiers have either lost their lives or become disabled while fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Even though these individuals’ loved ones can turn to God to help them cope with these tragic circumstances, it can often be hard to move forward. One of the best ways for people to move on with their lives is to devote their energy to something they are interested in, such as earning a degree at a Christian university or college.
Of course, no degree can ever fill the void left by a lost loved one, but the dearly departed would surely not want their son, daughter or spouse to stop living simply because they are gone. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) agrees, and offers financial assistance to individuals who wish to start their college career.
Through the VA’s Survivors & Dependents Assistance program, the son, daughter or spouse of a veteran who died serving his or her country, has become permanently disabled, is missing in action or captured by a foreign government, may be eligible to receive help paying for their education, according to the VA’s website. Up to 45 months worth of education benefits are available and can be applied to degree and certificate programs.
While students should be between the ages of 18 and 26 to receive these benefits, there are certain exceptions to this rule. Spouses have 10 years to take advantage of the program, and 20 years if their partner is permanently or totally disabled.
To apply for the Survivors & Dependents Assistance program, students should fill out VA Form 22-5490 and submit it to the VA regional office that has jurisdiction over the state in which these individuals wish to study. In the event that students are already enrolled in Christian colleges and universities, they should have their school official complete VA Form 22-1999, also known as the Enrollment Certification, and then submit it.
When students dealing with personal tragedy enroll in a large university, they may feel lost, or have trouble meeting like-minded peers. In a Christian school, these individuals will be among students who share their faith in the Lord, which, in turn, may make them feel more comfortable during a very difficult time in their life.