With an estimated 2.2 million veterans residing in California, the state leads the nation in the number of veterans. That number is expected to increase dramatically as more military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan complete their service.
The majority of these students enroll in a California community college. In 2010-11, more than 44,000 veterans utilized education benefits at a California community college. In addition, there are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 active duty personnel enrolled annually at community colleges across the state, not including dependents.
A college education has become an absolute necessity for veterans returning to civilian life, and community colleges provide the majority of this education, as most veterans are ineligible for direct admission to the University of California or the California State University systems.