Friday, February 27, 2009

Robert Morris University is offering free tuition to veterans.

Robert Morris University officials announced Thursday they are launching the RMU
Military Service Award, which will pay the difference between its
tuition and the subsidy for qualified veterans under the post-9/11 GI

"I really like that they're reaching out to veterans and picking up the
tab," said Shawna Wilson, an inactive member of the Air Force Reserve.

Wilson, 23, of Oakdale is a junior majoring in finance at Robert Morris.
She said she was thinking of transferring to a public university because
of the cost, but now plans to finish at RMU.

The new GI Bill, which takes effect this fall, offers the Yellow Ribbon
GI Education Enhancement Program. Participating schools will pay half of
the difference between their tuition and the highest tuition at any
public institution in the state, and the federal government will pay the
other half.

Full-time graduate and undergraduate students are covered. The
undergraduate tuition at Robert Morris is $19,190 a year while Penn
State's tuition is $13,014 a year for freshmen and sophomores on the
main campus.

Robert Morris President Greg Dell'Omo estimated the university would pay
about $3,000 a year for a veteran working on a bachelor's degree. Robert
Morris has 130 veterans enrolled.

"We look at probably doubling that number to 260 students," Dell'Omo
said during a news conference at the Senator John Heinz History Center
in the Strip District.

State Sen. John Pippy, R-Moon, said other students will benefit from the
experiences veterans bring to campus.

"You'll make it a better education experience at Robert Morris," said
Pippy, a major in the Pennsylvania National Guard who served in
Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Dell'Omo also announced the start of a Veterans Education and Training
Services Center on campus that will register veterans and provide

"We will help not only the veterans, but also the families," said Dan
Rota, director of the center and a retired brigadier general in the Air
National Guard.

Bill Zlatos can be reached at or 412-320-7828.

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