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Best Colleges

America’s Best Military Friendly
Online Schools

Best Online Colleges
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Despite a steady downsizing in personnel since the mid-1950s, the U.S. military remains one of the largest armed forces in the world. According to data from the U.S. Department of Defense, roughly 1.3 million men and women served in the military in 2016. A recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau also reveals there are 21.8 million veterans of the armed forces.

In response to these high numbers, the federal government has launched several programs and initiatives aimed at veterans and active-duty military personnel who wish to attend college and earn an accredited degree. The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that more than 900,000 veterans and military servicemembers received education benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs between 2000 and 2012; the largest increase was recorded between 2009 and 2010, after the Post 9/11 GI Bill took effect; one provision of this bill ― known as the Yellow Ribbon program ― is designed to reduce out-of-pocket tuition costs for individuals who have enlisted since 9/11. Additionally, a joint program known as Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) eases the credit transferral and degree completion processes for active-duty and military reservist students. Other academic perks include ‘prior-learning’ credits awarded for those who have completed official military trainings, dedicated student organizations for veterans and active-duty servicemembers and financial aid opportunities reserved for students with an armed forces background.

Top Featured Schools
  • Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH & Online
    As a GI Jobs Military Friendly® School since 2009, we provide tuition savings of up to 30 percent for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty. We also accept up to 90 credits toward undergraduate degrees and give credit for military training.
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  • Herzing University Brookfield, WI & Online
    As a private, nonprofit institution, Herzing is accredited for business programs by the IACBE. Its online degrees includes bachelor’s and associate degrees in business management and marketing, nursing, legal studies, and public safety.
    Request Information | View School

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ARE ALL COLLEGES MILITARY FRIENDLY?

No. Not all schools participate in special programs or provide financial assistance specifically for members of the military, which means not all schools are military friendly. Read more here.

WHAT IS A MILITARY FRIENDLY COLLEGE?

Aside from participating in government programs such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon Program, and MyCAA, military-friendly colleges may provide special benefits such as military tuition assistance, credits for training or prior learning experiences, and military discounts. Read more here.

WHAT ARE MILITARY SPOUSE FRIENDLY SCHOOLS?

These schools may extend the same or similar benefits to spouses of military members in the form of financial assistance, scholarships, and/or military discounts. Read more here.

WHAT MAKES A SCHOOL MILITARY FRIENDLY?

A military-friendly school typically does more than participate in government-funded programs. They may provide credit for military training, special financial assistance, easy transfer credit options, and flexible class formats. Read more here.

DO VETERANS GET ACCEPTED TO COLLEGE EASIER?

No. While being a military member is a valuable experience that will impress most admission committees, military applicants typically must meet the same admission requirements as other prospective students. Read more here.

Online degree programs offer an ideal academic pathway for many of today’s military servicemembers and veterans. The asynchronous (or self-paced) curriculum of most online courses is conducive for active-duty personnel and reservists who must balance their schoolwork with service-related commitments. This flexible format is also helpful for Armed Forces veterans who are seeking a college education in order to transition from the military into civilian life. And like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, online colleges and universities provide services and resources aimed at military and veteran students. These include personal counseling, academic advisement, and career planning ― all delivered within a convenient virtual setting.

This ranking of the best online schools for military servicemembers and veterans takes all of these programs and services into account. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive academic resource for military veterans, active servicemembers, reservists and military dependents across the country.

Accredited Online Schools for
Military Servicemembers & Veterans

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RankSchool NameRanking ScoreRelative CostGraduation RateLocationDescription
1 University of Florida RANKING SCORE
95.11
COST
GRADUATION RATE
85%
LOCATION
Gainesville, FL

Consistently ranked as one the best online schools for military students, the University of Florida offers a broad range of distance programs and a full suite of support services for military personnel. The University of Florida maintains three departments dedicated to assisting students with military backgrounds: the Office of Student Veteran Services, the Collegiate Veterans Success Center, and the Collegiate Veterans Society. Through these departments, students can liaise with federal, state, and local government support services and forge social and professional connections with other veterans.

This Gainesville-based institution also offers out-of-state fee waivers to qualified military students, allowing them to pay in-state tuition rates. Military students can also receive 100% federal tuition assistance to finance their educations without taking on loans or debt. Depending on a student’s service record, they may be able to obtain course credit for military experience, which can be applied toward their electives.

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2 North Carolina State University at Raleigh RANKING SCORE
84.20
COST
GRADUATION RATE
71%
LOCATION
Raleigh, NC

Founded in 1887, Raleigh-based North Carolina State University currently has more than 34,000 students, making it the largest higher-education network in the Carolinas. It is also one of the top online colleges for military students. In total, over 90 asynchronous degree, diploma, and licensure programs are available. Among these, the school’s leadership in the public sector program is particularly popular among online students with military backgrounds.

NC State’s Military and Veteran Services department recently opened a new Military and Veterans Resource Center, and the school regularly hosts hiring events and other networking opportunities for military students. In-state students with military backgrounds can have all of their tuition fees covered under Chapter 33-post 9/11 benefits. In the fall of 2016, NC State also joined the Yellow Ribbon program, which enables qualified out-of-state students to receive up to $11,400 per year in tuition assistance from the Veterans Administration (VA).

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3 University of Central Florida RANKING SCORE
80.70
COST
GRADUATION RATE
65%
LOCATION
Orlando, FL

The University of Central Florida is one of the most military-friendly online colleges and universities in the United States. The Orlando-based school offers a comprehensive range of student services for military veterans through its Veterans Academic Resource Center. Active and former military service personnel can access civilian life readjustment services and psychological support programs through the university’s Veteran Services office. Distance learners have the same access to these resources as on-campus students.

Beyond the standard federal tuition assistance benefits, UCF’s military students can also access dedicated tutoring and academic advising services, as well as early registration opportunities. UCF exceeds the minimum “military friendly” ratings in six key categories: academic policies and compliance, admissions and orientation, culture and commitment, financial aid assistance, graduation and career services, and military student support and retention. UCF earned a perfect 100% rating in all six of these categories.

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4 Texas A&M University RANKING SCORE
76.14
COST
GRADUATION RATE
80%
LOCATION
College Station, TX

Regarded as one of the best military online colleges for veterans and active servicemembers, Texas A&M University has served student veterans since 1919. The College Station-based school supports military students through two dedicated departments: the Military Admissions Office and the Veteran Resource & Support Center. The Military Admissions Office provides armed forces applicants with dedicated advisors who help prospective students create competitive admissions applications. Founded in 2012, the Veteran Resource & Support Center offers referrals to campus- and community-based resources for veterans; assistance transitioning into the Texas A&M community; and workshops, social events, and networking opportunities. Qualified online students in Texas A&M’s asynchronous distance-learning programs enjoy full access to these resources. Both departments are backed by Texas A&M’s Veteran Services Office, which helps on-campus and online students maximize their tuition and financial aid benefits. One of the school’s unique programs is the Hazelwood Exemption, which grants out-of-state veterans access to in-state tuition rates and up to 150 credit hours of tuition exemptions.

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5 Northeastern University RANKING SCORE
75.65
COST
GRADUATION RATE
79%
LOCATION
Boston, MA

Northeastern University is a private research institution based in Boston, Massachusetts. The school emphasizes experiential learning and has made a concerted effort to help veterans and military students since World War I.

In 2009, Northeastern University pledged the maximum allowable amount of $2 million to its Yellow Ribbon program. In 2015, it opened the Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Servicemembers. This office helps graduating students with military backgrounds find employment; Northeastern’s military alumni have a 90% employment or graduate school admission rate within nine months of matriculation. This center is the first of its kind in the United States and is fully available to online students.

In addition to earning course credit for their military experience, veterans and servicemembers who study online enjoy access to an array of co-op, internship, and experiential learning opportunities. Northeastern University’s Global Network also liaises with more than 3,000 employers worldwide, providing military alumni with post-graduation career opportunities.

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6 University of Minnesota -Twin Cities RANKING SCORE
75.65
COST
GRADUATION RATE
73%
LOCATION
Minneapolis, MN

The MBA programs at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities are especially popular and are designed to be accessible to veterans and active or former servicemembers. The school’s unique Military REACH service provides extensive support to military veterans (and their families) who are transitioning back into civilian life. Additionally, the University of Minnesota maintains a flexible and compassionate policy in situations where online students must interrupt their studies to honor their active service commitments.

All veterans with at least 90 days of active service duty qualify for in-state tuition rates, and the school’s participation in federal and state tuition reimbursement programs can dramatically reduce the cost of online attendance. Transfer credit opportunities are also available to incoming military students with previous educational experiences. These factors combine to make the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities one of America’s best military-friendly online colleges.

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7 University of Southern California RANKING SCORE
72.27
COST
GRADUATION RATE
90%
LOCATION
Los Angeles, CA

The Los Angeles-based University of Southern California has assisted American veterans since World War I, when the school’s campus was temporarily repurposed as a military training academy. Students enrolled in the school’s online programs enjoy a large amount of flexibility, including the opportunity to complete coursework and earn a degree even if they are deployed to active duty. Some of USC’s most popular programs are its online MBA, geographic information science, military social work, cyber security, and public administration programs.

USC accepts full GI Bill benefits and is a participant in the federal Yellow Ribbon military student funding program. Military veterans, reservists, and their dependents are served through USC’s Veterans Resource Center, which offers a wide range of support resources that are available to online students. Additionally, servicemembers who previously completed comparable coursework at an accredited U.S. military academy may qualify for transfer credits. One of the nation’s most prominent higher-learning institutions, USC is also one of the best military-friendly colleges online.

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8 Pennsylvania State University RANKING SCORE
71.76
COST
GRADUATION RATE
86%
LOCATION
University Park, PA

Recognized as one of the leading military-friendly schools online, Penn State maintains a Military Grant-in-Aid initiative specifically designed for veterans and active servicemembers enrolled in distance-learning programs. All USAF members, including reservists and National Guard members, qualify for Military Grant-in-Aid assistance, which reduces tuition rates by as much as 44%; these reductions do not count toward other federal and state military education benefits. Students can apply to more than 125 online programs, all of which offer asynchronous learning opportunities to provide flexibility.

Penn State’s Military Support Team is made up of full-time, dedicated staff members who help military veterans succeed in both on-campus and online programs. Students can also receive credit for certain professional and life experiences, allowing incoming applicants to parlay their service time into course credits to significantly reduce the time required to complete their degree.

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9 University of Nebraska – Lincoln RANKING SCORE
71.21
COST
GRADUATION RATE
65%
LOCATION
Lincoln, NE

A participant in the federal GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon programs, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers support to students interested in continuing their education after periods of active service. UNL made the maximum possible commitment to the Yellow Ribbon initiative, helping students bridge the financial gaps that arise when tuition and fees exceed the assistance offered by the post-9/11 GI Bill.

The school’s administration maintains a dedicated Military & Veteran Success Center, which offers student aid, tuition assistance, and academic support programs. In addition, the UNL Student Veterans Organization provides mentorship services, work-study programs, and peer-based community resources to all members of the UNL community, including those who study online.

Another policy that makes UNL one of the top military-friendly schools online is its generous transfer credit policy. Both academic and military training experiences can be applied towards certain UNL degrees; to be considered for these transfer credits, a student must provide a valid Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214) form.

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10 Missouri University of Science and Technology RANKING SCORE
70.97
COST
GRADUATION RATE
65%
LOCATION
Rolla, MO

Based in the city of Rolla, Missouri University of Science and Technology maintains a close affiliation with Fort Leonard Wood, which is a military training center located in the Missouri Ozarks. Missouri S&T has a co-op agreement with Fort Leonard Wood’s Truman Education Center and Engineering School, providing educational opportunities that can lead to master’s degrees in four engineering disciplines. The school also has a compassionate withdrawal policy for military students who get called out on active duty, including a 100% tuition reimbursement option. Additionally, current and former servicemembers who apply to traditional or online military science programs at Missouri S&T automatically qualify for advanced standing.

Another aspect that makes Missouri S&T one of the best online colleges for military students is its Veteran Services department. The school’s strong and longstanding links with local military facilities allows it to offer a more robust and comprehensive range of support, mentoring, and transition assistance services than many other educational institutions.

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11 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University RANKING SCORE
70.44
COST
GRADUATION RATE
48%
LOCATION
Daytona Beach, FL

Located in Daytona Beach, Florida, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is one of the best online schools for military students with an interest in aeronautics and technology. The school offers asynchronous online programs in seven key disciplines: applied sciences, aviation, business, computers and technology, engineering, security and intelligence, and space sciences. This makes the school a particularly attractive option to current or former members of the United States Air Force.

Embry-Riddle is home to many retired and active-duty military faculty members. The school also offers reduced tuition fees to active service personnel and automatically charges students with military backgrounds the lowest available tuition rates for each of its academic programs.

Another feature that makes Embry-Riddle a top online college for military students is its status as the world’s only institution with contract authorization to provide aviation courses to American military members stationed in Europe, Japan, and South Korea. The school’s global reach, generous financial aid opportunities, and online presence at U.S. military facilities around the world make it an excellent option for students pursuing science-related educational opportunities.

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12 Florida International University RANKING SCORE
70.17
COST
GRADUATION RATE
49%
LOCATION
Miami, FL

Miami-based Florida International University has a broad range of online undergraduate programs that are taught asynchronously. The school also offers special application and enrollment assistance to current and former military servicemembers. Military training qualifies for transfer credits toward all FIU programs, helping students complete their degrees faster. Staff and student volunteers at the school’s Veteran and Military Affairs department provide detailed transfer credit assistance, education benefits support, and a range of community-based services.

FIU is also one of the best military online colleges for students interested in pursuing a corporate master’s of business administration (CMBA) degree. This 18-month program features 100% online courses, multiple start dates, tuition assistance, and no residency requirements. All qualified applicants are eligible for an FIU CMBA scholarship worth $10,000. Recipients of the Purple Heart or any of the Combat Decoration Superior in Precedence medals also receive automatic tuition waivers at FIU.

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13 University of Arkansas RANKING SCORE
70.11
COST
GRADUATION RATE
60%
LOCATION
Fayetteville, AR

Founded in Fayetteville in 1871, the University of Arkansas is one of the top online colleges for military students when it comes to financial aid opportunities. In addition to participating in the Yellow Ribbon and post-9/11 GI Bill programs, the University of Arkansas offers its own set of scholarships to current and former servicemembers. Key examples include the Military Servicemembers Scholarship, which carries a value of up to $4,000 per academic year, and the Military Dependent Scholarship, which is available to dependents of active military personnel. All financial aid applications are reviewed by a dedicated Military Scholarship Committee.

Online students at the University of Arkansas pay in-state tuition fees, regardless of their physical location, and can choose from dozens of different undergraduate and graduate academic programs. Many of the school’s online courses are delivered asynchronously. Students with previous service in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces are also automatically eligible to receive six credit hours. The school’s Veterans Resource and Information Center is open to online students and provides access to a range of community, medical, local, state, and national resources and support services.

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14 East Carolina University RANKING SCORE
69.80
COST
GRADUATION RATE
58%
LOCATION
Greenville, NC

Greenville, North Carolina’s East Carolina University is one of the nation’s most supportive online military colleges, earning recognition as a top school for combat veterans, active military servicemembers, and their spouses and families. Through its Student Veteran Services department, ECU employs a dedicated Veteran Success on Campus (VSoC) counselor, whose full-time duty is ensuring the transitional and academic success of military students. The VSoC’s office provides full service to students in online programs and connects them to vital financial, medical, mental health, and academic resources.

ECU also has a specialized Military Outreach program that meets the needs of servicemembers enrolled in online courses. Furthermore, all traditional and online ECU students, as well as their spouses and dependents, can take advantage of the school’s Military Trauma and Counseling Network, which is available through ECU’s Department of Addictions & Rehabilitation Studies.

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15 University of Missouri – Columbia RANKING SCORE
69.77
COST
GRADUATION RATE
71%
LOCATION
Columbia, MO

The University of Missouri-Columbia , or “Mizzou,” holds a progressive stance on diversity and inclusion; this is fully extended to current and former members of the military. The school’s Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative includes many veteran-specific policies that make the Mizzou community more accessible to servicemembers. Many military-oriented student programs are accessible through the school’s Veterans Center, which serves as a complete resource for military personnel. Further support, networking opportunities, and social activities are available through the student-led Mizzou Student Veterans Association, which is available to distance learners.

Applicants applying to Mizzou as transfer students require a GPA of at least 2.5. A wide range of scholarships and financial aid programs are available to military students, and the school’s status as one of the best military-friendly online colleges has been recognized by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC).

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16 University of North Carolina at Greensboro RANKING SCORE
69.77
COST
GRADUATION RATE
54%
LOCATION
Greensboro, NC

Recognized as one of the nation’s top military-friendly online colleges, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has recently experienced a large influx in servicemembers joining its student body. Between 2008 and 2014, the school saw a 90% increase in the number of military student enrollments, thanks in large part to its commitments to the post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon funding programs. The school also offers out-of-state tuition waivers to students with access to VA benefits, and bridge loans are available to military students.

Servicemembers who have completed basic training automatically qualify for six academic credit hours, and military students with more advanced experiences may be eligible to receive additional transfer credits. Academic support, health, and networking resources through the school’s Military & Veteran Services department are fully available to online students.

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17 Colorado State University RANKING SCORE
69.60
COST
GRADUATION RATE
63%
LOCATION
Greenwood Village, CO

Based in Fort Collins, Colorado State University’s Global Campus features a wide range of online learning opportunities. The school offers a simplified admissions process to military applicants, as well as an automatic 10% tuition discount to active-duty servicemembers, military spouses and dependents, and honorably-discharged veterans. CSU also features a tuition guarantee program, which ensures that your tuition rate won’t increase while you’re actively pursuing your degree; this makes it one of the top military online colleges from a financial perspective. The school also has a U.S. Military Personnel & Family Scholarship program that covers the cost of up to six undergraduate or graduate credits.

Military training and occupational experiences are welcomed by CSU’s generous transfer credit system. Applicants with service backgrounds are invited to submit their military transcripts for automatic transfer credit consideration. Coursework in 13 undergraduate and 11 graduate academic disciplines is delivered asynchronously, providing distance learners with a large amount of flexibility.

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18 The University of Alabama RANKING SCORE
69.18
COST
GRADUATION RATE
67%
LOCATION
Tuscaloosa, AL

Founded in 1820, the Tuscaloosa-based University of Alabama is the state’s largest and oldest public higher-education institution. The school’s extensive Office of Veteran and Military Affairs offers a range of services to online students with service backgrounds, including tutoring, work-study programs, textbook assistance, and health support.

Alabama residents honored with a Purple Heart receive a scholarship that provides up to $2,500 a year in funding beyond tuition and enrollment costs. Additional scholarship opportunities are also administered by the office, providing funding to cover fees not paid for by the post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon programs. These financial aid opportunities help make this school one of the nation’s top military-friendly online colleges.

Active-duty members of the U.S. Army qualify for admission to the GoArmyEd program. Asynchronous undergraduate and graduate degree programs are also offered in a range of fields including commerce and business administration, engineering, law, nursing, and social work.

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19 Arizona State University – Tempe RANKING SCORE
68.81
COST
GRADUATION RATE
58%
LOCATION
Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University is widely recognized as one of the best online schools for military students who are interested in pursuing undergraduate or MBA degrees. Through the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, which is accessible to distance learners, ASU’s military community members receive extensive transition, academic support, and social resources. The center also liaises with the school’s career services office to connect servicemembers with work-study programs, internships, and extracurricular career training opportunities.

The ASU community is home to more than 5,200 military-affiliated students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. The school is also a full participant in federal funding programs for servicemembers, including the post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, the Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP), and the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). Incoming military students are eligible for the school’s Military Active Duty and Reservist Commitment Scholarship, which is open to both in-state and out-of-state applicants who have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

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20 Texas Tech University RANKING SCORE
68.81
COST
GRADUATION RATE
62%
LOCATION
Lubbock, TX

Established in Lubbock in 1923, Texas Tech University is one of the top military-friendly colleges online thanks to its broad range of academic programs, generous financial aid system, and extensive resources for veterans and military students. Servicemembers can apply for up to 11 different military exemptions and benefits, which can significantly reduce or fully cover their tuition costs. Additionally, the school’s Office of Military and Veteran Programs provides in-depth assistance to incoming students who need help understanding the full range of available financial benefits.

Created in 2010, Texas Tech’s Military and Veterans Program (MVP) has grown into one of the largest and most extensive servicemember academic support networks in the United States. In addition to providing further assistance with financial issues, the MVP office organizes social events, provides access to campus and off-campus health and support resources, and assists students with career placement. Texas Tech offers dozens of fully-online certificate, diploma, and degree programs at all levels, including PhD programs in seven disciplines.

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21 LeTourneau University RANKING SCORE
68.66
COST
GRADUATION RATE
61%
LOCATION
Longview, TX

Located in Longview, Texas, LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christian institution with a reputation as one of the country’s best online military colleges. The school’s distance-learning programs are taught asynchronously and feature a range of concentrations, including aviation, Bible studies, computer information systems, and psychology.

The school is a full participant in the post-9/11 GI Bill education funding program and offers transfer credit opportunities based on military training and deployment experiences. Furthermore, LeTourneau University has a dedicated Veterans Affairs (VA) representative who is available to help students enrolled in online programs. This officer provides assistance accessing school-based resources to help military students successfully transition back into a civilian learning program.

Active and retired Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps servicemembers can easily arrange to have their military transcripts forwarded directly to the university to expedite the application process; this service is offered free of charge.

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22 University of South Florida RANKING SCORE
67.84
COST
GRADUATION RATE
57%
LOCATION
Tampa, FL

The University of South Florida has a dedicated Office of Veteran Success, making it one of the leading military-friendly schools online. Open to distance learners, this office provides comprehensive programs for student veterans and servicemembers, including help connecting with financial aid opportunities, mentorship and academic enhancement programs, transitional programs, and scholarships. It also assists veterans who need to access health resources to manage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

The University of South Florida is the only public university in the state that participates in the federal Yellow Ribbon program. Under USF’s generous transfer credit policy, students with military background can earn credit based on their previous education and training experiences; this credit can be applied towards both core degree requirements and elective coursework.

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23 University of Alaska Fairbanks RANKING SCORE
67.84
COST
GRADUATION RATE
33%
LOCATION
Fairbanks, AK

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a leading online college for military students, offering in-state tuition for all distance learners with military backgrounds through its post-9/11 GI Bill benefits program. For students on active duty, this offer extends to spouses and dependent children; additionally, the spouses and dependent children of armed forces members who died in the line of duty are eligible to have their undergraduate tuition fees fully waived. Additionally, active members of Alaska’s National Guard can have $4,500 of their undergraduate tuition fees reimbursed per academic year.

UAF also offers a flexible and inclusive transfer credit policy that lets servicemembers with military training and academic experiences receive course credit. Applicants can have their military transcripts forwarded to UAF free of charge. Additional resources are available through the school’s office of Veteran & Military Services, which assists both traditional and online students.

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24 University of South Carolina – Columbia RANKING SCORE
66.85
COST
GRADUATION RATE
72%
LOCATION
Columbia, SC

The University of South Carolina-Columbia is one of the leading military-friendly online colleges and universities in the South. In addition to full participation in the federal Yellow Ribbon program, the school supports veterans and servicemembers through the Chapter 30, 31, 33, 35, and 1606 education assistance initiatives. Both on-campus and online students with military backgrounds are welcomed at the school’s Student Veterans Association, which was founded in 2012 to provide community members with access to academic, financial, health, social, and professional resources.

Veterans and active-duty servicemembers also qualify for priority registration access. Students can pursue degrees in 14 undergraduate disciplines as well as a host of graduate-level degrees, including online master’s programs in education and nursing. Several of the school’s asynchronous online degree programs are nationally ranked.

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25 Oklahoma State University RANKING SCORE
66.70
COST
GRADUATION RATE
62%
LOCATION
Stillwater, OK

Situated in Stillwater, Oklahoma State University’s main campus is the headquarters of the National Society of Scabbard and Blade, which is a prominent military college honor society founded in 1904. The school’s Veteran Benefit Services division is dedicated to helping military servicemembers access a wide range of financial and community benefits, making OSU one of the best online colleges for military personnel.

Online students also have access to the office of Veteran Student Academic Services, which provides advising and access to academic success resources. It also serves as a liaison between the school and local, state, and national veteran services, and works to preserve the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of all military members in the OSU community.

OSU is a participant in the post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon programs, and students are eligible to apply for transfer credits that reward their previous military training and academic experiences. Fully-online, asynchronous programs are offered in a variety of fields, including business and engineering.

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Next, let’s take a closer look at some of the standard military and veterans benefits available for today’s college students.

The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944 was first enacted to provide educational and professional opportunities for returning WWII veterans. This act is better known today as the G.I. Bill. The following G.I. Bill provisions are commonly found at accredited colleges and universities across the country:

Montgomery G.I. Bill:

Launched in 1984, Chapter 30 of the bill is known as the Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB). Under MGIB, active-duty military personnel may forfeit $100 per month for one calendar year; this monthly allotment will entitle them to a monthly educational stipend after they have completed at least two years of active duty. Furthermore, active-duty servicemembers may elect to forfeit an additional $600 per month as part of the ‘Buy-Up Program’; these candidates will receive repayment at a rate of up to eight dollars to one, resulting in a maximum payout of $5,400 in additional benefits. These benefits will expire after 10 years if they are not cashed out. The MGIB also features a provision for reservists known as Chapter 1606; eligible candidates will receive up to 36 months of education benefits.

Post-9/11 G.I. Bill:

This section of the G.I. Bill is designed for veterans who have entered active-duty since Sept. 10, 2001. Eligible candidates include personnel with a total of 90 active-duty service days since 9/11, as well as those who have been honorably discharged or received a service-connected disability after 30 days of active-duty service. The Post-9/11 provisions include two benefits programs that reduce out-of-pocket costs for military students. Schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon program will ‘match’ G.I. Bill tuition payments by contributing 50% of the overall benefits; currently, the maximum G.I. Bill payout for Yellow Ribbon recipients is $21,084.89 per year. The Transfer of Entitlement program also enables military students and spouses to donate all or some of their unused benefits to children who are attending college. Additionally, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill includes the Machine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship; this award is reserved for spouses and children of military personnel who have died in the line of duty since Sept. 10, 2001. Finally, eligible recipients will be given a yearly textbook stipend of $1,000.

Chapter 31:

This comprehensive section of the G.I. Bill ― known as Vocational Rehabilitation, or Voc Rehab for short ― is dedicated to creating educational and educational opportunities for veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Chapter 32:

Known as the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (or VEAP), this section of the G.I. Bill is geared toward veterans who entered active-duty service between 1977 and 1985. During that time, military personnel could elect to forfeit part of their pay and allocate the money toward educational programs. The military currently matches these contributions at a rate of 2 to 1.

Chapter 35:

Known as the Dependents Education Assistance Program (or DEA), this section of the G.I. Bill provides tuition assistance and other benefits to the spouses and children of military veterans who have been killed in the line of duty or permanently disabled as a result of military service. Eligible candidates will receive up to 45 months of education benefits.

Chapter 1607:

Reservists who have completed at least 90 active-duty service days are eligible for education benefits under the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP). Currently, eligible recipients will receive up to 80% of the educational benefits given to active-duty personnel as they are reservists.

In addition to federal benefits awarded through the G.I. Bill, many colleges and universities offer extra provisions for active-duty servicemembers, veterans and military dependents. These perks may include:

  • Tuition discounts for eligible military personnel and dependents.
  • Benefits programs for servicemembers and veterans who may not qualify for Yellow Ribbon and other G.I. Bill benefits.
  • Prior-learning assessment (PLA) credits awarded for military trainings and experiences.
  • Institutional scholarships and grants reserved for students with a military background.

ACADEMIC OUTCOMES FOR MILITARY STUDENTS

Academic support services are crucial for active-duty servicemembers and military veterans pursuing a college education. “[V]eterans follow very different paths to graduation compared with their traditional peers,” note the authors of Million Record Project , a research initiative launched by Student Veterans of America. “Despite these and other challenges common to nontraditional students, student veterans are persisting towards their educational goals and succeeding.”

The Million Record Project polled active-duty personnel, reservists and military veterans.
The project’s report noted that 51.7% of all students surveyed eventually earned a postsecondary certificate or degree program. However, nearly 80% of those polled who completed a college program also received G.I. Bill benefits. The survey also found that military students typically take longer to complete degree programs than traditional students; the median military student earned an associate degree after four years and a bachelor’s degree after five years. However, the report notes that ‘military-related factors’ often impact degree completion times. The majority of military students in the U.S. complete their education with a certificate or associate degree program; roughly one-third of those interviewed for the survey had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Thanks to prior-learning assessment (PLA) programs, military students can earn college credit from training programs and field experiences. Academic majors that tend to award the highest amount of PLA credit include business administration, information technology, engineering, nursing and health professions. Military students should carefully research PLA opportunities at different colleges and universities in order to determine which schools are the best match for their particular skill-set.

According to the 2015 Veteran Economic Opportunity Report , one out of two Post-9/11 veterans will experience a period of unemployment during their transition to civilian life. G.I. Bill benefits have played a major role for these individuals; post-9/11 veterans represent roughly 58% of the currently G.I. Bill benefits recipients, and another 8% have donated their unused benefits to a qualifying child who is attending college. Additionally, female students who receive G.I. Bill benefits recorded a 10% higher completion rate than the average for all benefits recipients. In 2013, the median annual income for veterans in the U.S. was $40,302 ― more than $10,000 higher than the median annual earnings for non-veterans.

Additional Support Services

Active-duty servicemembers, veterans or military dependents are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information about tuition assistance, career planning and other academic services for military students.

VetJobs:

This extensive employment listing site is dedicated to active-service personnel, reservists, National Guard members, veterans and military dependents. Site visitors can browse job openings, post resumes and find career fairs in their area.

G.I. Bill Comparison Tool:

Hosted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, this interactive tool allows students to input their G.I. Bill benefits and compare the estimated cost of attending different schools. The tool includes a section for online students.

VFW Student Veteran Support:

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) hosts a web page dedicated to military students. The site includes scholarship opportunities, tips for choosing the right school and information about the VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship awarded to top-performing veteran students.

Popular Majors Among Veterans Attending College

Original Research

  • Online Student Needs, Preferences and Expectations (2015)

Rankings Archive

Best Military Friendly Colleges of 2017
RankSchoolLocation
1Fort Hays State UniversityHays, KS
2Colorado State University-Global CampusGreenwood Village, CO
3University of North DakotaGrand Forks, ND
4The University of AlabamaTuscaloosa, AL
5University of Maryland-University CollegeAdelphi, MD
6Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff, AZ
7Troy UniversityTroy, AL
8Utah State UniversityLogan, UT
9Western Kentucky UniversityBowling Green, KY
10Davenport UniversityGrand Rapids, MI
11Columbia CollegeColumbia, MO
12East Tennessee State UniversityJohnson City, TN
13Westfield State UniversityWestfield, MA
14New England CollegeHenniker, NH
15Franklin UniversityColumbus, OH
16University of ToledoToledo, OH
17Central Texas CollegeKilleen, TX
18Lamar UniversityBeaumont, TX
19Cardinal Stritch UniversityMilwaukee, WI
20National Louis UniversityChicago, IL
21University of the Incarnate WordSan Antonio, TX
22Cameron UniversityLawton, OK
Best Military Friendly Colleges of 2016
RankSchoolLocation
1University of La VerneLa Verne, CA
2University of AlabamaTuscaloosa, AL
3Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VA
4University of South Carolina – ColumbiaColumbia, SC
5University of OklahomaNorman, OK
6Northwood University – MichiganMidland, MI
7Kansas State UniversityManhattan, KS
8Regis UniversityDenver, CO
9St. Joseph’s College – New YorkBrooklyn, NY
10Western Kentucky UniversityBowling Green, KY
11Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne, FL
12Fort Hays State UniversityHays, KS
13Wayland Baptist UniversityPlainview, TX
14Southwestern College – KansasWinfield, KS
15Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH
16Saint Martin’s UniversityLacey, WA
17St. Thomas Aquinas CollegeSparkill, NY
18Saint Joseph’s College of MaineStandish, ME
19Chaminade University of HonoluluHonolulu, HI
20Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo, FL
21Campbell UniversityBuies Creek, NC
22Hawaii Pacific UniversityHonolulu, HI
23Lamar UniversityBeaumont, TX
24University of the Incarnate WordSan Antonio, TX
25Averett UniversityDanville, VA
26University of South Carolina – BeaufortBluffton, SC
27Mount St. Mary CollegeNewburgh, NY
28Methodist UniversityFayetteville, NC
29Regent UniversityVirginia Beach, VA
30Colorado Technical UniversityColorado Springs, CO
31University of Great FallsGreat Falls, MT
32Brandman UniversityIrvine, CA
33Pierce College – Ft. SteilacoomLakewood, WA
34National UniversityLa Jolla, CA
35Granite State CollegeConcord, NH
36Honolulu Community CollegeHonolulu, HI
37Bellevue UniversityBellevue, NE
38Technical College of the LowcountryBeaufort, SC
39Savannah Technical CollegeSavannah, GA
40Anne Arundel Community CollegeArnold, MD
41Cameron UniversityLawton, OK
42Central Texas CollegeKilleen, TX
43Franklin UniversityColumbus, OH
44City University of SeattleSeattle, WA
45University of Maryland – University CollegeAdelphi, MD

Related Links

  • Accredited Online CollegesYour Complete Guide for 2018
  • The College Guide for Servicemembers and Veterans
  • Financial Aid Guide for Military and Veterans
  • Scholarships for Military Spouses  Children
  • Scholarships  Financial Aid for Online College Students
Search Colleges

Our Methodology

The higher learning institution on our ranking offer some (if not all) of the following programs and services for veterans, active-duty servicemembers and military dependents:

  • Eligible students receive Yellow Ribbon benefits, as well as other standard benefits available through the G.I. Bill (detailed benefits information can be found below the list).
  • Military servicemembers, veterans and dependents receive a fixed tuition discount.
  • Transferrable credit is awarded to students who have completed certain military training programs.
  • The institution is a current member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) association.
  • The institution offers a direct point of contact for students who are veterans, servicemembers, reservists or military dependents.
  • The institution features a student organization for military veterans and servicemembers.

Ranking Factors

All eligible institutions are ranked on a 100 point scale. A perfect score of 100 is earned by ranking #1 for all ranking factors.

    ACADEMIC QUALITY – 50% OF TOTAL SCORE

    • Admissions Rate – 30%
    • Enrollment Rates – 20%
    • Retention Rate – 20%
    • 6-Year Graduation Rate – 30%

    AFFORDABILITY – 25% OF TOTAL SCORE

    • Average Net Price – 40%
    • Percentage of Enrolled Students Taking Federal Loans – 20%
    • Loan Default Rate – 40%

    ONLINE PROGRAMMING – 25% OF TOTAL SCORE

    • Number of Online Programs Offered – 50%
    • Percentage of Enrolled Students Taking Online Courses – 50%

    Schools featured in our rankings demonstrate a commitment to high-quality education for their students. Quality is measured and weighted through various data points that are specific to each ranking topic. Each methodology drives proprietary calculations, which are grounded in statistical information, and developed to recognize academically robust, affordable colleges and programs.

    Sponsored school listings are separate, paid advertisements and are clearly marked with
    a “SPONSORED” tag to distinguish them from editorially ranked schools. Our school rankings are editorially determined, independently vetted, and are not influenced by schools that pay for advertisements.

    For questions regarding our rankings or sponsored schools, please email us at [email protected] .



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    Coastline Military Programs

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    Military Spouses Program

    Active duty Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen rely on the stability provided by their spouses during frequent moves, family separations and deployments. Coastline’s Military Spouse program ensures that military spouses and dependents enjoy the same educational support and opportunities enjoyed by the military service member, and more.

    Two programs are available to spouses and dependents enrolled in our Military Program:

    Program:  Tuition/ Enrollment Fee:Platforms:  Session Length:  
    Online$200/credit (SH*)Online8-weeks
    Online Learning Communities$200/credit (SH*)Online8-weeks
    PocketEd/ PDA$200/credit (SH*)SD Card12-weeks

    *credit/semester hour (SH)

    Effective Summer 2016, CA residents are eligible for a discounted rate of $46 per credit/SH. For additional information, please visit: http://military.coastline.edu/page.cfm?LinkID=1634 .

    Coastline College’s Online Program

    • Affordable tuition and books.
    • Self-paced “anytime-anywhere education” courses delivered online.
    • Five 8-week sessions per year– earn your degree faster!
    • Degree programs achievable despite frequent changes of duty station.
    • No application or registration fees!

     

    Students also have the opportunity to enroll in Coastline’s unique Learning Communities , which are an innovative approach to learning that enhance the student experience and accelerate course completion by integrating two different classes with shared assignments.  

    Added benefits for spouses/dependents:

    • MyCAA program  approved.

     

    Only four courses (12 semester hours) with Coastline satisfy the residency requirement. All other degree requirements can be satisfied by other college courses (we accept them in transfer), CLEPs or DANTES tests, military credits (if you are a veteran) or continued courses with Coastline. Visit the Degree Roadmap and Planning page to see your degree options.

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    Spouses & Family

    Extending Education Benefits to Military Family Members

    If you are a military spouse or dependent, you are eligible for a tuition discount toward your  bachelor’s or master’s degree at Franklin University. It’s just one way that we show our commitment to serving the needs of our military students and their families. Learn more about military discounts, as well as the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) Program, which provides tuition assistance to military spouses seeking certain degrees or certifications.

    Office of Military & Veterans Affairs (OMVA)

    Contact Information

    Phone:
    614.797.4700

    Fax:
    614.255.9514 or
    800.549.1904

    Email:
    [email protected]

    Office Hours

    Monday – Thursday:
    8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

    Friday:
    8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    Saturday – Sunday:
    Closed

    Military Focused

    Enjoy dedicated support from our military-only assistance team.

    Family Discounts

    Lower the cost of your degree with tuition discounts for military spouses and dependents.

    100% Online Classes

    Earn your degree around your schedule.

    Tuition Rates for Military Spouses or Dependents

    gt-15_discount-color.svg

    Bachelor’s Degree

    If you are the spouse or dependent of an active-duty military service member, you qualify for a 15 percent tuition discount on bachelor’s degree programs. This discount, combined with Franklin’s generous transfer credit policy, makes earning a degree more affordable and our 100 percent online programs make a Franklin degree accessible anywhere there’s an internet connection.We understand the unique challenges facing military families and our goal is to remove the barriers between you and your degree.
     

    gt-10_discount-color.svg

    Master’s Degree

    Spouses and dependents of an active-duty military service members, are eligible for a 10 percent tuition discount on master’s programs. Franklin’s 100 percent online master’s degrees are accelerated and many can be completed within 14 months, while working full time. We are pleased to be able to support you by providing a path to a respected degree with the flexibility and convenience military families need.  
     

    Ways to Pay for School for Military Spouses or Dependents

    Franklin Funding 

    Higher education is an investment in you and your future. At Franklin, we help you get more for less by stretching your military and/or veteran benefits, and providing scholarship opportunities to further reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

    Alumni Military Scholarship

    • Minimum GPA of 2.5 for undergraduate and minimum GPA of 3.0 for graduate
    • 250 Word typed essay
    • Must enroll in two trimesters in same academic year
    • Current US Military service member, military spouses and dependents, veterans

    Award amounts vary. Application opens May 1.
     

    Robert L. Hartman Memorial (RLH) Scholarships

    • GPA of 2.5 or higher  
    • Must be current US military service member, honorably discharged, veteran, or military dependent of qualified service member or veteran  
    • Must be enrolled at least 6 hours  
    • Preference given to OIF and OEF Members 

    Apply >  

    Government Funding

    Veterans may be able to transfer their benefits to family members; see additional government funding options on our Veterans page . 

    Survivors & Dependents Educational Assistance (Chapter 35)

    Dependent’s Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

    Eligibility

    You must be the son, daughter, or spouse of:

    • A veteran who died or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability. The disability must arise out of active service in the Armed Forces.
    • A veteran who died from any cause while such service-connected disability was in existence.
    • A service member missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.
    • A service member forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.
    • A service member who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for a service connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability. This change is effective Dec. 23, 2006.

    Application Process

    1. Complete the Dependent’s Application for VA Educational Benefits (22-5490) form on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
      • Print three copies of your application: one copy for your record, one copy to send to the VA, and one copy that you will submit to the Franklin’s Office of Military and Veteran Affairs.
      • Following the successful processing of your benefits application, the VA will issue a Certificate of Eligibility to you by mail. The VA will not send this to the school; it is your responsibility to send a copy of this to the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs at Franklin upon receipt.
      • The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs currently estimates that processing will require 28 calendar days. Franklin University cannot be responsible for complications or delays in benefit awards due to VA delays in application processing.
    2. Complete the Dependent’s Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (22-5495) form instead of the 22-5490 if you have used your benefits at previous school.
    3. Submit a Plan of Attendance (POA) each academic year in which benefits are requested:  2017-2018 POA (17/SU, 17/FA, 18/WI)
    4. Certification of Benefits: Upon receipt of all required documentation, the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs will forward an Enrollment Certification (22-1999) to the VA Regional Office, except at the start of a new term, in which case an Enrollment Certification (22-1999) will be sent three weeks prior to the start of the term.

    Ohio Department of Veterans Services

    The Ohio Department of Veterans Services offers a Military Injury Relief Fund (MIRF) to military services members injured in active service as a member of the Armed Forces serving after October 7, 2001 and to individuals diagnosed with post-traumatic stress while serving after October 7, 2001. 

    Learn More

    Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) Program

    MyCAA is an employment assistance program that provides up to $4,000 of financial assistance to eligible military spouses who pursue a license, certification or associate degree in a portable career field and occupation. Visit MyCAA for more information and to determine eligibility.

    Learn More

    Fry Scholarship

    Children and surviving spouses of an active duty member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001 are eligible for this benefit.

    Learn More

    Admissions Process for Military Spouses or Dependents

    As a university committed to serving spouses and dependents of active-duty military personnel, we value your time. We simplify our processes rather than ask you to squeeze one more thing into your already busy schedule. You’ll find our admission process to be seamless and hassle free. 

    Undergraduate Admissions:

    1. Apply Online
    Complete Franklin’s online undergraduate application . Please be sure to complete the questions related to the U.S. military.

    2. Request Transcripts
    Send your official transcripts  directly to Franklin University. This will help us maximize your transfer credit, saving you time and money toward your degree.

    3. We’ll Contact You
    An undergraduate admissions advisor will contact you regarding registration for your first set of classes.

    Graduate Admissions:

    1. Review Requirements
    Thoroughly review the graduate admission and application requirements .

    2. Apply Online
    Complete Franklin’s online graduate application . Please be sure to complete the questions related to the United States military.

    3. Request Transcripts
    S end your official transcripts directly to Franklin University.

    4. We’ll Contact You
    A graduate admissions advisor will contact you to help you complete the admission process. 

    Built to Serve Military and Veterans

    Choose a university dedicated to students, not shareholders. From adult-focused services, to in-demand programs and free support resources, we provide a learning experience that’s all about you.

    Dedicated Military Advisors

    Utilize the expertise of our Office of Military & Veteran Affairs – centralized advisors in-tune with your needs.
     

     

     

    Career-Focused Programs

    Take advantage of a wide variety of degree programs – including business, technology and cybersecurity – that lead to in-demand civilian jobs. On-site and online course options help you tailor your education with your lifestyle and your learning style.

    Hear What Our Military Veteran Students & Faculty Are Saying

    Garry McDaniel, Ed.D.
    Air Force Veteran + Program Chair, Human Resources Management

    “Veterans provide an invaluable service to our nation and Franklin University seeks to provide the best support and education possible to ensure their skills and knowledge are at the highest level.”

    Charles Saunders, Ph.D.,CFE, CIA, CCSA, CRMA, CPA (OH inactive)
    Air Force Veteran + Program Chair, Forensic Accounting & Business Forensics

    “We know and understand veterans! Through our adult-oriented, practitioner-taught, real-world programs in accounting and business, we at Franklin are ideally positioned to help build on their teamwork, experience and maturity–qualities that are in demand in today’s business world.”

    Jerome Council, MBA
    Navy Veteran + Adjunct Faculty

    “I remember using the GI Bill while an undergraduate attending College back in the 80’s and its importance to my dreams. Now semi-retired and living my dreams here in Central Ohio…I am very appreciative of all that has happened from the benefits of the investment of a higher education.”

    Roger Kisiel, MSA
    Navy Veteran, Aviator, & Test Pilot & Adjunct Faculty

    “We served, you served; let us help you define and achieve your career and life goals.”

    Ray Forbes, Ph.D.
    Navy Veteran + Program Chair, M.S. in Business Psychology

    “As a current faculty member and retired veteran myself, I can personally attest that Franklin offers a veteran-friendly educational environment geared for the experienced adult. And, Franklin’s many degree options provide a great next career step.”

    Rob Wood, Ed.D.
    Navy Veteran + Faculty

    “As a Navy Submarine Veteran, I know from firsthand experience what it means to achieve and maintain mission readiness. I also know that the veteran/military students that take one of my classes will always be ‘mission-ready’, because they receive support and advice from a team of experts well versed in veterans’ unique needs.”

    Diana Burford, B.S. Accounting + Business Administration 20 (expected)
    Army Veteran

    “Being out of school for so long, Franklin has many options to help me integrate back into the process smoothly, alleviating the stress of being a new student again after so many years.”

    Jeremy, MBA 11
    Ohio National Guard Veteran

    “I chose the MBA at Franklin for a number of reasons, but one area that stood out was the support team available to me and the assistance and flexibility they provided. As a full-time Army Guard member I could be called for an emergency at a moment’s notice, and I was confident Franklin would work with me as to not disrupt or set back my education.”

    Matt, B.S. 16 + MBA 18
    Army Veteran

    “I started my degree online at Franklin while I was still enlisted. Franklin accepted my previously earned credit and made the transfer process easy.”

    Rafael, B.S. Business Administration 18
    Army Veteran

    “My advisor has been excellent from day one. She has truly guided me through this journey. She showed a different way to approach getting my degrees in business and worked well with my VA vocational rehab advisor.”

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