Advance 500 scholarship benefits Legion families

Advance 500 scholarship benefits Legion families

DeVry University ( is proud to be a higher education school that is veteran friendly, where students have access to online learning options, a range of tech-infused undergraduate and graduate programs, military and veteran student organizations, career professionals and more. DeVry’s commitment to the military, veteran and public safety service communities has helped identify and address a need for providing assistance to an underserved population: their dependents.

As a way to invest in the entire family, DeVry created the Advance 500 scholarship. This scholarship allows members of partnering military, veteran or public safety service organizations to attend DeVry and bring along a dependent* at zero additional tuition cost** for the family member. Members of the American Legion Family – The American Legion, Sons of The American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary – have an opportunity to apply for this scholarship thanks to the relationship between The American Legion and DeVry. This opportunity also is open to other service organizations whose members provide vital assistance to their communities, such as first responders.

“At DeVry University, we are trying to create a sense of family and belonging,” said Greg Pace, national director of military and veterans affairs at DeVry. “As we continue to thank veterans (and public safety organizations) for their service, we should be thanking the spouses and the dependents for their service as well. So the Advance 500 scholarship is an opportunity to give back to the community and help families along the way.”

The American Legion Magazine spoke with Pace about the Advance 500 scholarship and how it can benefit members of the American Legion Family.

What led DeVry to create the Advance 500?

Even though the veteran unemployment rate has been getting better, I knew that unemployment for veterans and military spouses was very high. When servicemembers get out of the service they are awarded military benefits, but their dependents don’t have any educational benefits for the time they also served. Many of these families cannot afford to go to school, and they don’t have a lot of resources once they get out of the military. Putting all that together,
I thought, why don’t we allow veterans and members of other vital service organizations to bring their dependents to school with them for zero additional tuition cost? That inspired the launch of Advance 500.

How does this scholarship benefit American Legion Family members?

The Advance 500 scholarship allows a member of the American Legion Family to pursue their education at DeVry and bring a dependent along at zero tuition cost for that family member. It’s first-come, first-served in terms of those who apply and qualify; up to 500 scholarships will be offered. American Legion Family members who are interested in applying must enroll as a new or readmitted student by the end of January 2020.

Why is the relationship between The American Legion and DeVry important to the veteran community?

As a Legionnaire, I understand that The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization in the United States, and its mission includes sponsoring wholesome programs in our communities. I believe Advance 500 is one such program that will provide a much-needed benefit to our communities. My aim with Advance 500 is to assist as many veteran and first responder families as possible, empowering them to improve their lives via education.

The scale of DeVry is also national in reach. Our two organizations working together have the opportunity to serve many families seeking higher education across the United States. Moreover, I envision that the Advance 500 scholarship program, utilized as a member benefit, might also play a role is assisting The American Legion itself with growing active memberships. I see this as an opportunity to not only help veteran families directly, but also indirectly by fueling the growth of an invaluable organization committed to the advocacy of this community.

Learn more online about the Advance 500 scholarship and DeVry University:

* Dependents who may benefit from family tuition savings include spouse, biological child, stepchild, legally adopted child, child for whom the employee is a court-appointed guardian, child of a domestic partner, and adoptive or biological parents of the eligible employee. Dependents are also defined as a domestic partner in a committed long-term relationship. Neither party can be legally married to other individuals.

** Scholarship equal to tuition charges per session as long as sponsor and recipient are meeting continuing eligibility criteria, not including books and fees.