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Del Mar receives $1.3 million grant to help military veterans get college ready


Article by: Michael Bratten

A $1.3 million grant recently awarded to Del Mar College (DMC) by the U.S. Department of Education paves the way for Coastal Bend military veterans to start or continue pursuing a college education. More than 39,000 veterans in Aransas, Kleberg, Nueces and San Patricio counties may be eligible for the Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Many of our veterans have put aside a college education in order to serve our country. This program is designed to assist them with entry into post-secondary education. It’s all about academic preparedness.
Dion Krupa, VUB Director

Through the VUB program, eligible veterans can receive free assistance with:

  • Preparedness and funding for college admission tests such as the Texas Success Initiative
  • Refresher classes in subjects like math, science, English, writing and foreign languages
  • College or university entrance applications
  • Applications for financial aid
  • Academic advice and mentoring services

Veterans can use the skills wherever they choose to pursue their education, whether at a two-year college, four-year university or vocational/technical school, Krupa said.

To be eligible for the program, veterans must:

  • Have at least 180 days of active duty service or qualifying reserve time (certain exceptions apply)
  • Possess a discharge other than dishonorable
  • Meet at least one of the following criteria:
    • Meet federal low-income guidelines
    • Be a first-generation college student (neither parent completed a four-year degree)
    • Lack academic preparedness

Questions regarding criteria or eligibility should be directed to the VUB program office, which is located in Health Sciences Building 2, Room 206, on DMC’s West Campus at Old Brownsville and Airport roads. For more information, call 361-698-2643/2642 or email Krupa at dkrupa@delmar.edu.

VUB is one of eight federal TRIO programs that are designed to identify and provide services for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Only three other post-secondary schools in Texas have a VUB program. It’s really a privilege that DMC was awarded this grant because there’s not anything like it in this area.
Dion Krupa, VUB Director

DMC first applied for the VUB grant five years ago but was unsuccessful, said Cheryl Sanders, dean of the Division of Student Engagement and Retention.

“At that time, we were still developing our Veteran Services Office. Now we’re established, the office is up and running, and we have the data to put the grant into action.”


About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.