Best Colleges for Veterans

How do you find the best colleges for veterans? These items are good to include in your search.Thank You, Veterans!

On this Veteran’s Day 2014, we pause to say thank you for your service.

What are the best colleges for veterans?

That depends on how you define “best” — Is it in job placement? Scope of support services? Academic rankings?

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 makes sense 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).

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:
    • Check for discounts for veterans, including (but not limited to) the Yellow Ribbon program.
    • 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.
    • Be sure to look at the college or university’s graduation rate. Students who take longer to graduate will of course pay more in tuition the longer they are enrolled.
    • Check 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. Evaluate whether the college in which you are interested has support services for veterans, good general student support programs — both for advising and for social/extracurricular purposes — depending on your needs and interests.

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

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

You can find more information and tips in our Visit section.

If you’ll be staying overnight, you can find hotels near campus by college name through Explore Colleges.

Links of interest:

Concord University – #3 in Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2014

University of New Haven – #59 in Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2014

Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2014 – 4 Year Colleges

Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2014 – 2 Year Colleges

Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2014 – Online & Non-traditional Schools

The U.S. News Money Top 10 Veterans Day Freebies and Deals

Have a coffee today on Starbucks (for veterans and their spouses) – details from The Frugal Girls

The Frugal Girls Big List of Military Freebies and Deals

Author: Amy Widner

Amy is editor and lead writer at Smart College Visit. After 20 years in corporate and higher education communication, she is delighted to be able to spend more time writing than wrangling.

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