EKU Earns Top National Ranking for Commitment to Military Veterans

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Eastern Kentucky University has earned a national No. 1 ranking for its commitment to helping military veterans further their education.

Military Times EDGE magazine ranks EKU highest among the nation’s top 100 colleges and universities listed in its upcoming “Best for Vets: Colleges” issue. The article, and complete list, can be viewed at http://bit.ly/cmVMaJ.

The magazine ranks institutions based on their services and policies that support veterans. Criteria includes the presence of veteran groups on campus, policies for handling military withdrawals, scholarships for veterans, acceptance of military schooling for academic credit, training for faculty and staff on veterans’ issues, staff members dedicated to working with veterans, and special programs and events for veterans.

“This is another example of EKU’s status as a hidden gem in higher education,” said Lt. Col. Brett Morris, Ret., associate director of veterans affairs in the University’s Student Outreach and Transition Office. “EKU’s reputation as a military-friendly school is well-founded and continues to grow as we strive to move to the next level of being military-veteran helpful.

“This exposure will be a tremendous boost in shining the light on EKU as a place where veterans are welcomed, appreciated and supported.”

Only one other institution in Kentucky made the top-100 list.

Earlier this year, EKU unveiled Operation Veteran Success, a series of initiatives designed to make Eastern an even more veteran-helpful campus.

EKU has extended reduced tuition rates to all out-of-state veterans. For post 9-11 G.I. Bill recipients, both resident and non-resident, who have completed 36 months of active federal service, this means no out-of-pocket tuition costs. Also, the University has: waived the $30 admission application fee for all veterans, added recreational programming that appeals to their adventurous nature, developed a veterans-only orientation course, established a mentoring program pairing freshman veterans with returning student veterans, and instituted special cohort classes where veterans can learn together with fellow veterans.

Veterans are taking notice. Among its 16,000-plus students, EKU now counts 650 student veterans and veteran dependents.

Eastern was recognized by G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2009 and again this year.

“As a place that values and honors military veterans, EKU wants to be the school of choice for veterans,” Morris said.

Many veterans are drawn to the University’s widely recognized undergraduate programs in the College of Justice & Safety, which offers degrees in homeland security, criminal justice, fire science, and safety, security and emergency management. Another popular program with EKU veterans is aviation.

For more information about services available to veterans at EKU, contact the Veterans Affairs Office at 859-622-2345 or visit www.soto.eku.edu/veterans.

Published on September 27, 2010