If you’re a veteran who’s going back to school, or still active duty looking to get your degree, there are a lot of considerations in your choice of schools. Maybe you want to save time and money by receiving credit for your military experience, or to avoid out-of-pocket costs as much as possible. That’s why we’ve compiled the colleges with the best veteran and military programs to help you succeed.
Colleges are often ranked, most famously by US News & World Report. However, we’ve taken the top ranked schools from that list to see what programs these schools have to support and assist veteran and military students.
Since 1988, US News & World Report has cranked out a yearly “America’s Best Colleges” ranking publication. Within the publication there are a multitude of different lists including (but not limited to):
- National Universities Rankings
- National Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings
- Regional Universities Rankings
- Regional Colleges Rankings
- Best Undergraduate Business Programs
These rankings are determined by first categorizing the institutions based on type and mission. Then, institutions are ranked according to 16 different academic areas where each area has its own weight in the total ranking of the institution.
But this ranking system doesn’t take in to account veteran or military programs for students who previously served, are currently serving or their dependents.
Before we look at the Top Ranked Colleges, here are the key veteran and military programs that schools can offer to help support you.
17 KEY VETERAN BENEFITS PROGRAMS OFFERED BY COLLEGES
CollegeRecon identifies 17 key veteran benefits programs that are available on campuses to assist veterans and military personnel. They are:
- BAH – The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments you receive for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill are based on the military’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for an E-5 with dependents. The Department of Defense adjusts the BAH every calendar year (or January 1) based on changes to housing costs across the country. BAH rates for online colleges, schools, or distance learning programs is $754.50. BAH is not paid during summer or winter breaks, but Spring Break counts. Dropping courses can negatively affect BAH payments.
- Campus SVA Chapter – SVA chapters are student-veteran groups that have formed on college and university campuses to provide peer-to-peer networks for veterans who are attending those schools. The chapters are designed to be advocates for student veterans, and to help bridge the campus-to-career transition.
- Full-Time Veteran Counselor On Campus – A full-time veteran counselor is on campus to offer support and assistance for any array of student-veteran issues. These counselors will assist veterans in a number of ways, including helping them determine which services they need to succeed, and then directing how to engage them.
- Signed VA Principles Of Excellence – Educational institutions participating in the Principles of Excellence program agree to follow a set of guidelines pertaining to student-veteran issues. Examples of these guidelines include: Providing students with a personalized form covering the total cost of an education program and designating a point-of-contact for academic and financial advising.
- Club/Association For Veterans – These institutions offer student-veteran clubs and associations on their campuses.