Feb 232009
Authors: Stephen Lin

After the university confirmed last month that the amount of scholarship money from private donors decreased from 2008 to 2009, leaders in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps said current scholarships awarded through the program are unaffected by the recession.

And while current scholarships for ROTC Air Force and Army members are unaffected, officials said the number of future scholarships given may change depending on increases or decreases to the national defense budget in the coming years.

Captain Aaron Hansen, the unit admissions officer for the Air Force ROTC at CSU, said for “ROTC students, the benefits they are receiving will not be affected by the economy.”

ROTC students –/those in all branches of the program from Air Force to Army — who were awarded a scholarship to participate in the program receive a scholarship from the military to attend CSU. The scholarship, depending upon the individual’s time of enrollment at CSU and his or her academic status, is awarded for between one to four years and pays for the following:

100 percent tuition and fees

A $1200 per year book allowance

A tax-free monthly stipend based on academic status, ranging from $300 to $500 and

Possible room and board assistance.

Air Force ROTC leaders said the current state of the economy has had no affect on the money that students enrolled in the program are slated to receive and they do not anticipate any significant changes in the future.

“(The students) are typically not affected,” Hansen said of the overall impact of the recession on students’ ROTC scholarship funds.

Hansen said that the number of future scholarships available may change depending on national defense budget alterations, but for his current cadets, they won’t have to worry.

Colonel Peter Bleich, recruiting officer for CSU’s Army ROTC, echoed Hansen’s statements, saying that current ROTC students will not be distressed by the changing economic situation.

Bleich said that since scholarships are locked in, they will “still cover full tuition.”

The contracts that these students sign guarantee that the government will pay for their tuition.

Army ROTC student James Schumacher, a sophomore history major, said, “I feel happy that I have a scholarship.”

“I feel secure,” Schumacher added.

Todd Hunsicker, a junior health and exercise science major, was not worried about his ROTC scholarship either.

“The country would have to be completely bankrupt,” Hunsicker said, to result in the termination of his scholarship.

Not only are these students covered during college, but following service, former service people said that the provisions of the G.I. bill help to offset the costs of college and general living expenses.

Mike Czaja, a graduate student in the Warner College of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, was a civil affairs officer and a military police officer in the Army. After 22 years in the U.S. Army he is using the provisions of the G.I. bill to obtain his Ph.D.

Czaja felt that the G.I. bill, signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt as the Servicemembers’ Readjustment Act of 1944, did a “phenomenal” job helping him return to school. Overall, he felt veterans would not feel the impact of the economic downturn.

Ann Ingala, the veterans support coordinator for Off-Campus Student Services/Resources for Adult Learners, said she does not expect the economy to affect the G.I. bill either.

Ingala, who served with military intelligence in the Army, said that there are 267 student veterans receive benefits from the G.I. bill and that she “hasn’t seen anything” from the economy that would concern veterans.

Staff writer Stephen Lin can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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