For the second year in a row, the University of Kansas has been ranked as a top-10 best school in the country for veterans by the Military Times in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings.
To create the rankings, Military Times looked at student feedback and data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as data from different Education Department sources. The publication looked at criteria like university culture, academic outcomes and quality, student support, academic policies and financial aid.
“We’re honored to be recognized as a top-10 university once again for our efforts in creating a supportive and inclusive environment for our military-affiliated students,” says April Blackmon Strange, KU Student Veteran Center director. “These rankings help convey KU’s demonstrated commitment to our student-veterans, spouses and dependents.”
KU has more than 1,100 military-affiliated students and more than 400 faculty and staff on its five campuses, Blackmon Strange says.
KU was also recognized by Victory Media and named as a top school in the 2017 Military Advanced Education & Transition Guide to colleges. The school has been recognized by these organizations every year since 2011.
KU provides services to not only active duty military students, but also to students with a variety of military affiliations, including spouses, retired military members and members of the National Guard. Services include a special course for new student-veterans to help ease the transition, work opportunities and veteran-peer mentors, as well special events and access to national student-veteran organizations.
"Our military students at KU are as diverse as the university itself," says Blackmon Strange. "Our goal is to provide a centralized resource that can help students identify what needs they may have, what interests they may have, and pair them up with the right organizations and departments on campus."
Currently there is construction underway for a new Student Veteran Center that will include a lounge, tutoring resources and more. The center is set to open January 2017.
"For us at KU our goal is to enable our military affiliated students to succeed in their transition from the military world to the university and beyond," says Strange. "So for us the student veteran center initiative and all the initiatives we have for our students really helps achieve that goal so that we can help these students who have done so much for our country and help them in their next chapter in their lives."
Caitlin Troutman is an intern at KCUR 89.3.