The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities hosts annual Hill Days where school representatives and students learn about legislative issues affecting education.
At this year’s event on March 8, Jeff Arthur, ECPI University’s Chief Information Officer, and two students, Nicola Lowe and Shariar Mohamimeen traveled to Washington, D.C. to spend a day on Capitol Hill to share the career college student message to members of congress.
“Without the help of congress many students wouldn’t be able to attend a quality school like ECPI University,” said Jeff Arthur. “The students did a great job of expressing how their military benefits were helping to meet their career goals and financial aid needs.” Nicola is an 11-year Marine Corps veteran studying practical nursing at MCI, ECPI University’s School of Health Science, in Manassas and Shariar is a seven year Navy veteran studying network security at ECPI in Manassas.
The group visited seven members of congress including Representative Bobby Scott, a long-time member of the House of Representatives Committee that deals with Higher Education laws and issues. “It was interesting to see how our government plays a role in education,” said Shariar.
The students talked to congressional representatives regarding issues that are important to them as students, for example: financial aid and funding, military educational benefits and helping congressman to better understand the unique needs of adult students. Nicola felt it important to share her experience, “I work full-time, I go to school at night and I have three daughters to raise. I chose to serve my country and with my education benefits I should have the choice of what school I would like to attend,” explained Nicola.
It was also an opportunity to say thank you to the congressmen who voted to extend veteran benefits for the Post-9/11 GI-Bill and to show them examples of how these funds are being used effectively.