The Top 25 Veteran Friendly Colleges and Universities
- January 11, 2017
- Posted by: Jeff Gitlen
- Category: Top Colleges
The 2016 Veteran Friendly Colleges provides a review and analysis of colleges that provide flexibility and support that Veteran students look for. By reviewing Veteran Affairs special programs such as the Yellow Ribbon Program, support groups, and availability of flexible scheduling and courses, the article provides potential students with information on choosing a school.
Veteran Friendly College Rankings
#1 Liberty University
The number one school in veteran friendly rankings is Liberty University. Based out of Lynchburg, VA, Liberty provides various students groups such as the Student Veterans Association and Students Behind our Military to help ease veterans onto the college campus. They offer over 500 two and four-year degree programs, as well as a special three-year B.S. degree.
#2 George Washington University
George Washington University in Washington D.C. reports providing over $2,000,000 tuition assistance to through the Yellow Ribbon program to 291 students. GWU also provides over 100 degree offerings to include Open Education Courses free of charge to anyone. The University also has a veteran’s employment initiative where they assist veterans with job seeker services.
#3 Colorado Technical
Colorado Tech reports over 4,000 veterans currently pursuing a degree through the college. They offer 114 online degree options, as well as a fast track, where Veterans can test out of subject areas to finish a degree in 30% less time.
#4 Penn State World Campus
Penn State boasts an 89.2% retention rating among veteran students which is good enough for third overall for these rankings. The university also offers a 1-credit First Year Seminar called “Transition is the Mission” that is open to veteran students to help them adjust to life outside of the military, as well as informing veteran students of benefits they may be eligible for.
#5 Regent University
With a reduced tuition of $250/credit hour and a $100 a semester bookstore credit, Regent University aims to provide reduced fees for their veteran student population. The university also offers unlimited Yellow Ribbon funding at all levels for their students, this along with 60 degree programs online, in 8-week intervals provides flexibility and options for veteran students.
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#6 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle with over 90 worldwide campuses is easily accessible to veteran students. The largest contributor on this list of the Yellow Ribbon program they have reported aiding 442 veterans at the cost of $3,516,300.30. Along with their retention rate, of 83.2% Embry-Riddle offers numerous opportunities for their students.
#7 National University
Over 4,000 veteran students attend National University. National University provides 70 flexible degree options online and boasts a retention rate of 81.2% for veteran students. Students can attend any of 28 campuses in the National University system. They offer a one-month long course schedule providing flexible options for their students.
#8 Utah State University
Utah State offers a variety of flexible course options for their students to attend. Besides offering 30 online degree programs, they also offer courses through video conference broadcasts, a flexible condensed 7-week schedule, and a flexible open 4-week schedule that students can start at virtually any time. Out of the 594 veteran students attending the university, 71 have received aid through the Yellow Ribbon Program.
#9 Hawaii Pacific University
Hawaii Pacific provides a robust military campus program both on and off base. HPU offers the Military Makana Grant that gives veteran and family members with a $525 per credit award applied towards all online courses as well as courses taken on a military installation. Another unique program HPU offers is the Career Advancement Program (CAP) that assists with career change, an issue many veterans are facing.
#10 UMASS Lowell
The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers a variety of instructional methods to included hybrid courses for learners to completed over 46 online degrees and programs. They provide a Student’s Veteran Organization where programs include outreach to send care packages and thank you cards to deployed troops.
#11 Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University offers a couple of unique programs that differ from the rest of the schools on this list. The first, Operation Career Readiness works with veteran students with resume writing and interview preparation. WKU also offers a special OnDemand course selection of over 100 courses that can be completed in as little as seven weeks.
#12 Bellevue University
Bellevue University offers over 70 bachelor's and master's degrees designed to prepare you for the field you're passionate about. Located just outside of the Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska, Bellevue University is a non-profit, private institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded by military, for military, they have been helping service members successfully transition to civilian life for 50 years with Military Preferred Pricing for many bachelor’s degrees, as well as dedicated support for both active duty and veterans.
#13 Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University waives admission fee for both veteran students and their dependents as well as offering in-state tuition fees. A Vet-2-Vet sponsorship club is offered to pair new veteran students to help ease into their college experience.
#14 University of Nebraska-Omaha
Veteran and Spouse career services are offered at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. A Veteran Students organization offers recurring events weekly as well as volunteer opportunities to stay connected with fellow veterans. The university offers 24 online degrees as well as hybrid courses allowing veterans to attend classes online and in the classroom.
#15 University of Oklahoma
Oklahoma offers an innovative program for all students. The first, the university digital initiative provides students with and IPad with free education software. The university has also provided Yellow Ribbon funding to 109 veterans for a total of $486,594.45.
#16 American Intercontinental University
AIU provides students with an opportunity to receive their MBA in as little as 12 months. They also provide a program called Intellipath that allows students to test out of topics and subjects that they already know. This testing is provided free of service. The university provides no restrictions on funding for the yellow ribbon program, with unlimited funding for unlimited students.
#17 City University Seattle
Operation Good Jobs, sponsored by the Goodwill of Western Washington works in tandem with City University Seattle in providing job placement programs and services for veteran students. The program partners with corporate partners such as Walmart, and Amazon. Out of 168 veteran students attending City University, the institution reports a retention rate of 100% and offers study programs for students at their own pace.
#18 Brandman University
Hybrid 8-week course offerings are offered through Brandman University at a variety of campus’ throughout the west coast. Brandman provides not limits on the number of students or funding for their yellow ribbon program, and most campus’ within the system provide veteran support groups. A variety of online programs are offered across six different degree fields.
#19 Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University with over 2,900 students offers veteran support groups, as well as the Veterans Affairs sponsored VetSuccess program. With eight-week courses offered online, students can pursue over 100 online degree and certification options through the university.
#20 Ohio State University
Ohio State University has provided 55 veteran students with $214,257.83 in Yellow ribbon funding. This has been a factor in their 87.5% retention rate for their almost 1800 veteran students. The college has strong veteran support groups that allow veterans to connect with each other and receive help in a variety of areas as they transition from the military to college.
#21 Saint Leo University
Scattered across seven states, veterans have many options of where they can attend Saint Leo University. Saint Leo’s veteran population of over 5,000 has access to 56 online degree programs that are offered in a variety of eight-week sessions. In helping veterans transition to college life, the college offers an eight-week online module called the online Student Veteran Transition Course.
#22 Trident University International
Trident University International offers unlimited funding through the Yellow Ribbon program for their 2,606 veteran students. Based in California, they offer veterans support groups. TUI has over 20 online degree options available along with multiple online sessions.
#23 Fort Hays State University
Based out of Hays, Kansas, Fort Hays State University offers 40 online degree programs in 8-week sessions. They provide unlimited Yellow Ribbon funding for all undergraduate degree programs. SU also provides a veteran support group on their campus
#24 Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona provides veterans support groups as well as the VetSuccess program to 895 veteran students. They have also provided 36 veteran students with $42,541.53 towards finishing their degree programs through the Yellow Ribbon program. NAU offers 68 degree programs online for students to choose from.
#25 La Verne University
The final school on this list is based out of California on over 18 different campuses ranging from the College of Law to Corporate Education Partners. With a variety, of course, offering to choose from, La Verne offers 30 students unlimited funding each year from the Yellow Ribbon Program. The college Offers accelerated degree programs that help with an 84% retention rate for their veteran students.
Mixed methods were used to assess a rank order of Veteran friendly schools in the United States. Data was taken from a variety of military and veteran friendly rankings to find like trends and analyze the top schools that frequent such lists. This study determined rankings based upon ten constructs. The constructs consisted of the following items.
- Veteran Support Programs
- SOCAD Agreements
- Number of Veteran Students
- Yellow Ribbon Programs
- Number of Veterans using Yellow Ribbon Program
- Amount of Yellow Ribbon money awarded to Veterans
- Retention rate of Veteran Students
- Job Seeker Services for Veterans
- Availability and Number of Online Programs
- Flexible Scheduling: To Include Hybrid, 6, 9, and 12-week courses.
Based upon the initial phase of the research, the top colleges were assigned a score (weight) for each construct listed, with 1 being the highest. Each construct was assigned a value of 10% to provide even and consistent scoring across the board. Based on lowest scores, a final ranking of the top 25 Veteran-friendly was reached.
Information for this study was also gathered from the following government agencies and other support agencies. Department of Veterans Affairs, (GI Bill Comparison Tool); Department of Education (College Scorecard and Accreditation), United Stated Department of Census (Veteran populations by state) and a variety of scholarships, grants, and financial aid websites focused on military and veterans.
Only Veterans Affairs approved and U.S. Department of Education accredited universities were considered for this study. This was to ensure that any advice taken from the research will be done so with the best intentions of others.