As part of its continuous efforts to help veterans in their pursuit of higher education, Polk State College will host a Veterans Seminar on Friday, May 25, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in Room 1100 of the Lakeland Technology Building.
The seminar will include presentations from the Polk County Veterans Service Office, Polk Works, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Polk State College Student Financial Services Department. Breakfast, lunch and beverages will be provided. Spouses of veterans are also invited to attend the seminar.
The upcoming Veterans Seminar is just one example of Polk State’s efforts to help local veterans transition to college and achieve their educational goals.
Assisting veterans in their educational pursuits is a matter of particular passion for Marcia Conliffe, director of student financial services, who recognizes that navigating financial aid options can be one of the most difficult steps veterans face in their transition to college.
“How can you not be passionate about helping people who have served in the line of duty to defend our country?” said Conliffe, who has years of experience in assisting veterans, including work for Florida State University’s Panama Canal Branch, where she processed education benefits for veterans.
“It takes a special person to be a veteran, and our goal is to be of assistance to veterans every step of the way,” Conliffe said.
To get veterans off to the best possible start in their college careers, Polk State will this fall begin offering veteran-specific orientation sessions. At these sessions, future students will receive information on financial aid, veteran educational benefits, academic advising, special accommodations and more.
The Admission and Registrar’s Office at Polk State College also works diligently to ensure veterans earn as many college credits as possible for their military experience. The College accepts military transcripts and uses the American Council of Education’s Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services to award credits.
Once a veteran makes the commitment to pursue education at Polk State College, he or she should declare their military service on the College’s application. By doing so, veterans receive priority registration, giving them an extra week to select courses and build schedules that meet their needs.
Numerous scholarships are available to relieve veterans of the financial burden of college. Contact the Financial Aid office for more information at 863.297.1004.
In addition to scholarships, there are numerous sources of financial assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
President Eileen Holden said the College prides itself on its efforts to help veterans reach their educational goals.
“Polk State has always cherished its accessibility, and our open-door policy is legendary,” she said. “In the case of our veterans, who have given so much to ensure opportunity for the rest of us, we are pleased to provide specific resources that make a college degree more attainable than ever before.”
For more information on these benefits, call the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 888.442.4551 or Polk State College at 863.297.1000.
Those interested in attending the upcoming Veterans Seminar should RSVP with Polk State Veteran Adviser Ken Agosta at the Lakeland Dean of Student Services office, by phone at 863.297.1010, ext. 6360, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lakeland campus is located at 3425 Winter Lake Road.
Polk State College was established in 1964 and serves more than 20,000 students each year at campuses and centers in Winter Haven, Lake Wales and Lakeland, including its Corporate College location at Lakeland Airside. An additional campus is scheduled to open within the next few years in Bartow, and one is also planned for Haines City.