Eddie Kennington/University Relations

Betty Colbert, VA certifying official, works with a student in her office. Colbert helps veterans enroll in KU and make sure they have access to services and resources available on campus.

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Betty Colbert, VA certifying official

Years at current job: 2 Ĺ years.

Job duties: I assist students in all aspects of receiving educational benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. I also serve as a resource guide and provide referrals both on and off campus to veterans and anyone using VA education benefits, work with various departments across campus to ensure benefits and services are coordinated and assist students with problem resolution regarding any issues they have with their VA benefits.

Whatís one thing that would surprise people about your work? We work with a high volume of students with a variety of questions and situations. We work with students using all six chapters of the GI Bill and multiple military tuition assistance programs. We assist both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at the Edwards and Lawrence campuses. We also work with students enrolled in distance learning courses through KUís Office of Continuing Education.

What is the biggest concern of veterans looking to enroll in KU? Student veterans coming to the university are primarily concerned with their financial needs. Our No. 1 priority is submitting their enrollment verifications to the VA in a timely manner so their benefits are received as soon as possible. The university also assists students using the GI Bill with tuition payment deferments and textbook deferments at both the Kansas and Burge unions bookstores.

What are the steps to being admitted to KU and how to apply for their GI Bill? We direct students to the Office of Admissions for questions regarding being admitted to the university. The Veterans Services website, veterans.ku.edu, has information regarding how to apply for GI Bill benefits and other contact information. We work with students individually by answering questions in person, by phone and by e-mail to ensure they have a successful start at KU. We also send welcome packets to those students who have self-identified as veterans or dependents using the GI Bill.

Are there challenges facing veterans who want to become students here? If so, how does KU address them to help veterans become students? New student veterans are commonly more concerned with their benefits once enrolled at KU and being successful in school. Veterans are typically older than most of their peers and have different life struggles going back to college. Our office and the university help these students by providing a vast number of resources and programs for veterans so they can succeed in the classroom and in the community.

Campus closeup
Betty Colbert, VA certifying official
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The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).