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Veteran Tells College ‘I Belong’

By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After serving six years in the Navy, David Salsone planned to go to college. When asked by an officer where, Salsone would say, “Harvard.”

Only 16% of veterans use the GI Bill to go to private colleges, but they’re rare at the top schools – 38 at Penn, 22 at Cornell, and 1 at Princeton. For years, veterans didn’t seem welcome. James Bryant Conant, President at Harvard, who served in World War I, earlier warned that the GI bill would bring the “least capable.”

But now, James Wright, president of Dartmouth, a Marine at 17, visits hospitals encouraging veterans to consider college. And Salsone, enrolled in Brown and – with a group of administrators, students and faculty – made 27 recommendations on recruitment and retention of vets and is urging Brown to join the Yellow Ribbon program – helping veterans go to the best college they can.

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