Aristotle is quoted as saying that justice is defined as giving the individual what he or she deserves. Right now, bipartisan legislation is working its way through the state legislature, which would expand opportunity for higher education for veterans and their families at all Wisconsin colleges and universities.
Several years ago, the state enacted the “Wisconsin G.I. Bill” which provided for remission of tuition for veterans and their dependents at public colleges and universities in the state. Those institutions were then reimbursed by grants from the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB). These grants are equal to the amount remitted for tuition. Veterans who had served our country in exactly the same way and were qualified for this assistance in the same way as other veteran, nonetheless, were left out because the original proposal did not include private, nonprofit colleges and universities. This was a missed opportunity for many veterans, their dependents, and for the State of Wisconsin.
The legislation now working its way toward passage also provides a grant from HEAB to the qualified veteran and dependents who attend WAICUmember colleges and universities. The grant, capped at $2,000 per semester, will be matched dollar for dollar by their college or university. The grant must be applied to tuition costs and can be used for undergraduate or graduate programs.
These veterans and their families served their country and the ideals of justice and fairness for which our country stands. They have earned the support, and it is only just that we give that support to them. It is also right that all of our veterans be treated fairly.
The veterans’ service says something important about them. The State of Wisconsin, acting with justice, says something good about all of us.
Rolf Wegenke, Ph.D., WAICU President