EKU Again Named Military-Friendly School by Victory Media

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As more and more soldiers return from the battlefields of the Middle East, Eastern Kentucky University continues to earn national honors for its commitment to military veterans and their dependents.

For the fifth consecutive year, EKU has been named a Military-Friendly School by Victory Media, ranking in the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. Two of the past three years, Eastern was honored by Military Times EDGE magazine as “Best for Vets,” the number-one college or university in the country for its initiatives to help veterans further their education.

“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools shows Eastern Kentucky University’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Victory Media Vice President Sean Collins, a nine-year Navy veteran. “The need for education is growing, and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”

In a survey conducted for G.I. Jobs magazine, EKU’s student veterans gave the University an approximate 3.8 ranking on a 4.0 scale when assessing veteran resources, school resources, faculty, school environment and career services.

More than 1,200 veterans and their dependents are enrolled at EKU, which in 2010 launched Operation Veteran Success, a series of initiatives designed to make the campus even more veteran-helpful. Those initiatives include:

·         No admission fees for undergraduate veterans.

·         In-state tuition for all out-of-state veterans nationwide.

·         Maximum credit hours for military experience.

·         Priority registration.

·         Book vouchers and Books for Boots Exchange Library.

·         Veterans Bridge to College Success cohort classes.

·         Veterans orientation course.

·         Veteran-helpful withdrawal and readmission policy.

·         Vet-2-Vet sponsorship program and active Vets Club.

·         Recreational and other extracurricular activities.

·         Specially designated housing for student veterans.

·         Veteran Studies minor, believed to be the nation’s first, to help those who haven’t served in the military to better understand the issues that veterans face, and to help the veterans themselves deal with those issues.

EKU also is home to The Journal of Military Experience, the first volume of which won one of 14 Phi Kappa Phi national literacy grants and “Program of the Year” honors from Student Veterans of America for providing EKU veterans with a voice in 2011. The second volume, published in 2012, provides the same service to veterans nationwide and includes the scholarship of researchers interested in bridging the gap between civilian and military cultures.

As more and more troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan, EKU has more than doubled its number of military veterans and dependents in recent years. Many are pursuing baccalaureate degrees in criminal justice, police studies, homeland security, fire and safety, and nursing, or a graduate degree in safety, security and emergency management.

Each of the last two years, EKU has produced a Tillman Military Scholar. Only 60 are selected each year from among 1,800 applicants. Eastern is one of only 42 higher education institutions nationwide selected as Tillman Military Scholar Universities.

Last year, the EKU Military and Veterans Affairs Office moved to a new location, 317 Lancaster Ave., a converted home adjacent to Irvine McDowell Park, just north of campus. Kim Dickey, a full-time campus-based VA employee, is also available to help veterans with their benefits issues. For more information about opportunities and services available to veterans and their dependents at EKU, visit va.eku.edu or call 622-2345.      

Schools on the Victory Media Military Friendly list range from state universities and private colleges to community colleges and trade schools. The common bond is their shared priority of recruiting and graduating students with military experience.

The 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA funding. Each year schools participating in the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board consisting of educators from schools nationwide. The Military Friendly Schools® media and website, at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, feature the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences.  

A full story and detailed list of 2014 Military Friendly Schools® will be highlighted in the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools®, distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in early October.

Victory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned business that has been serving the military community since 2001. Its Military-Friendly lists are published in G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse and Vetrepreneur media channels, republished in periodicals like USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Bloomberg BW, and are frequently cited on national television broadcasts.

Published on September 12, 2013