If you are Armed Forces veteran looking to earn your college degree, consider one of these programs that have been determined by the Military Times to be the top programs for veterans. Factors considered include their adherence to the Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition caps as well as participation in the Yellow Ribbon program that allows vets to attend the programs without tuition fees. This means that any gaps between the GI benefit and the cost of tuition is covered by the school. These four-year programs also offer rigorous academic programs and are aware of the unique needs that veterans may have while pursuing higher education.
The University of South Florida, located in Tampa, FL received top honors in the 2017 standings. It is a public university that currently has 1,588 students with a military background enrolled. The graduation rate for vets is 68% compared to 50% in the overall student body. This school participates in the Yellow Ribbon program and caps tuitions rates for its undergraduate programs. There is a Veteran’s Center on campus as well as additional services for current and former military members that are attending the school.
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, earns the second-place slot. This school charges students at or below the Post-9/11 GI Bill rate. Due to this the school does not need to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program. There are 1,192 military students enrolled, and there is a Vet’s Center on campus. The graduation for military members, current and former, is 83% which is less than the 91% graduation level of the overall student body. Rutgers adheres to the military’s Principles of Excellence and the Department of Defense’s Memorandum of Understanding. There is a robust program of extracurricular activities as well as additional services for military students.
In the online category, Upper Iowa University earns top honors. This private institution charges all veterans, whether in a graduate or undergraduate program, tuition that is at or below the GI reimbursement amount. There is staff support for military students available as well as a strong teacher to student ratio. Like many online programs, the graduation rate is significantly lower than most traditional programs. Military students experience a 31% rate of graduation with the overall student body at 38%. There are currently 795 military members enrolled at the school.
Military service comes with a lot of sacrifices both for the soldier and their families. The GI Bill is one way for the nation to show appreciation for veterans’ service, and these college programs offer an opportunity to receive your degree without any additional tuition cost. If you are interested in furthering your education under the GI Bill, there are many options available, whether you are looking for full or part-time program, attending online or in a traditional setting. If these top 3 options do not fit into your life plans, there are many more institutions that participate in the GI Bill and do not charge veterans tuition above their benefit amount.