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6 Top Western Colleges for Military & Veterans

Spectacular Six: The 6 Top Western Colleges for Military and Veterans

Ready for the full college experience? Find the best fit for your campus preferences with the 6 Top Western Colleges for Military and Veterans.

Distinguishing the Top Western Colleges for Military and Veterans

The 6 Top Western Colleges for Military and Veterans analyzes colleges and universities in the following states:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

Looking for West Coast Colleges in California, Washington, and Oregon? Click here.

The 6 Top Western Colleges for Military and Veterans will offer opportunities for military members and veterans to earn college credit for their knowledge, experience, and skills. This includes letting students test to earn credits via the CLEP and DSST tests and providing credit for military experience.

Determining the Top Western Colleges for Military and Veterans

Common practices among the 6 Top Western Colleges for Military and Veterans include regional or national accreditation, graduation rates of at least 30%, GI Bill acceptance, and other financial and academic supports to help their students succeed.

Best Small School:

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott

As a Top Western College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University of Prescott offers students the opportunity to earn a variety of degrees including: certificates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers a comprehensive collection of programs designed to position students for success in aerospace, aviation, business, security and intelligence, engineering and beyond.

With just under 3,000 students, Embry-Riddle in Prescott is considered a small school. It consistently ranks high on “Best of” lists including:

  • #3 in Best Colleges in Arizona (Niche)
  • #2 in Regional Colleges West (US News)
  • #1 in Best Colleges for Veterans (US News)
  • #13 in Best Value Schools (US News)
  • #24 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (US News)
  • #11 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (US News)

Embry-Riddle is a GI Bill approved school, participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, and awards credit for both the DSST and the CLEP exams. Embry-Riddle also proudly offers college credit for military experience.

Top Junior College for a Unique Experience:

New Mexico Military Institute (tie)

New Mexico Military Institute, affectionately known as “The West Point of the West” is a Top Western College and the only state-supported co-educational college preparatory high school and junior college in the United States. NMMI consistently ranks high on “Best of” lists including:

  • #5 Best Community Colleges in America (Niche)
  • #1 Community College in New Mexico (Niche)

New Mexico Military Institute is a GI Bill approved school and awards credit for the CLEP exams. NMMI also proudly offers college credit for military experience.

Top Junior College for a Unique Experience:

Colorado Northwestern Community College (tie)

As a Top Western College, Colorado Northwestern Community College offers a unique college experience that allows students to choose from a wide variety of educational opportunities. From caving as part of instruction on biomes to mountain climbing, back packing, scuba diving, and rafting as part of wellness courses; the CNCC experience includes a unique way of learning and a novel take on the classroom experience. CNCC boasts a fantastic 40% graduation rate.

Colorado Northwestern Community College is a GI Bill approved school, and awards credit for both the DSST and the CLEP exams. Colorado Northwestern Community College also proudly offers college credit for military experience.

Best Liberal Arts College:

The College of Idaho

One of the Top Western Colleges, the College of Idaho is a small liberal arts college. It is Idaho’s oldest private college and has a stellar graduation rate of 60%. The College of Idaho ranks high on “Best of” lists including:

  • #2 Best Colleges in Idaho (Niche)
  • #15 Top Performers in Social Mobility (US News)
  • #93 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in America (US News)

The College of Idaho is a GI Bill approved school. The College of Idaho participates in the Yellow Ribbon program and awards credit for the CLEP exam. The College of Idaho also proudly offers college credit for military experience.

Maximize Military Benefits:

University of Utah

As a Top Western College, the University of Utah offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and nearly as many minors and certificates. The University of Utah also offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees online at UOnline. The University of Utah ranks high on “Best of” lists including:

  • #2 Top 4-Year Schools for Adult Learners (Washington Monthly)
  • #1 in Top Public Universities in Utah (Niche)
  • #42 in Top Public Schools (US News)
  • #42 Best Big Colleges in America (Niche)

Most veterans qualify for in-state tuition as soon as they start at the University of Utah. The state of Utah offers the Tuition Gap program, which pays tuition for qualifying veterans who have established Utah residency, have no VA educational benefits available, and have only a year left before earning their first bachelor’s degree.

The University of Utah is a GI Bill approved school, participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, and awards credit for both the DSST and the CLEP exams. The University of Utah also proudly offers college credit for military experience.

Best Kept Secret:

Weber State University

Weber State University offers more than 250 certificate and degree programs and 11 graduate degrees. As a Top Western College, Weber State University consistently ranks on “Best of” lists including:

  • #1 Top 2-Year Schools for Adult Learners
  • #39 in Top Public Schools (US News)
  • Ranked No. 2 in the nation for veteran students in a Military Times survey
  • Named to The Princeton Review’s 2021 Best On-Campus MBA programs
  • Named to The Princeton Review’s 2021 Guide to Green Schools list
  • Ranked in the 15 Best Online Medical Billing and Coding Associate Degrees by Best Health Degrees
  • Ranked in the 15 Best Online Medical Assistant Associate’s Programs by Best Health Degrees
  • Ranked by valuecolleges.com for best online colleges in Utah
  • Ranked for best online degree programs in Utah by Guide to Online Schools

Weber State University is a GI Bill approved school and awards credit for both the DSST and the CLEP exams. Weber State University also proudly offers college credit for military experience.

 

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About the author

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Born in SoCal yet raised Tampa, Florida - Leah earned her undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Leah earned her MA in the MALAS at San Diego State University, while also completing a graduate teaching certificate in English for Secondary Education. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 60 countries. With the birth of her son Spencer in 2012, Leah embarked on her biggest adventure (yet) as parent and Coast Guard wife.