The graduate schools shown in the table below topped the Militarytimes.com 'Best for Vets: Colleges 2017' rankings. Whether public or private, these universities are among the best options nationally for veterans looking to obtain an advanced degree.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||In-State Tuition (2016-2017)*||Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits**|
|Armstrong State University||Public||Savannah, Georgia||$3,798||Military Resource Center, Veterans Services Office, Military-Affiliated Student Lounge, Student Veterans of America, Armstrong Green Zone, military credit|
|University of South Florida||Public||Tampa, Florida||$8,350||Berkman Scholarship, Tillman Scholars program, Vet to Vet Tutoring, Academic Enhancement Program, Veterans Career Mentoring Program, Student Veterans Association, Veteran Achievement Center, military credit|
|D'Youville College||Private||Buffalo, New York||$16,380||Veterans Waiver Grant Program, VetsHERD, Student Veteran Lounge, Student Veterans Of America Chapter, Veterans' Emergency Fund, veteran counseling, military credit|
|Rutgers University-New Brunswick||Public||New Brunswick, New Jersey||$16,536||Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE), RU DogTags, Rutgers Student Veteran Organization (RSVO), Green Zone Veteran, military credit|
|Syracuse University||Private||Syracuse, New York||$34,632||Tillman Scholars program, Student Veterans Lounge, VetSuccess Program, Student Veterans Organization, veteran counseling, military credit|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics; **School Websites
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Overview of Best Graduate Schools for Veterans
People connected to the military will find that these supportive colleges and universities are ideal places to obtain a graduate degree. They offer many different military perks related to scholarships, counseling, and social organizations, but each school prioritizes and encourages the veteran experience. Aspiring graduate student-veterans should consider their personal goals and preferences before making a definite enrollment decision.
Armstrong State University
Armstrong University offers both on-campus and distance learning programs for veterans wanting to earn an advanced academic degree. The public institution provides several benefits and resources to students with a military background. For starters, their Student Veterans of America is made available to students who want to join a social organization. The Military Resource Center also services individuals with support groups, health networks, and up-to-date resources. The Veterans Services Office can be a helpful tool for those who are looking for external resources as they make their transition into college life.
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida has educational opportunities that benefit veterans wanting to pursue a master's or doctoral degree. As it pertains to tuition assistance, student-veterans can apply to the Tillman Foundation Scholarship or Berkman Scholarship as a way to supplement school costs. Eligible students also have the option of completing their courses through online schooling or distance learning alternatives. However, on-campus students typically have access to several academic services related to mentoring, peer advising, tutoring, and counseling. With the help of initiatives such as the Veteran Achievement Center and Veterans Career Mentoring Program, graduate students will be molded for success as they enter into the civilian work force.
D'Youville College caters to veterans seeking graduate education through several implemented resources. A full-service veterans office provides academic counseling, tutoring, and a lounge area for veteran students. VetsHERD is an organization for veterans based on community service.
Interested candidates applying to a full-time graduate program will be able to apply for a 50% tuition waiver through the Veterans Waiver Grant Program. Additionally, a Veterans' Emergency Fund is made available to students facing financial setbacks. Apart from on-campus classes, students also have the choice to enroll in a distance learning program at the graduate level.
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Rutgers University's military resources vary from social to academic options for veterans in graduate school. Students with former active duty experience will have the chance to take advantage of the Rutgers Student Veteran Organization (RSVO), which helps newcomers become comfortable with the college experience. Through peer mentorship, Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE) guides graduate students through any concerns or challenges they may have while pursuing their degree. Furthermore, a program called RU DogTags offers a therapeutic solution by providing veteran students with free service dogs. The Green Zone initiative provides training for faculty and staff to help them relate to and understand the veteran perspective.
Syracuse University is a school where veteran graduates can choose to attend classes on campus or through a distance education program. Transitioning students can use military credits when applying for this college. The Student Veterans Lounge will help veterans adjust to the college life through social and mentorship activities. Professionally and academically, former service members can also find the support they need to succeed in their studies with the help of the VetSuccess program. Additionally, an academic advising service will give students access to job-placement opportunities, educational benefits, and financial assistance as they pursue an advanced degree. Syracuse University is also one of few schools participating in the Tillman Scholars Program, which provides scholarships, networking opportunities, and even access to mini-grants for special trainings or workshops.