LAWRENCE — For a second time, the University of Kansas has earned a top five ranking in the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2019 rankings.
Released Oct. 22, 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. About 500 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey.
“Military Times' Best for Vets designation is trusted throughout the veteran community as the mark of excellence for schools and other organizations that work with veterans, service members and military families. It can't be bought with advertising dollars – unlike some other supposedly veteran-friendly rankings – only earned through a record of steadfast service and dedication to those who have served,” said George Altman, the Military Times editor in charge of the rankings. “Fewer than half of the roughly 500 colleges and universities that competed for the recognition earned the right to call themselves Best for Vets in 2019. Their efforts should be commended.”
Military Times’ annual Best for Vets: Colleges survey asks colleges and universities to disclose academic outcome and input data, describe many aspects of veteran culture on campus and meticulously document a wide array of services, special policies, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties. Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as three Education Department sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.
The rankings are available online and will appear in full in a special magazine issue of Military Times this week.
“We are honored to be recognized again as one of the top universities in the nation 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 enduring commitment to serving our 1,440-plus military-affiliated students.”
KU’s Military-Affiliated Student Center 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. In 2018, KU also received the VetSuccess on Campus program, a Department of Veterans Affairs initiative that provides a full-time VA counselor on campus to encourage, promote and support GI Bill users and student veterans to be successful in their educational and career endeavors. The center also offers a variety of opportunities and events, including peer mentoring, military cultural competency training for staff and faculty, events and 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 and a series of Graduate Military Programs. It 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 in Leavenworth for military and civilians at nearby Fort Leavenworth.
Photos: KU Marketing Communications.