Warrior-Scholar Project Partners with Columbia University to Help Veterans Prepare for Higher Education

After being virtual for two years, the transformative summer boot camp will return in person to Columbia’s campus for the first time since 2019, with an intensive curriculum designed to help veterans prepare for an academic environment while learning strategies to become better students.

August 09, 2022

Each year, approximately 115,000 veterans separate from the military and decide to pursue higher education as a critical next step in landing a fulfilling career after service. While this is an exciting new chapter, transitioning from military life to a college student can be challenging, especially after years spent away from the classroom. In an effort to help student veterans acclimate to civilian life and successfully earn undergraduate degrees, national nonprofit Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) has partnered with Columbia University to host a Humanities Academic Boot Camp from August 6-13. The intensive curriculum is designed to help veterans prepare for an academic environment while learning strategies to become better students. 

During the WSP-Columbia Academic Boot Camp, participants will have the opportunity to learn from university faculty, receive mentoring from fellow student veterans, and begin to adjust to a formal learning environment. A recent study by the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families found that WSP is the only national program of its kind dedicated to veterans that not only provides targeted support for academic success, but also improves social connection and relationships with both faculty and nonveteran students. 

“Columbia University is deeply committed to broadening access to education, and we are glad to help bridge the transition from military life to college,” said Julie Kornfeld, Vice Provost for Academic Programs. “The successes of our Warrior-Scholar Project participants are a point of pride for us and we are delighted to be partners in this program.”

This is the fifth year that Columbia University has partnered with WSP, bolstering the school’s reach to veterans. Support from Columbia University and investments made by foundations, corporations, and private donors cover the entire cost of the program for participants, including an accessibility stipend of up to $500 for travel, child care, and other expenses. Since the partnership began, 54 veterans have attended the WSP-Columbia Academic Boot Camp.  

“There is no other program out there that equips student veterans for success that compares with Warrior-Scholar Project. For 10 years, we have worked with world-class faculty, veteran mentors, and university administrators to make the WSP impact come to life,” said Ryan Pavel, CEO of WSP. “Our program is truly transformative—90 percent of our alumni have completed or are on track to earn their undergraduate degrees, an increase of 25 percent over the national veteran average.” 

WSP launched its first boot camp at Yale University in 2012 with nine participants. Since then, the program has expanded to 24 of America’s top schools and has helped nearly 2,000 veterans get a head start in higher education. 

About Warrior-Scholar Project
Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) empowers enlisted veterans and service members to excel at four-year universities. Through intensive and immersive one- to two-week academic boot camps, participants gain skills required for success and support for the cultural shift from the military to higher education at top-tier schools. Throughout WSP’s free resident education programs, students are traditionally housed on campus, and engage in challenging discussions with accomplished professors, receiving tailored instruction on key skills like analytical reading and college-level writing. Warrior-Scholar Project is a national nonprofit with programs at public and private colleges and universities across the country. For more information, visit www.warrior-scholar.org.

About Columbia University
Among the world’s leading research universities, Columbia University in the City of New York continually seeks to advance the frontiers of scholarship and foster a campus community deeply engaged in understanding and confronting the complex issues of our time through teaching, research, patient care and public service. The University comprises 17 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, and four affiliated colleges and seminaries in Northern Manhattan, as well as a wide array of research institutes and global centers located in major cities around the world. More than 40,000 accomplished students, award-winning faculty, and professional staff define the University’s underlying values and commitment to pursuing new knowledge and educating informed, engaged citizens. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

About Columbia University School of General Studies
The Columbia University School of General Studies (GS), founded in 1947, is the premier liberal arts college in the United States for nontraditional undergraduate students seeking a rigorous, traditional Ivy League education, including those who have served in the U.S. and foreign militaries. Currently, more than 500 veterans are enrolled at the School. GS students take the same courses, study with the same faculty, and earn the same degree as all other undergraduates at Columbia University.


Christina Gray
Associate Director of Communications
Columbia University School of General Studies
(212) 851-4386
[email protected]