Magazine Honors EKU for Commitment to Military Veterans

Eastern Kentucky University has earned another national honor for its commitment to military veterans and their dependents.

U.S. Veterans Magazine has listed EKU among its Best of the Best Top Veteran-Friendly Schools. Of the 110 colleges and universities listed, Eastern is one of only three Kentucky institutions recognized.

The results are published in the summer issue of U.S. Veterans Magazine. The magazine compiled the list based on market research, independent research, diversity conference participation and survey responses.

Home to approximately 1,300 veterans and their dependents, EKU also earned a No. 1 national ranking in 2010 and 2012 from Military Times magazine in its annual “Best for Vets: Colleges” issues. It has been recognized by G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School each of the past four years.

For two consecutive years, Eastern has produced a Tillman Military Scholar; the University is one of 42 higher education institutions selected as Tillman Military Scholars Universities and only 60 Scholars are chosen nationally. Earlier this year, Military Times also ranked EKU 16th nationally among its “Best for Vets: Business Schools.”

Also, EKU was named a VetSuccess University by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and now has a full-time VA employee on staff to help veterans with their benefits issues.

In 2010, Eastern launched Operation Veteran Success, a series of initiatives designed to make the university even more veteran-helpful. These 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 last year, 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 the Middle East, 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.

The EKU Military and Veterans Affairs Office is now located at 317 Lancaster Ave., near the Richmond campus. For more information about opportunities and services available to veterans and their dependents at EKU, visit va.eku.edu or call 859-622-2345.

Published on June 20, 2013