Arizona is home to large public universities as well as smaller community colleges, both of which offer different benefits to active-duty military members and veterans. Located all around the state, these institutions offer a variety of programs, veteran services, and tuition rates. In the table and article below, we will look closely at each of these schools to see how they compare to one another.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||Tuition (in-state 2016-2017)*||Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits|
|Arizona State University||4-year, public||Tempe, AZ||$10,370||Extensive online programs, Pat Tillman Veterans Center, Veterans' Wellness Research Center, Veterans Upward Bound, Yellow Ribbon Program, Various scholarships|
|Northern Arizona University||4-year, public||Flagstaff, AZ||$10,764||2 Veterans Service locations, Virtual Veteran Center, Yellow Ribbon Program, Student Veterans of America|
|Mesa Community College||2-year, public||Mesa, AZ||$2,094||Veterans Services Office, Military Scholarships|
|University of Arizona||4-year, public||Tucson, AZ||$11,769||VETS program, 2 Veteran's Centers, Scholarship programs, Purple Heart tuition waiver|
|Glendale Community College||2-year, public||Glendale, AZ||$2,094||Veteran's Support Coalition, Women Veterans Support Group, Military Scholarships|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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There are a number of colleges and universities in Arizona that are friendly to active-duty military members and veterans. Each offer prospective students with active-duty or veteran military status various resources that foster success and support, such as scholarships or veteran run support groups.
Arizona State University
With more than 3,000 veteran students, Arizona State University is well-versed in welcoming both active-duty members and veterans and knowing how to provide them with a high-level of attention. In addition to their large main campus in Tempe, AZ, as well as a few other physical campuses in the state, they also have a large online campus. ASU Online also accepts military benefits, so military members will likely receive tuition assistance through their GI Bills.
At their main campus in Tempe, active-duty and veteran students have access to the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, which provides members with assistance in their transition from the military to student life. ASU also established the Veterans' Wellness Research Center in 2015, which has the goal of conducting research regarding military and combat related stress and trauma. For members who have come from low-income backgrounds or potentially need a bit more assistance before being ready for college level courses, the Veterans Upward Bound program is a free service that is designed to improve students' English, math, lab science, and college planning skills. There are also a number of military scholarships that veterans and active-duty members can apply for at ASU.
Northern Arizona University
At NAU, student military members and veterans have access to all types of resources and benefits at the Veteran Success Center. Designed to help facilitate the transition from military life to student life, this center provides members with a fun place to relax, a study lab with free printing, activities, and access to resources regarding local and national military and veteran benefits. The school participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides tuition assistance to veteran students. There is also an active chapter of the Student Veterans of America on campus.
Mesa Community College
Mesa Community Colleges is a 2-year public college that is military friendly. Students with both active-duty and veteran military status can find a supportive community on campus where they can access resources and information about military benefits. They can also apply for a number of military specific scholarships, like the Tillman Military Scholar Program or the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. As a community college, it primarily offers associate degrees and certificates, so Mesa may be a good option for local military members who want to complete some general education credits or who want to enter a career that only requires an associate's degree.
University of Arizona
At the University of Arizona, military members will find a very supportive campus because of the veteran operated program Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) and the two VETS centers on campus. Military members can apply for a number of different national scholarships designed specifically for veterans. For veterans who received a Purple Heart and were an Arizona resident at the time, they are eligible for a college tuition waiver. Students can also use their time in the military as a way to obtain educational credit to apply towards their degree.
Glendale Community College
Glendale Community College is a good option for active-duty members and veterans who live in the Glendale area, as it presents an affordable option and some attractive military benefits. The school has a Veteran's Support Coalition that is designed to help make sure the school is a supportive place for veterans. It also provides students with career counseling and advisement. In addition, the school also has a Women Veterans Support Group specifically meant for female student veterans to talk about issues. GCC also has two military specific scholarships - the Dr. Phil D. Randolph Scholarship and the GCC Veterans Spirit of National Service Scholarship.