Best Colleges for Veterans

Thank You, Veterans!

On this Veterans Day, we pause to say thank you for your service.

What are the best colleges for veterans?

That depends on how you define “best” — Job placement? Scope of support services? Academic rankings?

How to determine the best colleges for veterans can be a complex question. Veterans seeking to further their education through 4-year universities, 2-year universities, trade and technical schools will find many rankings and listings available, such as:

Bear in mind that with any ranking you should always check the methodology to see if it matches with your own personal goals and criteria. Some listings are based on surveys to college administrators, some on surveys to students, while others are listings that offer premium spots for schools that pay them a fee (and then the rest are listed alphabetically — or even in no order at all).

Three Points to Consider

Here are three items you may want to include in your criteria for choosing a college:

  1. Academics. Make sure the college or university is accredited, or provides proof of being certified for granting licenses or certificates for your program of interest.
  2. Money. The cost of tuition and fees (and room and board as well, if you intend to live on a residential campus) are certainly important to note, but you should also look beyond for other costs like these:
    1. Check for discounts for veterans, including (but not limited to) the Yellow Ribbon program.
    2. Find out whether ACE credits are accepted. You may be able to get credit for work already done, instead of paying for some courses required for your chosen program.
    3. Check the college’s graduation rate. The longer you are enrolled, the more you will pay in tuition.
    4. Find the loan default rate of graduates of a particular institution to find out how successful their graduates are in repaying their student loans once they come due.
  3. Support services/student services. Does the college in which you are interested has specific veterans support services? While good general student support programs — both for advising and for social/extracurricular purposes — are important, a specific veterans support program may be necessary for you.

There is no better way to check out a school than visiting.

Before committing to any school, it’s a good idea to go see it for yourself. Colleges are happy to welcome visitors and should have visit information clearly posted on their websites. Remember that everyone looks great in the brochure!

If you’ll be staying overnight, you can find a hotel near campus.

 

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