Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Breaking Rank: A Phenomenological Study of Enlisted Military Veterans and Selective Institutions of Higher Education

Brian Kim, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that more than 5 million post-9/11 service members will transition out of the military by 2020, with $71 billion supporting the postsecondary education of service members, veterans, and their families since 2009 through the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. A significant portion of this money, however, is going to for-profit colleges, with the top eight for-profit colleges receiving $2.9 billion from 2009 to 2013, even though many of them are under state or federal investigation for questionable business practices and poor outcome for student veterans. With the goal of promoting effective utilization of the taxpayer-funded Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, this phenomenological study focused on the experiences of ten enlisted military veterans on the other end of the higher education spectrum, i.e. selective institutions of higher education whose overall or specific undergraduate program ranking is within the top 30 on the list compiled by the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings. Utilizing the conceptual framework of Schlossberg’s Transition Theory to discover the transitions they experienced before, during, and at the end of their academic journey, four findings emerged from this study, i.e. vertical structure, encouragement, academic and social challenges, and satisfaction, with which administrators in selective institutions of higher education can formulate effective policies to bring more eligible enlisted military veterans to their campuses and help them succeed in their academic journeys.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Higher education|Military studies

Recommended Citation

Kim, Brian, "Breaking Rank: A Phenomenological Study of Enlisted Military Veterans and Selective Institutions of Higher Education" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10273323.