INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Western Governor’s University’s Indiana campus is fighting against a staggering statistic.
According to a study, only 16% of male military veterans have received their bachelor’s degree.
For female vets, those same results came back at only 21%.
They’re hoping to turn that trend around with stories like Andrew Nagel.
Nagel has spent most of his life serving.
At the young age of 17, he joined the U.S. Army just before his senior year in high school.
He served for over 20 years, got married and raised a family, but he always had one regret.
“For 18 to 19 years I’ve been constantly thinking about and talking about getting this bachelor’s degree, Nagel said.
For a long time, he kept waiting for the right time to finish his mission and with a wife, kids and a full-time job to consider, he started to wonder if he would ever have time to make it happen.
“If you’re waiting for the perfect moment to do just about anything, it’s not going to happen,” he said.
“Perfect moments don’t really exist in life.”
Meanwhile, a program at Western Governor’s University’s Indiana campus gave him the opportunity he needed.
They have an online program and scholarships that cater to helping people overcome different situations to get their degree, and they have a special attachment to the military.
“By going into the service, serving our country, protecting us, protecting our freedom, they give up a lot,” WGU Indiana Chancellor, Allison Bell, said.
With the help of the National Military Family Association, they’re able to offer the WGU Military Appreciation scholarship.
WGU Indiana now serves 520 people who are active-duty military members, veterans or their family members of veterans.
“Students like Andrew have a family, they work full time, they can’t necessarily attend classes in that traditional model.
After starting the program just three years ago, he’s five months away from his dream coming true.
“It means the world to me, It was kind of like getting that monkey off my back to finally sit down and push forward for this thing that I’d been thinking about for so long,” Nagel said.
Bell summed up the impact of WGU’s Military Appreciation scholarship with just a few words.
“We change lives.”
For more on WGU’s Military Scholarship Program, click here.