April 12, 2024

Student Veterans Resource Center Serves Over 1,900 Military Dependents 

April is National Month of the Military Child. As such, we wanted to highlight the importance of the Student Veterans Resource Center and its work to support all military-connected students, including dependents.

The Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC) is a vital institution on campus, dedicated to providing essential resources and support to individuals with a background in the armed forces. The center plays a pivotal role in fostering a sense of community among student veterans and their families, recognizing and celebrating the unique experiences and challenges that pair with being a veteran or actively involved in the armed services.   

Established in January 2015, the SVRC has continually evolved and expanded its services to better serve the military-connected student body. In the summer of 2021, the center underwent renovations, transforming into an even more welcoming environment for service members, veterans and their families.  

The primary objectives of the SVRC revolve around aiding students in their transition to university life, supporting their academic achievements and facilitating their career development. These focal points form the foundation of the center's mission, ensuring student veterans receive support in every aspect of their academic journey.   

What is perhaps less well known is that SVRC provides support for more than student veterans, as the name would suggest. The center also supports active military service members as well as their dependents.   

“We have a lot of students who have families still serving,” added Forystek. “When COVID-19 sent everyone home, I had three students – all dependents – return to the same base in Japan.”  

Collectively, the SVRC staff– one full time employee and three student workers – support just over 2,100 military-connected students, according to a survey of Big Ten university military-connected offices. One of the key elements is providing in-state tuition rates for a range of military-affiliated individuals.   

Patrick Forystek, director of the SVRC, shared, "We offer in-state tuition to anyone who is active, reserve, guard, honorably discharged or a dependent of any of those groups, which explains our numbers without a single active-duty base in the state."  

This in-state tuition policy serves as a significant incentive for these students to pursue their education at MSU and reflects the gratitude MSU displays for their service and sacrifice.   

In fact, MSU has the largest population of self-identified military dependents among all the Big Ten universities, with approximately 1,800 such students.  

“These numbers are organic and growing,” added Forystek. “We have not actively recruited these students.”  

Dependent student Sydney Kadlub has made the SVRC an essential part of their MSU experience. "I'm so glad I discovered it! The SVRC does a great job in supporting military-connected students, myself included, by providing valuable information about available opportunities. So far this semester, the SVRC has hosted a back-to-school picnic, football tailgate, military connected yoga and a Veterans Day brunch. At a school this big, it's nice to have a dedicated space to connect with other dependents and veterans. The SVRC has an awesome lounge area and comfortable study rooms – it’s where I spend most of my time!”

Media Contact: Chelsey Eimer Mason

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