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Wash U: Veterans Find Home at Olin School

As a full participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program, Olin offers scholarships to eligible veterans.

“It seemed like it was too good to be true when I first found out about it,” says former marine staff sergeant Terry D. Roberts when he recalls learning about the Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today, thanks to the tuition scholarship available through Yellow Ribbon, Roberts has an MBA degree from Washington University in St. Louis and is working as promotions manager at MidwayUSA.

“It is our experience that applicants with military backgrounds make excellent MBA students,” said Evan Bouffides, assistant dean and director of MBA admissions at Olin Business School, which throughout its history has aggressively sought and recruited candidates with military backgrounds.

“They possess certain qualities and skills that allow them to excel both inside and outside of the classroom, and to be valuable members of the Olin community,” he said. “The same characteristics that they bring to their graduate studies — leadership, integrity, dedication and hard work — are exactly those skills that corporate America covets.”

For years, Olin has provided exceptional scholarship opportunities for many former junior military officers and non-commissioned officers through Olin Veterans Association (OVA) Scholarships.

More recently, Olin has become a full partner in the Yellow Ribbon Program. For candidates who are admitted to Olin and who are eligible for the Yellow Ribbon, all tuition costs are covered jointly by Olin Business School and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

There are currently a record 52 military veterans enrolled at Olin. Of those, 32 are enrolled in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

For those who are not Yellow Ribbon eligible, Olin offers specific scholarship opportunities through the OVA. In addition, the OVA provides a support structure and network that serves to assist military candidates in transitioning successfully into the business world.

The Yellow Ribbon Program, established by the federal government in 2008, allows institutions of higher learning in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund tuition and fee expenses at their school.

“The philanthropic help of the university made the decision to attend an easy one for me,” said Roberts.

“I would encourage veterans to take advantage of the Yellow Ribbon Program,” he said. “It seemed like it was too good to be true when I first found out about it. It opens so many doors and helps veterans gain education and experience they might never have been able to.”

Roberts says he would not have been able to attend WUSTL without the program’s assistance, but is glad he did.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to prepare veterans for the highly competitive marketplace that will continue to evolve with technology, new best-practices and international relationships,” Roberts said.

“If I had to do it over again, I would not have changed anything. Olin has a plethora of resources for its students. From the fellow students who have amazing workplace experience, to the world-renowned professors, authors, and local business leaders, Olin never ceases to communicate and provide these resources to the best of their ability.”

Click here from more information on the Yellow Ribbon Program. Visit Olin Veterans Association for more information on that program.

*Information from Neil Schoenherr, Washington University.

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