As a VetLink applicant, you will have the opportunity to fill out a special addendum to the application to a VetLink partner school. In this section, we will explain why that represents a distinct advantage, explain what the Vetlink Addendum is, and go step by step through how to fill it out.
The Service to School VetLink Addendum provides the veteran applicant with an unparalleled advantage: the opportunity to distinguish yourself among a crowded space filled with civilian applicants whose experiences are all too similar to each other.
How many high school students can lay claim to volunteer service that required proving themselves to be worthy of joining a community of disciplined professionals? How many extracurricular activities have high school students enjoyed that included highly advanced training, concentrated professional experiences, elevated responsibilities, and working with cutting-edge technologies? The VetLink Addendum helps to highlight your unique experience and set you apart.
The Service to School VetLink Addendum is a demilitarized resume that is added to your college application as a means to translate your military experiences for members of the admissions committee. Admissions committees want to admit students who will be successful, who will contribute to the community, and whose success after graduation will reflect highly on the institution. Who better than veterans to arrive on campus, to do what is necessary to succeed in the classroom, to be part of the solution, and to have a positive and lasting impact on the community at large?
But how do you convince the committee members that you possess the desired attributes if the members have no understanding of how the military has prepared you for success? You do it by making it easy for them to truly value and understand what you bring to the table. A well-developed and thoughtfully constructed VetLink Addendum will demonstrate predictors of success while revealing authenticity, passion, and character.
Hear from six of our VetLink partners as they share why the VetLink Addendum is so important and how it helps them better understand you as a Veteran applicant.
The VetLink Addendum has six components to help explain your military service in terms that will resonate with admissions committees:
- Cover sheet
- Military Awards
- Military Schools
- Military Experience
- Overseas Service
Below we will look at each of these components in detail to understand how to complete the addendum and effectively communicate your experience to admissions committees.
The Cover Sheet provides an overview of your military service using basic data on your overall service, including your branch of service, job title, job description, rank, and dates of service.
The Military Awards section provides a list of your military awards and citations to provide additional context to your service record.
OPTIONAL: If you decide to include campaign medals and unit awards, then you should include a brief description of your responsibilities and performance highlights during the period of service. See the following example.
The Military Schools section provides to opportunity to demonstrate academic preparedness and a learning continuum following high school.
Applicants should highlight learning outcomes that are academic in nature. The Joint Services Transcript exhibits are a great source for identifying learning outcomes. Similar information can be found in the ACE Guide, Air Force Classification Directory, and basic internet searches.
Add distinguished graduate status when applicable (Honor Grad, top 3, top 10%, etc.).
The Military Experience section is similar to a resume. Take advantage of the opportunity to highlight billets/positions/duty assignments that draw attention to skills and characteristics that further differentiate you from the traditional applicant whose experiences may be limited to a summer job or part-time community service.
Draw from awards, letters of recommendation, and performance evaluations to pull in Performance Highlights. These highlights should be specific to you and not generalized.
The Overseas Service section is not limited to deployments. It should include all overseas assignments. Applicants are encouraged to reflect on these experiences as they compose their application essays and prepare for interviews.
A powerful, well-written essay can tip the balance for veterans competing against the more traditional applicant.
Colleges receive thousands of applications from exceptional students with similar scores and grades. For the military veteran, your essays are your chance to tell the admissions committee what sets you apart from these other talented and deserving candidates.
The VetLink Addendum essay is the opportunity to add depth to your military experience by writing a personal, thoughtful essay about something that has meaning for you.
Your essay is more about how you express your experiences than the actual experience. Experiences that may seem mundane to other veterans can make for powerful essays when told to college administrators, the majority of whom have never served.
Refer to the Video Series “Essays for Veterans” at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LbWpCy_UmPLvbyd4IcNySnhoOmzsbJNX/view