WMU named 'Best for Vets' by Military Times for sixth consecutive year

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Best for Vets Colleges logo.

WMU's Office for Military and Veterans Affairs offers services to military veterans.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University has been named one of the nation's best institutions for military veterans pursuing higher education—making the top-100 list for the sixth consecutive year.

In a pre-Veterans Day release of its latest assessment Nov. 9, Military Times has placed WMU on its 2016 "Best for Vets" list of colleges and universities. With a ranking of No. 76 this year, WMU is the only Michigan school to have appeared on all six years of the publication's annual list of the top colleges in the United States considered "the best fit for service members, military veterans and their families."

'Setting the example'

"It’s been amazing to witness how colleges all across higher education have embraced service members and their families," says Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times' Best for Vets rankings and special editions. "Over the past six years of our surveys, we've seen so many schools first begin to foster—through new policies, services and dedicated facilities—and then nurture these wonderful communities. We award the Best for Vets designation to the very best—the colleges that really are setting the example."

Two other Michigan universities are among the top 100 schools on the 2016 list: Saginaw Valley State University and the University of Michigan. The rankings are published in full in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times on newsstands this week and online at militarytimes.com. The rankings can also be found on each magazine's website.

According to the publication, more than 600 colleges and universities from across the nation completed a detailed survey that determined their standing. The survey asked colleges and universities to meticulously document an array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. Military Times also factored in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense Departments, as well as three Department of Education sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.

This is the second such accolade WMU has received this month. On Nov. 5, both WMU and the WMU Thomas M. Cooley Law School were lauded as 2016 Military Friendly Schools by Victory Media, the publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine.

WMU Office of Military and Veterans Affairs

WMU's Office of Military and Veterans Affairs serves more than 600 veteran students, the greatest number of veterans enrolled at a public university in Michigan. The office was established in 2009 to support veterans, service members and the family members of veterans. It provides guidance and mentorship in academic, benefit and other areas, as well as general information about WMU and its services, the campus community, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

WMU has earned accolades by offering in-state tuition status to veterans since 2007 and to veterans' dependents since 2008, assisting with obtaining G.I. Bill benefits, providing tailored academic and career counseling, offering disability services, and having a chapter of the Student Veterans of America.

In addition, the University has housed a VetSuccess on Campus program for southwest Michigan since 2012 with two partners—Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Kellogg Community College. This was the first VetSuccess program the V.A. authorized in Michigan and has just been refunded for a second three-year period. Working together, the three schools provide services to some 1,000 vets.

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