Skip navigation

Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families

Our Mission and Obligation

"We Lead By Example"

"We Love Our Students"

"We Provide the Finest in Customer Care"

Student-Veterans and Military Family Members are special at Southern Miss. With a drive to succeed in civilian life, Our Military Students possess core values such as loyalty, duty, respect, honor, courage and commitment. At Southern Miss, we honor such values by supporting Our Military Students in all their endeavors. The drive these students display makes us proud of their Service to Our Nation and tenacity in the classroom.

USM is nationally recognized as the top Military Caring University across the State of Mississippi and has earned designation as a Purple Heart Institution. In addition, Military Times has rated us as a number 9 “Best for Vets” institution across the Nation.

Such recognition and designation recognize USM’s continued extraordinary commitment to caring for and providing engaged assistance to support Military Veterans, Service Members and their Families.

Our Center staff provide guidance and support as our Military Students move through the admission process, on to graduation and career placement. Our Student Veterans learn and grow in an environment dedicated to their unique perspective. This level of attention successfully attracts Military Veterans, Service Members, and their Families to pursue their academic and professional development interests at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Military Times 2019

Military Friendly 2019-2020

Military Friendly Spouse School

Purple Heart

Marine Leadership Scholar Program

SVA

 

USM is a Nationally Ranked Top-10 “Best for Vets” University

The prestigious publication Military Times released their annual “Best for Vets” assessment for 2020 ranking USM #9 across the Nation in providing services to Military Students. 

Last year, Military Times ranked USM #15 yet through continued “hands-on” care and support to Military Students USM earned a nationally recognized top-10 rating as a Military Caring Universities of choice.  

Click here to read the article.

Department of Veterans AffairseBenefits

Purple Heart Recipient On-Campus Parking

USM Purple Heart recipients (and/or their respective widow) are not required to register their vehicle with Campus Parking Management. 

In this regard, the display of a Purple Heart license plate tag will suffice.  

Purple Heart tag owners may park in faculty/staff, commuter, resident and open zones.

Priority Registration for Student-Veterans

Student-Veterans who file with the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Veterans Affairs office (in administratively processing their respective Educational VA Benefits) receive priority enrollment appointments – undergraduate or graduate.  

Qualified Student-Veterans should self-identify with the USM Veterans Affairs School Certifying Officials (Mr. David Magola and Ms. Mara Chitic-Holmes - Hattiesburg Campus or Stacy Henley - Gulf Park Campus) to ensure the timely assignment of an early enrollment appointment.  Such individuals will be automatically assigned an appointment starting the morning of first day (of the enrollment period) continuing throughout the university appointment scheduling period.

GI Bill® Information

The President signed into law the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act also known as the “Forever GI Bill,” which will bring significant changes to Veterans education benefits. The law is named after the American Legion national commander who wrote the original GI Bill language in 1944, and will allow more Veterans to use the GI Bill and more time to use it. Some of the changes will go into effect immediately, and some are written to go into effect shortly after...Please click here to read more from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.  
Follow the link to view our Frequently Asked Questions.

Resource Guidance

Joint Services Transcript for Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard

All veterans and service members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard who are active duty, National Guard or Reserve can order an official transcript through the Joint Services Transcript online system or fill out the Joint Services Transcript Permission Request Form and we'll request it for you.

Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) for Air Force
 
All veterans and service members of the Air Force who are active duty, National Guard or Reserve can order an official transcript through the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) online system.

Official transcripts should be mailed to:
The University of Southern Mississippi
Office of the University Registrar
118 College Drive #5006
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

  • Fax: 601.266.5816. Verify if fax received @ 601.266.5006.
  • In person in Hattiesburg: Kennard-Washington Hall (map), Room 110
The VA Advisement Form must be completed and signed by your academic advisor for each semester that you are wanting to use your GI Bill benefit. Once completed you may bring it to the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families or email it to VAFREEMississippi.

Military-Eligible applicants who are engaged in or honorably discharged from active duty in the United States Armed Services including academically eligible current or surviving spouse and dependent children, including stepchildren, would receive an exception of the non-resident surcharge. The student does not have to be using the GI Bill to receive this exception.

Students who qualify for an exception of the non-resident surcharge should:

  • Complete the Veteran, Service Member, Dependent, Spouse Non-Resident Tuition Exception form
  • Print the form
  • If you are the Veteran or Service Member and using one of the GI Bill benefits then all that would be needed is your Certificate of Eligibility along with the exception form.
  • If the applicant is a spouse or dependent and using Chapter 33 - Transfer of Entitlement or Chapter 35 - DEA, a Certificate of Eligibility would be all that is needed along with the exception form. 
  • If the GI Bill is not being used then be sure to secure the required signatures and documentation
  • Submit the completed form and required documentation to the Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families either by bringing it in or emailing it to VAFREEMississippi

Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) Programs and Tuition Top-Up Program

The Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) Programs offer eligible Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reservist members a benefit that pays up to 100% of tuition expenses for voluntary higher education courses taken during off-duty hours in support of professional and personal self-development goals.

In addition to the Armed Forces Tuition Assistance benefits, active-duty service members may also be eligible for the Tuition Top-Up Program, which allows those eligible for Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) and Post 9/11 benefits to receive supplemental funding to pay for tuition and fees not covered by their respective TA program. Please access the following link to lean more - Tuition Assistance - Top Up.

In addition, students may also receive federal financial aid while receiving VA educational benefits provided they meet the eligibility requirements. To apply or receive more information, please access the following link - https://fafsa.ed.gov/

The University of Southern Mississippi offers Tutorial Assistance through university resources. For additional information contact the VA Certifying Official at the appropriate campus.

The VA also offers Tutorial Assistance. For additional information please click here.

Start Using Your Educational VA Benefits!

We are honored you have chosen Southern Miss and look forward to guiding you on your journey to activate your VA Educational Benefits.

  • VA Advisement Form (required every semester)
  • VA Parent Letter (only when attending another institution)
  • Military Residency Exception Request Form (non-MS resident)
  • Certificate of Eligibility (not required, but preferred)
  • Authorization and Certification of Entrance or Re-Entrance into Rehabilitation and Certification of Status (28-1905 - Veterans can only obtain this form by contacting their VR&E Counselor.)
  • Joint Services Transcript (JST) - USA, USCG, USMC, and USN (required for compliance)
  • Community College of the Air Force Transcript (CCAF)-USAF (required for compliance)
  • Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE)
  • DD-214 (Member 4)

To learn about or compare available educational programs and determine your eligibility, complete the appropriate application or transfer application online at va.gov.

First Time/Never Attended

  • Application for VA Education Benefits (22-1990) OR
  • Dependent’s Application for VA Education Benefits (22-5490) OR
  • Application for Family Member to Use Transferred Benefits (22-1990e - TOE only) Transfer/Continuing
  • Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (22-1995) OR
  • Dependent’s Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (22-5495) OR
  • Dependent’s Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (22-1995 - TOE only)
  • Veterans with Service Connected Disabilities can apply online, before making an appointment with their Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Counselor.

Contact Us

Center for Military Veterans, Service Members and Families
3503 Morningside Drive
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map

Email
VAFREEMississippi

Phone
601.264.4629

Contact Us

Hardy Hall 235
730 East Beach Boulevard
Long Beach, MS 39560

Gulf Park Campus

Campus Map

Email
VAFREEMississippi

Phone
228.214.3244

VA Work Study Program

Part-time work-study opportunities may be available to those using VA Educational Benefits.

Interested? Find the application here.

Paws for Patriots

Established to provide Student-Veterans Military Working Dog companionship

Check out the latest article!

Golden Eagle Veteran Network

Established for local community sponsorship of Southern Miss Student-Veterans

Click here to see how you can be apart.