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Vassar launches veterans admissions initiative with acclaimed Posse Foundation.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- Vassar will be the first college to enroll groups of military veterans through a new partnership with the acclaimed Posse Foundation, the Veterans Posse Program, a pilot program aimed at increasing the college-going and graduation rates of veterans at selective colleges and universities across the country. Infor software company, an international firm based in New York, is the first major sponsor of the Veterans Posse Program, whose ten initial participants will join the Vassar student body in the fall 2013 freshman class.

Since 1989 The Posse Foundation has helped top colleges enroll thousands of talented public high school graduates who might have been overlooked by traditional admissions processes.The foundation has identified more than 4,000 public high school students with academic and leadership potential and given these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams ("posses") of ten students at a leading college or university. The foundation's partner schools award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships. Similarly, through the Veterans Posse Program, each Veterans Posse Scholar will attend college tuition free through a combination of the college’s scholarship aid and GI Bill benefits, and the students will continue to receive support through to graduation.

"With more than two million veterans currently eligible for the GI Bill and more expected to be added over the coming years, we're confident there are many veterans for whom highly selective colleges and universities like Vassar will be a great option. We nurture in our students the kind of critical thinking, strong verbal and written communications skills, and teamwork that are precisely what is required for success in today’s world," says Vassar College president Catharine Hill. "As importantly, we need to honor our veterans' service that helps make it possible for current students to go directly from high school to college. I think this kind of initiative, with partners like The Posse Foundation and Infor, is a pivotal step in the right direction."


An earlier group of military veterans holds a special place in Vassar’s history. While still a women’s college, Vassar enrolled some 170 returning WWII servicemen from 1946-1953 to help meet the unprecedented demand for higher education prompted by the original GI Bill (Vassar went co-ed in 1969). Today, in addition to its new veterans partnership with The Posse Foundation, Vassar has joined an initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in which several liberal arts colleges and military colleges are exploring new academic collaborations.


“The Posse program has a proven track record of sending teams of high school graduates to great colleges and helping them succeed by forming reinforcing support groups. Extending this concept to veterans is a great idea,” says Charles Phillips, CEO of Infor. “In appreciation for their service, Infor is proud to be a founding sponsor of this new initiative to help veterans obtain college degrees.”


As the veterans program is developed, The Posse Foundation is looking for ten “Innovators” like Infor at the $100,000 level to become the founding sponsors of this new initiative. Posse’s ultimate goal is to develop a new kind of national leadership network -- one that is truly diverse and better able to reflect the voices of all Americans. Posse recognizes the immense value that veterans can bring to selective institutions of higher education, to the workforce and to the establishment of this diverse network of leaders.


“Providing the opportunity for a top-rate college education for men and women who have served our country in the military is critical,” says Posse president and founder Deborah Bial. “Posse is tremendously grateful to Vassar for signing on as the first college partner and to Infor for their leadership in supporting this incredibly important investment in our nation’s future leaders.”


For more information on The Posse Foundation visit www.possefoundation.org



Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, April 17, 2012