Some students start attending a university immediately after high school, others begin taking classes after employment, and others start after military service. It can be difficult for veterans and servicemembers to jump into education after their service. We’ve found the top military-friendly colleges for the military. Also, the United States government and individual universities have created financial programs and resources to provide a smooth transition for military-related individuals. These programs are to help and give back to veterans, service members, and dependents. Some universities offer more academic, financial, and psychological assistance than others.
Here are the top military-friendly colleges:
1. University of Alabama
The University of Alabama seeks to be veterans’ top choice for attending college. The Office of Veterans and Military Affairs is a branch of the University of Alabama’s student affairs department that serving all survivors, dependents, veterans, and servicemembers regardless of any prior state or federal funding. With expert guidance and direction of the GI Bill and other military-related funding, the University of Alabama enables students to qualify for aid. Prospective students and current students can gather more information on the available forms and resources.
On-site counselors walk students through the GI Bill and other potentially applicable funding. Also, the Office of Veterans and Military Affairs currently serves 3,000 members. Anyone who associates to the military can enjoy the services of this office which include free printing, study and lounge spaces, computer lab, stress-free rooms, etc. Students can also participate in “Vet Success,” which is a program through the Veterans’ Benefits Administration that provides an experienced vocational rehabilitation counselor to give support to veterans or their families.
The University of Alabama also offers a unique program, “Textbooks for Troops,” in which military-related students can check out books for free on the first day of each semester. For a military-friendly college, the University of Alabama provides quality and extensive services to help veterans, dependents and service members receive an education.
2. Western Kentucky University
Another top military-friendly school is Western Kentucky University (WKU). For six consecutive years, WKU has been ranked as a “Best for Vets 4-year College” by Military Times Edge magazine. Mindful of those wanting to study who also is active in the military, WKU has provided a regional campus for those stationed at Fort Knox for the last 41 years. Military-related students at WKU can also enjoy “Textbooks for Troops”. For veterans or dependants looking for an online program, WKU may be the answer since they offer 50-degree programs entirely online. To provide relief and therapy for veterans who need it, WKU has CanDoo, a golden retriever Therapy Dog. Therapy dogs have been proven to relieve stress and raise spirits. To further help currently serving military students, WKU offers a special tuition rate of $250 per credit.
3. University of South Carolina- Columbia
The University of South Carolina offers services to military-connected individuals. Financial consultations are available to dependents, veterans, and servicemembers. These discussions will help students learn what financial resources are available to them. Various studying spaces are available just for these students as well. The University of South Carolina helps offer resources for emotional and psychological support. The Green Zone is a safe place on campus where trained faculty and staff, also known as Green Zone Allies, provide support to military-related individuals. These students can receive direction to campus resources for financial, physical and academic needs. Green Zone Allies can also be listening ears for students who desire a safe place to voice concerns and issues. The University of South Carolina is a top choice for military-friendly colleges because of the academic and emotional support it provides.
4. University of Oklahoma
The Veteran Support Alliance at the University of Oklahoma (OU) offers many resources for the military-connected students. For military non-resident students at OU, some may qualify for a tuition waiver. Prospective students can view the qualifications here. The University of Oklahoma also has a Green Zone to provide resources for its students. One emphasis of OU’s Green Zone is the counseling services. Top-quality psychologists offer advice and consultation to veterans, servicemembers, dependents and any military-related individual who may need it.
5. Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University is an excellent option for military-related students who desire or require flexibility and mobility with their studies. The university has education centers in 7 states, enabling students the possibility of starting and finishing degrees at different learning centers. The university acts as a fantastic service for military students who get deployed or relocated. Degrees can also be completed online to meet the mobile needs of veterans and servicemembers. Currently, over 5,000 military men and women enroll in programs at Saint Leo University.
6. University of La Verne
Like Saint Leo University, the University of La Verne has many education centers to accommodate students. With the central location in La Verne, there are also ten regional campuses and online programs available. For 47 years, military men and women have studied at La Verne and have found a supportive environment. For students using the GI Bill, La Verne also offers a top-up tuition assistance for eligible students. This support covers the rest of the educational costs with the GI Bill. La Verne understands the sacrifice and effort of our loyal military members and seeks to provide support and help for them.
7. Northwood University
The Northwood University is a private university; however, the GI BIll only has a certain amount of its budget allotted to give to private schools. To help students with their tuition, Northwood partnered with the Yellow Ribbon Program which closes the gap left in tuition and fees after the GI Bill tuition assistance. Northwood University also seeks to support their veterans, servicemembers, and dependents with varying benefits. To meet the needs of military personnel, Northwood University offers summer classes, online courses, and regular studying opportunities. Northwood University also has a program through the Department of Defense for additional tuition assistance for any student currently serving in the Armed Forces, including the Coast Guard. Also, the military-related students can learn which documents are necessary for scholarship eligibility on this Northwood University site.
8. St. Joseph’s College- New York
St. Joseph’s College (SJC) is dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for our military-affiliated students, who currently number over 300. SJC accepts all military and veteran education benefits, provides for unlimited Yellow Ribbon Program funding and is a proud member of the Department of Defense’s Service Members Opportunity Colleges (SOC). For those seeking an undergraduate degree or certificate, SJC offers a special military tuition discount of $250 per credit, for up to 10 credits, for those currently serving (active, guard, reserves) and for spouses and dependents of those on active duty. Courses are taught at eight locations, including land-based campuses, online and at five military installations. Weekend, evening and online courses are popular options among our military and veteran families. Both SJC Brooklyn and SJC Long Island boast nationally-sanctioned Student Veterans of America Chapters, whose members are highly-active within the College and who consistently partner with the local military and veteran community. A spacious Veterans Resource Center/Lounge promotes collaboration and the discovery of available campus and community resources. For more information, visit sjcny.edu.
9. Columbia College
At Columbia College, the Ousley Family Veterans Service Center provides a network of current and past students either at the main campus, through their online school, or at any of their 36 extended campuses. There is the Military Transition Team for veterans or service members. This team is made up of Columbia College experts who seek to provide a smooth transition for service members to start into education. Also, they provide services in admission, financial aid, counseling, and more. Students can learn more about the Military Transition Team. There are also additional scholarships at Columbia College intended to help veterans and their families.
10. Regis University
Regis University offers college credit for military service. Veterans and servicemembers interested in a teaching degree can receive financial and academic support through Troops to Teachers (TTT). TTT is a program through the Department of Defense that helps military-related students afford state certification exams and locate the useful resources. There is also a flat, discount rate of $275 per credit for active members of the U.S. Armed Forces, making it a great option for veterans to return to school.