From West Point to Western NY: Helpful Info for Military Members

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U.S. flagI’m currently enrolled in the University at Buffalo’s full-time MBA program. I completed my undergrad in management at the United States Military Academy, but about a year and a half after graduating, I found myself being medically separated from the military. I knew I was going to be moving to the Buffalo area and was torn between finding a job and going back to complete my master’s. At the time I thought I would be getting some assistance from the VA, so I chose to go back to school right away instead of waiting. I was doing research on colleges in the area and online and ultimately decided on UB because of the classes they offer.

I had completed a short internship with the digital marketing team at Mercedes Benz USA during my undergrad and that’s what spiked my interest in marketing. After graduation, I will be staying in the Buffalo area and hope to find a marketing position that will allow me to continue to grow and ideally to find a company where I can intern and advance to a marketing manager or marketing director position. I believe that the classes I am taking as well as the network I am building here at UB will be very beneficial in reaching my goals.

If you are a veteran or currently in the military, here is some information I wish I would have known before starting the MBA program. I hope it helps. Take into consideration I am going through this process as a vet, so some of this information may be slightly different if you are still currently serving.

  • Make sure you qualify for the GI Bill if you plan to use it. By all definitions, I should have qualified for it but when I applied, I learned that there were some special circumstances that prevented me from qualifying which added a lot of extra stress that could have been avoided. The picture below shows different ways you can apply. All information regarding the GI Bill can be found if you go to  Apply well in advance to know your status, especially if this is your main financial plan.

Apply Online, Apply in Person, Apply at School, Apply by Mail. Link enlarges this image.

  • If you do not qualify for the GI Bill and are a disabled veteran, there is a program called vocational rehab. This is a program that I am still learning about myself, but you’ll want to visit the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment page on to get all the information you need.
  • If you are not a New York State resident or have been for less than one year, you will be considered out-of-state. If you go to student accounts on the UB website and find the information for in state tuition deadline, it will let you know when the paper to apply for in state tuition is due for each semester. There is also a form on that same webpage to fill out for veterans or current military members to qualify for in state tuition. The directions are on the form and if you have any questions, I would call their office (716-645-1800) they are very easy to talk to. I recommend getting this done as soon as possible after you are accepted, as the process can take a while. I am currently going through it and had to pay this current semester as out-of-state and was told if I get approved, I will be credited back the difference. However, just save yourself the extra hassle and get it done early so it is approved before your bills are due.
  • Lastly, military and veterans in the School of Management have access to two clubs at UB. There is the Student Veterans Association (SVA), for all students who are military, and the second is the Veterans Business Association (VBA), for military undergrad and grad students pursuing a business degree.

I hope it helps! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me at

ADVISORY: Expansion of Resident Tuition Benefit for Eligible Veterans

Recent changes to Federal law (Public Law 115-251, amending 38 U.S.C. § 3679) have resulted in an expansion of benefits to a new category of students. Effective March 1, 2019, any student living in New York and using education assistance pursuant to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E Program) should be charged resident tuition rates, even if he or she does not meet the standard to be considered a New York State resident or domiciliary.

In addition to this new category of eligibility, please be reminded of SUNY’s ongoing obligations in relation to charging resident tuition for eligible service members, veterans or dependents living in New York State and claiming benefits under federal G.I. Bill provisions.

As with current G.I. benefit recipients, documentation of eligibility for the VR&E Program must be provided in order to receive resident tuition.  If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of General Counsel.

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