2014 Top Ten Military Friendly Colleges and Universities

Pursuing secondary education can be overwhelming with a flood of information about tuition, courses, majors, etc. all piling up in the mail. For the majority of military members, trying to find the right school to meet all their needs comes while also attempting to finish out their military career. The extra stress is unneeded amongst all the other worries someone about to go through a life change has on their plate. To help make the process a little easier, we’ve put together a list of the top military friendly schools in the country.

  1. Regent University: Virginia Beach, VA

    This is our top pick due to the amount of services easily accessible for veterans and their families, along with the proximity to military bases. Each semester, Regent University offers free luncheons called “Military Transition Lunch ‘n Learn” to veterans, military members and their families. These events are developed to help ease the transition into a post-military career as a civilian and as a college student. Along with these events, the school also has programs such as the Military Spouse Career Advancement and Troops to Teachers. Regent University is located roughly 10 miles from NAB Little Creek, 12 miles from NAS Oceana and the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and 22 miles from Fort Monroe. With close proximity to military bases, students are able to still be close to their military roots while furthering their education.

  2. University of South Florida: Tampa, FL

    Every student wants to have a successful time at college and that’s no different for military-related students. For many of those turning to education following their time in the service, going to college is their first time back into the classroom in many years. The options the University of South Florida provides for students with military ties to be successful is what earned them the third spot on our list. At USF, students will have access to the VA work study program, the veterans mentoring program, the Student Veteran Employment Program (SVEP) and many more programs created to help guide students through a new path of life. The campus has also launched the “Got Your Six” Veterans Success Network, backed nationally by millions including celebrities such as Tom Hanks and Brian Williams, to help educate faculty and staff members on how to best support students with military experience. For those who need to be close to their military base, the USF campus is also only 19 miles from MacDill AFB and 26 miles from Air Station Clearwater.

  3. Park University: Parkville, MO

    Having a smooth and easy transition is one of the top worries for military and veterans students. Park University’s efforts to make that goal a reality is one of the main reasons they landed on our list of top military friendly schools. The school has various resources available through the Park Warrior Center to assist our nation’s heroes with any issue they might have such as employment, finances, PTSD and more. To help with the transition into civilian and college life, veterans can enroll in a series of five courses through the Success for Veterans Program. Proximity to a military base is a little far but is still manageable with Whiteman AFB roughly 80 miles away from campus.

  4. Virginia Commonwealth University: Richmond, VA

    Many students feel the financial stress at some point in their college careers. For military-related students, this can be extra worrisome while trying to figure out what the military benefits they’re entitled to will cover and what they are responsible for themselves. Virginia Commonwealth University landed on our list because it has numerous programs set up to assist with financial planning including the Military Service Tuition Relief. This program works to make accommodations for students who have gone through sudden withdrawal from school or have a prolonged absence due to their time in the service. Not only does VCU help students who have or are serving in the military with understanding what they are entitled to, but also their families through the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program. With many military students located close to their respective bases, traveling to VCU is just 21 miles away from Fort Lee and only 61 miles from NWS Yorktown making the commute manageable for those serious about obtaining an education.

  5. University of Texas - San Antonio: San Antonio, TX

    Making the move from a structured life in the military to an open and exploratory time in college can present a challenge for some student veterans. Through a partnership with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the University of Texas at San Antonio works to provide a supportive environment with the help of the VetSuccess on Campus program. This is one of the many factors that helped earn UTSA a spot on our list. Veterans, active duty and eligible family members have full access to VA liaisons who can provide information on educational benefits, military training college credits, job placement and more. UTSA also offers weekly study sessions through a program called Supplemental Instruction, designed to help students develop skills and strategies to make them academically successful. The campus has close proximity to San Antonio’s military bases: located 18 miles from Fort Sam Houston, 23 miles from Randolph AFB and 24 miles from Lackland AFB.

  6. Pennsylvania State University: State College, PA

    A familiar face is bound to make things better, especially in an unfamiliar setting such as starting college. As a way to provide a familiar face to military-related students, Pennsylvania State University created the Peer Counseling program made up of student veterans already familiar with the campus. One of the reason’s PSU landed on our list is because of their group of students ready to serve their fellow service men and women on campus. Penn State also offers the Veterans Special Needs Endowed Scholarship as a way to provide financial assistance to those in need of additional funds to attend school. Those who have travel concerns will have to be invested to a lengthy commute with Carlisle Barracks 90 miles from campus and NSA Mechanicsburg 96 miles away.

  7. University of Evansville: Evansville, IN

    Helping military-related students feel at ease on campus is an important goal but it’s still important to recognize the sacrifices our men and women have made for our nation. At the University of Evansville, events such as the Honoring Women Veterans Conference are hosted on campus to help honor and show appreciation for our heroes. The conference brings together not only those in the community but people from all across the country who want to say thanks. The support the school gives to our veterans, military members and their families earned them a spot on our list. The campus in Evansville is located between two military bases but the commute is a little lengthy: 90 miles from NSWC Crane Division and 108 miles from Fort Knox.

  8. Oklahoma City University: Oklahoma City, OK

    One of the ways to be a military friendly school is by meeting the unique needs military-related students have. The Military Affinity Group (MAG) works to make sure those needs are met at Oklahoma City University, which is one of the reasons they are on our list. The organization works to serve as the voice of service men and women as well as their families on campus. They help raise awareness on campus and in the community of challenges students face while also giving back through community service and outreach activities. Another added benefit? OKCU’s campus is located just 13 miles from Tinker AFB and only 21 miles from the Coast Guard Institute.

  9. Georgia Southern University: Statesboro, GA

    Learning the balance between work and school can be a challenge for some college students. At Georgia Southern University, balancing school and work is a little easier with the work study program provided through the help of the VA. This program allows eligible students to earn minimum wage while helping with outreach services under the supervision of a VA employee. Because this program helps meet the needs of military-related services, it helped earn Georgia Southern a spot on our list. Another reason is because its campus is only 44 miles from Fort Stewart and 57 miles from Hunter Airfield.

  10. GateWay Community College: Phoenix, AZ

    Transitioning successfully into college life not only depends on the location of the school but also the size. That’s why thinking about attending a community college first is a good option for students including veterans and those still serving. GateWay Community College works to make sure all students feel like they belong, which earned them the final spot on our list of military friendly schools. One way military-related students develop their comfort zone one campus is through the school’s Veterans Club. The organization helps members achieve success through the reaffirmation of service, education and fellowship. Another perk to attending school at Gateway is campus is also located just 29 miles from Luke AFB.

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