The Dartmouth DFA team started off looking at the local veteran’s hospital, hoping to use the design process to help solve challenges there. Soon, they began talking to student veterans at Dartmouth to gain a better perspective on veterans’ issues, and discovered a problem that had nothing to do with the hospital.
Many of them relied on G.I. Bill funding to finance their education, but oftentimes the government would not release their payments in time to meet Dartmouth’s payment deadlines. They would then have holds on class registration and difficulty getting campus housing, leading to a great deal of stress. The DFA team interviewed several of these veterans and presented their findings to an audience that included the Assistant Dean of the School of Engineering. School policy has since been changed to remove registration and housing holds on veterans receiving federal funds even if the money comes late, since the students have no control over when their money is sent. This change is hopefully one small step to improving the lives of the veterans who serve our country everyday.