LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas ranks ninth nationally among public universities and first in Kansas in the Best for Vets: Colleges 2020 survey.
The rankings factor in the results of Military Times’ 10th annual survey, the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement. Hundreds of colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey, and only 134 four-year institutions made the list. KU ranks 11th among all four-year schools.
“We are honored to be recognized again among the top schools in the country for military-affiliated students,” said April Blackmon Strange, director of the Lt. Gen. William K. Jones Military-Affiliated Student Center. “We jumped from the No. 47 school in 2015 to a top 10 school from 2016-2019. As more and more institutions increase their programs and services and participate in the annual survey, the consistency of our rankings reflects KU’s enduring commitment to our veterans, service members, spouses and dependents.”
The annual 150-question survey assesses services for military-affiliated students and rates of academic achievement, and it incorporates data from the Veterans Affairs, Defense and Education departments. Higher education institutions were evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic policies, academic outcomes/quality and cost, and financial aid.
The rankings are available online and appear in full in a special magazine issue of Military Times.
The Military-Affiliated Student Center at KU – a nearly 3,000-square-foot center in Summerfield Hall – serves as a centralized resource for students. It includes a lounge with 24-7 access, study and meeting spaces, headquarters for KU Student Veterans of America, a Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs representative to assist with VA claims, the Department of Veterans Affairs VetSuccess on Campus program, VA Work Study opportunities, GI Bill assistance and more.
The center also offers a variety of opportunities and events, including peer mentoring, training for staff and faculty who work with military-affiliated students, activities during Veterans Day week and honor cords for graduating veterans with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
In addition to the center, KU has a variety of scholarships for military-affiliated students, a Veterans Upward Bound program, a series of Graduate Military Programs and is one of more than 50 universities to have all branches of ROTC. The KU-Edwards campus opened a Veterans and Student Leadership Lounge in fall 2018 and offers academic programs and certificates in Leavenworth for military and civilians at nearby Fort Leavenworth. KU also has a 4,200-member Veterans Alumni Network.