Service to School partners with top colleges to launch VetLink

San Francisco, CA (June 8, 2015) — Today, Service to School (S2S) is unveiling VetLink, a new initiative that will connect high achieving veterans with some of the best colleges and universities in the world: the University of Chicago, Cornell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Smith, Williams, and Yale.

VetLink, S2S will identify qualified U.S. military veterans, introduce them to partner colleges, and mentor them through the college search and admissions process.

S2S will provide its partner schools an effective way to identify, evaluate, and accept qualified veterans for its undergraduate programs. More specifically, VetLink will help their college partners connect with high achieving veterans, market their programs through non-traditional channels, and evaluate the service accomplishments of each veteran. For the veterans, VetLink will help them find the top college that is the best fit for their interests, work through the college applications and essays to best showcase their talents, and connect them with mentors as they transition to college.

“Too often, enlisted service members underestimate their skills, competencies, and potential,” said Gus Giacoman, an Army veteran and S2S’s co-founder. Service to School’s VetLink is changing the veteran to student narrative. “There are many great schools that are looking for qualified service members and VetLink will bridge that gap,” said Giacoman.

“Our target group is young veterans who have served since 9/11, especially in zones of armed conflict,” adds Reagan Odhner, a veteran and S2S leader who helps enlisted applicants. “They possess incomparable leadership, ethical perspectives, and life management skills that add real value and diversity to an elite learning environment, but they need help translating and showcasing that experience for the civilian world.”

Jason C. Locke, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment at Cornell University, agrees: “Veterans bring a unique and valuable perspective to the Cornell community. Through our partnership with VetLink, we look forward to welcoming the next generation of veteran scholars to Cornell.”

James Nondorf, the University of Chicago’s Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, adds: “We believe that veterans bring a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and diversity to any community, and we are thrilled to partner with VetLink to help bring veterans to our campus!  We value this addition not only in our classrooms, but in every aspect of UChicago’s community.”

Similarly, “at MIT, our students develop and use creative problem solving skills that make the world a better place. Veterans bring with them a wealth of experience already doing just that, which makes our partnership with VetLink a natural fit,” says Stu Schmill, Dean of Admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Audrey Y. Smith, Smith’s Vice President for Enrollment, also notes the good fit for its culture: “Female veterans are strong, intelligent, and resilient women, as are Smith students and alumnae, making the VetLink partnership a natural for us.”

Dick Nesbitt, Williams’s Director of Admission, is similarly enthusiastic: “We are thrilled to be joining VetLink in a partnership to enhance the connection between Williams and qualified returning service members who add such a valuable perspective to the college community and its classrooms.”

“We are very excited to be partnering with VetLink to strengthen the pipeline of veterans, scholars, and leaders applying to Yale,” said Jeremiah Quinlan, Yale’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions. “Having served this country, veterans bring a wealth of experience that will add tremendously to the entire Yale community.”

“As Americans, we owe it to our returning service members to make the transition to higher education as smooth as possible,” says Anna Ivey, S2S co-founder and former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School. “The universities that opened their arms to returning GIs after World War II helped educate the Greatest Generation. Our inaugural slate of VetLink colleges is now doing the same for the greatest generation of the new millennium. We are honored to be partnering with them.”

Service to School is the only non-profit in the United States whose mission is to provide free application assistance to veterans to ensure that they get into the best schools possible after their time in the military (www.service2school.org). For more information, please email contact@service2school.org or call (415) 894-2635.