Student Veterans of America (SVA), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on addressing the needs and concerns of American military veterans in higher education. SVA is best known for being an umbrella organization for student veterans’ groups that advocates for improvements in veterans educational benefits. Its efforts, combined with other veterans’ service organizations, led to passage of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), a lead sponsor of the legislation, has cited SVA’s efforts as one of the primary reasons the new G.I. Bill was signed into law on June 30, 2008.
Programs & Initiatives
SVA programs and initiatives fall under ten categories:
The heart of SVA is the student-led chapter. SVA supports a network of over 1,300 schools and over 500,000 student veterans. At the individual level, SVA empowers veterans to be informed consumers of higher education and make the most of the transition to civilian life.
SVA has awarded over $1 million to 111 SVA Scholars since 2011. Thanks to corporate sponsors, SVA is supporting new scholars every semester. View open scholarships.
Train Tomorrow’s Leaders
The annual Leadership Institute Series offers Local Leadership Summits in every region of the country and culminates with the Leadership Institute, a highly-selective colloquium of SVA’s best students. The sessions offer chapter management, budgeting, and strategic planning skills.
Build Vet Centers
A Vet Center is the place on campus for student veterans to study and socialize. In two years, SVA has awarded $553,000 to 61 chapters to build Vet Centers. In 2016, SVA will build a Vet Center on 50 more campuses.
Tell Your Story
SVA’s communications team shares the successes of student veterans across the country by engaging in strategic media opportunities, and by telling the stories of our chapters and members.
Protect the G.I. Bill
SVA is a guardian and steward of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, and SVA founders had an important part in the bill’s genesis. SVA’s Government Affairs team advises lawmakers and advocates in eight issue areas such as student debt and STEM fields.
Conduct Groundbreaking Research
The initial Million Records Project (MRP) offered facts to policymakers, service providers, colleges, and the public. SVA has launched two new research initiatives: The National Veteran Education Success Tracker (NVEST) adds education levels, majors and completion rates of Bill recipients and The SVA Spotlight survey provides annual demographic insights.
Plan the SVA Annual National Conference
The SVA National Conference is the nation’s largest gathering of student veterans. Attend the 2017 National Conference in Anaheim, California on January 5–8 and enjoy testimonials from 2016.
Develop Sustainable Support
SVA’s development team builds corporate partnerships that fund student-veteran success.
Build an Alumni Network
Being a student veteran and an SVA member does not end at graduation. The alumni network keeps student veterans connected for a lifetime and facilitates mentorship opportunities.
Actress Jamie Gray Hyder attended the 2017 and 2018 National Conventions of SVA as an awards presenter, and acknowledged the video game Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016) for alerting her to the military experience of veterans, notably women.