Federal Relations

Support Veterans, Service Members and Their Families

Download a printable fact sheet (.pdf) on CSU support for veterans.

California has the nation's largest veteran community. Increasing numbers will transition to civilian life and seek rewarding and challenging careers. They bring unique skill sets—and needs—to institutions of higher education, and deserve the opportunity to succeed.

California Demographics: California leads the nation with 1.7 million veterans. 88,420 Californians receive veteran-related education benefits, including 63,263 under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. In recent years, about 30,000 service members have transitioned out of the service annually, and that number is expected to increase by up to 10,000 per year over the next several years.

Broad Access: With 23 campuses and almost 437,000 students, the CSU is the nation's largest and most diverse 4-year institution. The CSU has campuses located throughout the state, within range of all of the state's military installations, and vast experience in working with non-traditional students.

Affordability and quality: Average annual tuition for a full time undergraduate from California is $6,612. The CSU awards about 96,000 degrees annually in such high demand fields as information technology, engineering, nursing, education, criminal justice and business and professional services. CSU students' starting and mid-career salaries are higher than national averages.

Commitment to Veterans: The CSU system is fully committed to creating enduring veteran programs at all campuses. CSU initiatives include veteran support teams at each campus; monthly conference calls among all campus coordinators; enhanced web sites and social media; partnerships with local military bases and community colleges to assure seamless transitions; veteran-oriented career programs; and services for the wounded.

Results: In fall 2012, the CSU enrolled 12,646 student veterans, service members and their families. A recent CSU survey found that students receiving veteran benefits had higher GPAs than average for a similar unit load, comparable retention rates for first time freshmen and new transfer students, and higher than average graduation rates.

CSU Priorities for 2013: The CSU is focused on being not merely "veteran friendly" but on promoting veteran success. The federal government can be a key partner through:

  • Enhanced support for personnel and centers on campuses with high veteran populations
  • Additional support for programs that successfully transition veterans to rewarding careers
  • Improved coordination between and among the US Department of Veterans Affairs, US Department of Education, the Department of Defense, institutions of higher education and the private sector