LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas ranks fifth nationally among Tier 1 research institutions in the annual “Military Friendly Schools” survey, up from a No. 6 ranking last year.
The annual Military Friendly Schools survey is the longest-running review of college and university investments in serving military-affiliated students. Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using public data sources and survey information. More than 1,200 schools participated in the 2021-2022 survey, with 747 schools earning the designation, of which 162 were selected for the “Gold” award status.
KU has ranked a Military Friendly Top 10 school since 2018 and has earned “Gold” award status since 2017.
“We work hard to serve our military-affiliated students as they move to, through and beyond the university,” said April Blackmon Strange, director of the Lt. Gen. William K. Jones Military-Affiliated Student Center. “This award reflects that enduring commitment to the more than 1,500 veterans, service members, spouses, dependents and ROTC students who choose KU for their education.”
The annual 117-question survey assesses services and support for military-affiliated students, and incorporates data on student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans. The benchmark is set by the score of the leading institution.
The rankings are available online and will be published in G.I. Jobs magazine's May issue.
The Military-Affiliated Student Center at KU – a nearly 3,000-square-foot center in Summerfield Hall – serves as a centralized resource for students and is open during the 2020-21 academic year. It includes a lounge with extended hours access, study spaces, headquarters for KU Student Veterans of America, VA Work Study opportunities, GI Bill assistance and more.
The university is one of just 104 campuses nationwide to have the Department of Veterans Affairs VetSuccess on Campus program with a dedicated VA vocational rehabilitation counselor. KU also has a partnership with a Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs representative to assist with VA claims – a once on-campus service currently available remotely due to the pandemic.
The center also offers a variety of opportunities, including peer mentoring, training for staff and faculty who work with military-affiliated students, activities during Veterans Day week and honor cords for graduating military and veterans with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
In addition to the center, KU has several scholarships for military-affiliated students, a Veterans Upward Bound program and a series of Graduate Military Programs. KU is one of more than 50 universities to have all branches of ROTC and one of eight universities designated as a Department of Defense Language Training Center, which educates hundreds of servicemembers in strategic languages and regional area studies. The KU Edwards campus has a Veterans and Student Leadership Lounge and offers academic programs and certificates in Leavenworth for military and civilians at nearby Fort Leavenworth. KU also has a 4,000-member Veterans Alumni Network.