Military/Veteran Resources

Penn State values the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. As part of our commitment to support our employee veterans, we have provided the following page as a gateway to many resources, both internal and external to Penn State, for you and your family. If you have any questions or concerns, you should contact your HR Representative and/or the Affirmative Action Office.

Educational Resources

The Office for Educational Equity provides scholarships to veterans and their dependents. In addition, veterans are eligible for priority registration.

Penn State veteran full-time employees are eligible for Penn State's tuition reimbursement program. They're also eligible for the GI Bill through the U.S. federal government. For those looking to attend Penn State's graduate program, the Graduate School has many useful resources to help get you started.

Office of Veterans Programs is organized as a comprehensive, direct service unit for veterans and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) benefits recipients. The office is staffed by five full-time professionals and approximately twenty student veterans who work part-time under the provisions of DVA work-study. The staff and students provide services in three major areas: Outreach, Certification, and General Counseling.

Adult Learner Programs & Services is a tangible expression of Penn State's commitment to providing comprehensive services for non-traditional undergraduate students. 

BestSchools.com is a website that provides a guide to Veteran Education Benefits. Everything from grants, scholarships and education resources, to interviews with the top universities that have programs designed specifically to support veteran higher education.

Onlineschools.org is a website that provides College Financial Aid to: Soldiers, Veterans, and their families.

Counseling

In addition to the educational opportunities as an employee veteran, Penn State offers free and confidential counseling, through the Employee Assistance Program.

The Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.

Community

Wounded Warriors is a veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, service and events for wounded veterans of the military actions

Veterans History Project preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

Project Healing Waters is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.

Outward Bound - provides Veterans free trips to vets who are interested in activity/outdoor trips.

Time-Off/Absences

Eligibility

You are eligible for a military leave of absence if:

  1. You are a full-time faculty or staff member who has completed one day of employment with the University immediately preceding the effective date of the requested military leave, and
  2. You have been ordered to report to active duty (e.g., deployment, field training, etc.)

Pay While Absent

Paid Time Off

If you are a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard or any reserve component of the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard you will be paid for up to fifteen workdays per calendar year while you are engaged in the active service of the United States, including field training.

Time off Without Pay

A leave of absence without salary for active military service shall be granted for a combined total of sixty calendar months, unless a longer absence is provided by exception by law.
Immediately prior to the leave, you may choose to use or not use all or part of accumulated vacation, personal holiday, service days, or compensatory time off, as applicable, before you begin no-pay status.

Continuation of Benefits

As long as you are being paid by the University, benefits coverages/deductions and retirement contributions will continue.

When you begin no pay status, the following applies:

  1. You will have the option to continue any or all of the benefits in which you are enrolled for yourself and/or your eligible dependents. The cost will be at the normal employee contribution rates. Some of the benefits may include a war exclusion.
  2. Eligibility for educational privileges and dependent grant-in-aid will continue.
  3. University retirement contributions will stop. When you return to work, if you decide to make retirement contributions to cover the period of time you were absent, Penn State contributions will also be made to the extent required by law.

Some part-time employees may have re-employment rights upon completion of military service. 

For related details, please refer to policy HR-19, Leave of Absence for Active Military Service or Training.

FMLA for Qualifying Military Exigencies

The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period to address certain qualifying exigencies related to your spouse, son, daughter, or parent’s call to active duty or active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves. Some of these qualifying exigencies include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.

You are eligible for FMLA leave if you have been employed either part-time or full-time with the University for at least 12 months, which do not need to be consecutive or continuous, and have worked at least 1250 hours in the 12 months prior to your absence. Your supervisor or Human Resources Representative will send you an FMLA Certification Form for you to complete.  

Because University policies typically exceed the FMLA 12 week provision, you should refer to the applicable University policy or union agreement to answer any questions about your absence (length, pay, etc.).  FMLA time and absences provided by University policies run concurrently.

FMLA requires that all covered absences are recorded as FMLA.  Because the overarching philosophy of the FMLA regulations is that you cannot be disadvantaged due to an absence for an FMLA qualifying event, these absences must be recorded  correctly so that errors are avoided when making decisions about promotions, merit pay, tenure, etc. 

FMLA to Care for a Family Member Injured While on Active Duty

FMLA provides for a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during any consecutive 12-month period when you are needed to care for a child, parent, spouse, or next of kin who is a military service member who was injured in the line of duty. For more information please refer to time off for a family member’s illness or injury. 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has many resources from health care & benefits, to business resources, to news & information. Not only are there resources for veterans, but for spouses and family members as well. In addition to these resources, there is a list of VA medical centers accross the state of Pennsylvania.

Department of Defense

Tricare - is the health care program serving Uniformed Service members, retirees, and their families worldwide.

Military OneSource - This site has information on: filing taxes, relocation help, spousal employment, deployment information, commissaries, casualty assistance, family services, counseling, legal, and education services for Veterans & families.

Military Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) - This site shows military pay tables, travel information, child/spousal support, and claim submission links.

Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs provides advice and assistance to Pennsylvania's veterans and their families and provides care to aging veterans.

Job Opportunities

VA for Vets - Helps Veterans and transitioning Military Service Members find federal or non-profit careers. The VA for Vets Career Center tools provide opportunities to translate military skills, build federal resumes and search and apply for open positions.

VA Careers - Website dedicated to recruiting the finest healthcare employees to care for our Veterans.

VetSuccess - Connects employers to Veterans and puts jobs geared toward Vets in an easily accessible place on the web. Employers and Veterans can sign up now on the site to get started and search the hundreds of jobs and resumes posted everyday.

MyCareer@VA - A powerful career exploration and development resource you can use to manage your career.

Feds Hire Vets - Website for federal employment information for Veterans, transitioning service members, their families, and federal hiring officials.

VA Internships - Explore a wide variety of internship programs with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and start building your career with VA today.

Penn State Jobs - As part of Penn State's initiative to foster a diverse workforce, we seek and encourage veterans to apply for our jobs.