Every year, US News and World Report comes out with a list of the top schools in the USA. They just rolled out their latest lists for top colleges and universities in the United States for 2018, and we want to know, are any of them military friendly universities too?!
Like we have done previously, we’ve stacked up their Top 5 National Universities against our standards to see just how well these top institutions serve student veterans and military personnel. (Basically, are there any military friendly universities in this list?)
(The complete list names more than just five schools so be sure to check it out. You’ll also notice there are more than five schools listed below. That is because there were a few ties in US News’s findings.)
US News & World Report’s Top National Universities
#3. University of Chicago (tie)
#3. Yale (tie)
#5. Columbia University (tie)
#5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)
#5. Stanford (tie)
We looked deeper into each university in just how they serve military and veterans on campus. How? We looked specifically at just how many military/veteran assistance programs they have and which ones. We included the hyperlink to each university’s full profile so you can fully explore which military & veteran programs they do/don’t have in place. (Learn more about the veteran assistance programs colleges and universities are offering, here.)
Highlights – They have a full-time veteran counselor on campus. This is huge! Having someone on campus whose sole purpose to is support military affiliated students is the first step in ensuring those students succeed on campus. Without an on campus counselor, who is going to stand up for this group of students, or help them navigate this new environment?
Negatives – Princeton only has 6 of 16 different military/veteran programs in place. We wouldn’t classify Princeton as a military friendly university.
Highlights – Harvard does have a full-time on campus veteran counselor. It is almost impossible for student veterans to feel supported and find success when they don’t have someone in their corner.
Negatives – Harvard only has 4 of 16 different military/veteran programs in place ranking putting it in last place out of all of these top universities. (Definitely not a military friendly university.)
Highlights – University of Chicago has the most veteran/military support programs in place out of everyone on this list! They rank #1 on our list of top national universities that also happen to be military-friendly.
Negatives – University of Chicago doesn’t allow any means of coming onto campus with credit under your belt. What does that mean? They don’t accept CLEP or DSST exams or military experience to be counted for credit. This is a shame as that is one of the things we recommend most for college-bound military-affiliated students. Arriving on campus with credit under your belt will help you to finish your degree sooner.
Highlights– With 6 of the 16 military/veteran programs in place, Yale comes in at the middle of the road in comparison with the rest of the list. One thing that does stand out is that they have a Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter which many of the other universities do not.
Negatives– They don’t offer any means for veterans to use their previous knowledge, education, and experience to count toward credit hours. (They don’t accept the CLEP Exam, DSST Exam, or military experience for credit.)
Highlights– Columbia University ranks #2 on our list because they have 7 of the 16 veteran programs in place! Although that is under half of the programs, it is still the second best when comparing this list of schools. They also have an on campus Student Veterans of America chapter. SVA chapters are a huge factor in contributing to the success of student veterans on campus because it gives these students a community support system of other likeminded individuals.
Negatives– Columbia doesn’t offer any means of allowing military affiliated students to arrive to campus with credit under their belt.
Highlights– MIT offers the ability for students to come onto campus with credit under their belt. How? They accept college credit for military experience. It is important to note, that students should make sure that those credit hours count toward requirements and aren’t just additional hours the school adds onto your total credit hours.
Negatives– With only 6 of the 16 veteran programs in place, MIT comes in the very middle of the pack on our ranking of these schools.
Highlights– Stanford has a full-time veteran counselor on campus AND a Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter! This is the only school out of this list that has both.
Negatives– They only have 6 of the 16 different military support programs in place. This puts Stanford in a tie for #3 in our ranking of military friendly universities.
Our Ranking : How Top National Universities Rank As Military Friendly Universities
#1. University of Chicago
#2. Columbia University
#3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)
#3. Yale (tie)
#3. Princeton (tie)
#3. Stanford (tie)
#5. Harvard (tie)
Before accepting published “Top” lists for truth, know that every ranking institution is searching for different factors. We are searching and ranking based on military-friendliness & military-supportiveness. US News & World Report ranks on a whole host of other criteria.
If you are a military affiliated individual looking to start the college search process… start here. This tool highlights all of the programming that colleges and universities do and don’t have. Don’t end up at a school that isn’t prepared to support you as a veteran or military personnel! Do your research!