Since 1988, US News & World Report has cranked out a yearly “America’s Best Colleges” ranking publication. Within the publication there are a multitude of different lists including National Universities Rankings, National Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings, Regional Universities Rankings, Regional Colleges Rankings, and Best Undergraduate Business Programs to name a few… (Yes, there are more.)
These rankings are determined by first categorizing the institutions based on type and mission. Then, institutions are ranked according to 16 different academic areas where each area has its own weight in the total ranking of the institution. (Whew. I know, bear with me…)
But this ranking system doesn’t have take into account veteran or military assistance programs for students who previously served or are currently serving.
#1 in the National Universities Rankings from US News & World Report
Let’s dive into these rankings to see how US News & World Report’s top ranking institutions hold up in terms of student-veteran assistance programs and assistance on campus.
Ranking #1 in the National Liberal Arts Colleges on US News & World Report, Williams College doesn’t participate in any of my top four most important categories. However, they do have BAH, Signed VA Principles of Excellence and the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Nova is #1 in the Regional Universities Rankings (North) via US News & World Report, but this school only awards credit for the CLEP exam.
Elon ranks #1 in the Regional Universities (South) on US News & World Report, but only awards credit for the CLEP exam.
Coming in at #1 in the Regional Universities Rankings (Midwest) on US News & World Report, Creighton University only awards credit for the CLEP exam.
Trinity is #1 in the Regional Universities Rankings (West) via US News & World Report, but doesn’t participate in any of our top 4 most important categories. However, Trinity does participate in BAH, Veteran Upward Bound Program, ROTC, and the Yellow Ribbon Program.
United States Coast Guard Academy
The United States Coast Guard Academy ranks #1 in the Regional Colleges Rankings (North) on US News & World Report. Since this college is a military academy, I decided to pass onto #2 in this category to see what more I could find.
High Point University
Taylor ranks #1 in the Regional Colleges Rankings (Midwest) on US News & World Report. I also found that Taylor awards for ACE Credit For Military Experience, follows ACE Standards For Credit, & Awards Credit For CLEP Exam. Definitely a veteran-friendly school!
Coming in at #1 in the Regional Colleges Rankings (West) via US News & World Report, this school awards for ACE Credit For Military Experience, follows ACE Standards For Credit, andAwards Credit For CLEP Exam. Another veteran-friendly school!
Do Veteran Assistance Programs Really Matter?
As I have shown you, not many of the top institutions identified by US News & World Report’s ranking are giving veterans and military personnel the opportunity to acquire credit for their service experience and knowledge.
Although this isn’t the only way that institutions can support veterans and military personnel, it is one of the most beneficial. Acquiring credit leads to saving both money and time, and no one can deny that starting off with credit under your belt gets you going on the right foot.
Should you base your choice on which college or university to attend solely on whether or not you can acquire credit for military experience?
I suggest getting the full picture of the institution’s student-veteran benefit programs before you enroll in or toss an institution to the side. Going through the university’s full profile to review all 15 veteran benefit programs is the best way to do this.
Each university has a “Military Offerings” tab on its CollegeRecon profile page where you can find all of the categories listed with a very simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as to whether they participate or not. If you have more questions about a specific university or their offerings, you can connect with the school’s admissions staff right there on CollegeRecon.
Another way to search for schools with veteran and military programs is to go directly to the search tab and click on all of the programs an institution must have in order for it to come up on your search. This way, the schools you will be searching through will only have those programs that you deem necessary for your success.
The better picture you have of schools’ offerings, the better decision you will be able to make on whether it fits your specific needs.
(Featured Image Courtesy: Cal Berkeley, Wikipedia)