STARS helps uncommon students shine

More than 30 years ago, a group of single mothers at College Eight on the UC Santa Cruz campus got together to help each other with child care and studying.

Today, what those single moms began has turned into the Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students, or STARS, program. Now, it not only provides tutoring and counseling for transfer students, single parents, and veterans, but it also helps them find housing, get financial aid, schedule classes, learn study skills, and even fit into the culture of university life.

More than 3,100 students came to the STARS program last year. But the fastest growing population the program serves now consists of veterans, according to Director Corinne Miller. Since 2004, the number of vets in the program has more than doubled from 40 to about 90 students, and that population is expected to increase as more young veterans come home from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and utilize the new G.I. Bill.

Since its founding, more than 450 donors have supported the STARS program. The UCSC Retirees Association raises funds for scholarships for student veterans and stipends for Veterans Education Team Support (VETS) peer advisers.

"We are especially relying on the support of our generous donors this year to provide stipends for VETS peer mentors, as well as other important offerings for transfer and re-entry students," said Miller.

For information about STARS, or to contribute, contact Kathleen Hughes at

(831) 459-4552 or