LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has earned a top-five ranking in the Military Times Best: Colleges 2018 rankings, formerly known as Best for Vets. The school jumped five spots from its No. 10 rankings in 2016 and 2017.
Released Nov. 20, the rankings factor in the results of Military Times’ annual survey, the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement. More than 600 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey.
"Of the hundreds of schools that applied, fewer than half received the Military Times Best: Colleges designation this year," said George Altman, the Military Times editor in charge of the rankings. “Only the best made the cut.”
The annual survey asks colleges and universities to meticulously document an array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as three Education Department sources: the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.
The rankings are available online and appear in full in a special magazine issue of Military Times this week.
KU also earned recognition from two other organizations that rate schools on their support for military-affiliated students.
For a second year, KU received the Military Friendly Schools “Gold” award in the Tier 1 research institution category. That survey is conducted by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs, STEM Jobs, Vetrepreneur and Military Spouse magazine.
The Military Advanced Education & Transition Guide to Colleges and Universities research study also ranked KU as a “Top School” again for 2018.
KU has been recognized by all three organizations each year since 2011.
“We are honored to be consistently recognized among the top schools in the country for military, veterans, spouses and dependents,” said April Blackmon Strange, director of the Lt. Gen. William K. Jones Military-Affiliated Student Center. “These rankings reflect KU’s hard work and enduring commitment to our 1,300-plus military-affiliated students as they transition to the university, persist to graduation and transition to the next chapter in their lives.”
The Military-Affiliated Student Center at KU – a nearly 3,000-square-foot center in Summerfield Hall – serves as a centralized resource for current and prospective students. It includes a lounge with 24-7 access, study and meeting spaces, headquarters for the KU Student Veterans of America officers, a representative from the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs to assist with VA claims, VA Work Study opportunities, GI Bill assistance and more. The center also offers a variety of opportunities and events, including peer mentoring, military cultural competency training for staff and faculty, Veterans Day week activities and meet-and-greets through the KU Veterans Alumni Network.
In addition to the Military-Affiliated Student Center, KU has a Veterans Upward Bound program, a series of Graduate Military Programs and a certificate in entrepreneurship at Fort Riley. It is one of more than 50 universities to have all branches of ROTC. The KU-Edwards campus offers a Military Transition Certificate program and academic programs and certificates in Leavenworth for military and civilians at nearby Fort Leavenworth.