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Student Veterans of America

By Jared Lyon

Many student veterans and military affiliated students miss the comradery of the military when they return home and make the transition to America’s college classrooms. Fortunately, there is a dedicated network of more than 1,500 on-campus chapters in all 50 states and three countries overseas representing more than 750,000 student veterans waiting to welcome you.


With a focused mission on empowering student veterans, SVA is committed to providing an educational experience that goes beyond the classroom. SVA aims to inspire yesterday’s warriors by connecting student veterans with a community of like-minded chapter leaders. 


After several years of fighting the Global War on Terror, a new generation of veterans returned home intending to use their Montgomery GI Bill® benefits. They quickly found that though generous, these GI Bill® benefits were not enough to fully support their educational needs. These student veterans found each other on social media and came together to push for the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill® in 2008.


In August, we celebrated the anniversary of the passage of the Forever GI Bill®. SVA was proud to spearhead a coalition of more than 60 partner organizations resulting in a $3.45 billion expansion and improvement of the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.


Thanks to the Forever GI Bill®, students now have extra time to complete STEM degrees, no expiration date to use their benefits, and expanded eligibility for the Yellow Ribbon Program, which may provide additional funding for your education if you are attending a private college or university.


Getting Involved with SVA


On average, student veterans earn higher GPAs than their civilian peers, and graduate at higher rates with degrees that are in greater demand, such as STEM,business and health fields. Today’s student veterans are the best of a generation, and when we invest in them, we are cultivating the leaders who will help us solve the complex problems of tomorrow.


By joining an SVA Chapter on your campus, you’ll join a like-minded community of student veterans and supporters to accompany you on your journey through college and on to your next phase of service. Every day these passionate leaders work to provide the necessary resources, network support, and advocacy to ensure student veterans can effectively connect, expand their skills, and ultimately achieve their greatest potential.


Use the SVA website or contact us to identify and connect with an SVA Chapter on your campus.


Regional Summits


SVA’s Regional Summits provide the tools, techniques, and tactics needed for student veterans to run a successful and sustainable student organization. They are held in different locations around the country every year.


Summit Attendees will have the chance to learn what works alongside fellow chapter leaders from all different types of campuses, gain the knowledge needed to manage an SVA Chapter and form a network of support that reaches far beyond campus. 


The Leadership Institute


The SVA Leadership Institute is an immersive leadership program that prepares students to affect change stretching beyond their SVA chapter and campus. 


Selected through a competitive application process every year, the nation’s top SVA Chapter Leaders are invited to Washington, DC in the spring for a foundational leadership experience to develop core values and hone their leadership skills, guided by experienced alumni mentors.


Attendees leave with a greater awareness of their personal leadership ethos and a connected network of peers. 




Every year, SVA hosts the largest gathering of student veterans in the country, as well as advocates, thought-leaders, stakeholders, and supporters in higher education. 


For SVA Chapters and student veterans, NatCon offers educational breakout sessions, inspirational speakers, networking, and professional opportunities that are all designed to support student veterans and prepare them to become tomorrow’s leaders.


We hope to see you at the next NatCon!


Student Veterans of America

Telephone: 202-223-4710



Jared Lyon is the National President and CEO of Student Veterans of America and is a veteran of the United States Navy.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at