University of Hawaii Finalizes Veterans Affairs Task Force

As promised in September, the University of Hawaii has formed a task force aimed at improving services for student veterans. The 15-member group is holding its first meeting today. 

The university estimates that it currently enrolls about 2,400 student veterans, which equates to about 4 percent of the entire student body. 

The task force is expected to collaborate with student veterans at the university, evaluate data collection practices, provide recommendations and track federal policy changes. The idea is to get a better understanding of the challenges facing student veterans in Hawaii and develop services to better support them.

Civil Beat has recently reported that Hawaii is one of 29 states that doesn’t grant out-of-state student veterans in-state tuition. And because the GI Bill — which promises to foot the bill of higher education for those who’ve served in the military — only covers up to about $18,000 of a veteran’s tuition, out-of-state student veterans end up having to pay the rest of UH’s $23,200 ticket price out of pocket. That adds up to about $5,200 a year for out-of-state student veterans in Hawaii, according to the Hawaii Alliance of Student Veterans.

The task force is being chaired by Chris Manaseri, dean of student services at Leeward Community College, and supported by Jan Javinar, an executive in the UH student affairs office. Other appointed members include include staff members, administrators and students.

Read past Civil Beat coverage of student veterans at UH here

Photo: Hawaii Alliance of Student Veterans co-founders Pili Williams and Ray Banda with Veterans of Foreign Wars Hawaii Junior Vice Commander Randy Grant. (Courtesy of the Hawaii Alliance of Student Veterans)

— Alia Wong

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