Grant to help vets in 3 states (OH, IN, KY) finish college debt-free

CINCINNATI (AP) — A new program is offering a $7,500 stipend to 15 low-income and underemployed veterans in specific Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana counties.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports ( the stipends are funded by an anonymous $293,000 grant and allow veterans to earn a college degree without accruing debt. Cincinnati’s Union Institute & University runs the first-year program.

Domenico Fumarola, a stipend recipient, says he receives a $7,500 living stipend to along with his $2,500 service grant, which he receives once per semester for three semesters.

“The scholarship’s awesome. I think it’s a big incentive for a lot of military people to come back (to school),” he said. “I think it’s good for fellow veterans to know about it and take advantage of it.”

Applications are available online at The deadline to apply for the Spring/Summer term is April 30.

The institute says Ohio ranks sixth in the US with about 900,000 veterans_10,000 from greater Cincinnati.

Geri Maples, a program coordinator, says the Union Institute offers online courses because it focuses on adult learners who may need the flexibility. Students also have the option of traditional classes.

“The money is going to really help them,” Maples said. “It’s not just giving them an education but preparing them to use it afterward.”

Students must maintain regular attendance and a 2.5 GPA.

She hopes the stipend program will expand to serve more veterans in the future.

“The transition is difficult if you don’t have someone that understands what you’re going through,” she said. “It’s difficult when you get out and you don’t have that support.”