US News & World Report just rolled out their latest list(s) for top colleges and universities in the United States for 2017! Like we have done previouslywe’re going to stack  The Top 7 Public National Universities against our standards to see just how well these top institutions serve student veterans and military personnel. (The complete list names more than just seven schools so be sure to check it out.)

Shall we?

(Courtesy: University of California Berkeley)

(Courtesy: University of California Berkeley)

2017 Top 7 Public National Universities

(You’ll notice there is a tie for #2 this year.)

#1. University of California-Berkeley

#2. University of California-Los Angeles

#2. University of Virginia

#4. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

#5. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

#6. College of William & Mary

#7. Georgia Institute of Technology

 

***All public schools are now required to provide in-state tuition to veterans and eligible dependents in order for the school to remain eligible to receive GI Bill education payments.

How These Schools Serve Veterans

#1. University of California- Berkeley

Participates in 11 of the 17 Military & Veteran programs we deem crucial for higher education institutions to adhere to/participate in.

In-state Undergraduate Tuition: $13,510

In-state Graduate Tuition: $13,510

GI Bill Student Enrollment: 389

Negative(s)

Maybe we’re just being greedy, but in our eyes only offering credit for military experience and not awarding credit for DSST and/or CLEP Exams is a negative.

Highlight(s)

Berkeley’s MBA program created their own Veterans group which creates avenues for mentorship and career assistance. There is also an impressive list of staff dedicated to student veterans on campus: a Veterans Services Director, individuals in the office of the Registrar who specifically serve Veterans, and a Coordinator of Veterans Outreach. WOW. 

(Courtesy: Daily Bruin)

(Courtesy: UCLA’s The Daily Bruin)

#2. University of California-Los Angeles

Participates in 11 of 17 Veteran & Military programs

In-state Undergraduate Tuition: $12,736

In-state Graduate Tuition: $11,220

GI Bill Student Enrollment: 460

Highlight(s)

There seems to be a lot going on in terms of research and collaborative medicine at UCLA for military, veterans, and their families including one program that looks particularly interesting: Operation Mend. A career-driven veterans program is called Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.

Negative(s)

UCLA’s site states, “You will receive very limited transfer credit from your military training.” Unfortunately that is the only glimpse of offering military and veterans an opportunity to use prior knowledge/experiences toward a degree program at UCLA.

(Courtesy: The Odyssey Online)

(Courtesy: The Odyssey Online)

#2. University of Virginia

Participates in 10 of 17 Veteran & Military programs

In-state Undergraduate Tuition: $15,192

In-state graduate Tuition: $14,164

GI Bill Student Enrollment: 575

Negative(s)

They don’t award credit for either the CLEP or DSST Exams.

Highlight(s)

Unfortunately we couldn’t find anything that sets UVA’s veterans programs apart. That’s not to say that there isn’t, but we couldn’t find anything after extensive digging.

#4. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

Participates in 13 of 17 Veteran & Military programs

In-state Undergraduate Tuition: $13,856

In-state Graduate Tuition: $20,638

GI Bill Student Enrollment: 390

Highlight(s)

University of Michigan Ann Arbor has the P.A.V.E Program (Peer Advisors for Veteran Education) which pairs incoming student veterans with trained current student veterans to help the new students successfully navigate the transition to college. Also their Student Veterans Council has representatives from several centralized student services offices across campus which keeps a voice for veterans active across campus.

Negative(s)

DSST Exam credits aren’t accepted at this campus. DSST scores are used for both upper and lower level credits, and CLEP credits are almost exclusively for lower level credits.

(Courtesy: UNC Chapel Hill)

(Courtesy: UNC Chapel Hill)

#5. U. of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Participates in 14 of 17 Veteran & Military programs

In-state Undergraduate Tuition: $8,591

In-state Graduate Tuition: $9,143

GI Bill Student Enrollment: 419

Highlight(s)

Their Boot Print to Heel Print Orientation Program  caters a special orientation program for veteran and military students transitioning from service. Chapel Hill proves their emphasis on taking care of student veterans through the Challenge Coin Nomination. This award represents the acknowledgement of exceptional excellence and success of military members and those who support them through their missions.

Negative(s)

Chapel Hill doesn’t offer credit for the DSST exam.

 

#6. College of William & Mary

Participates in 8 of 17 Veteran & Military programs

In-state Undergraduate Tuition: $19,372

In-state Graduate Tuition: $8,009

GI Bill Student Enrollment: 352

Negative(s)

The College of William and Mary states, “Students with prior service in the Armed Forces of the United States may present the Joint Services Transcript or other documentation to the Office of the University Registrar.  Equivalencies to William & Mary courses rarely exist, but where they do, credit may be granted with departmental approval.  The ACE Guide will be consulted, but its recommendations do not automatically apply.” It sounds like there’s no guaranteed way to use prior knowledge or experience to acquire course credit for a program at William and Mary.

Highlight(s)

This college is approved for TA Funding. Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its members. William & Mary also offers Priority Registration to those military, veterans, and dependents who qualify ensuring that they are able to enroll in the courses they need. 

(Courtesy: Georgia Institute of Technology)

(Courtesy: Georgia Institute of Technology)

#7. Georgia Institute of Technology

Participates in 10 of 17 Veteran & Military programs

In-state Undergraduate Tuition: $11,394

In-state Graduate Tuition: $12,344

GI Bill Student Enrollment: 270

Negative(s)

Georgia Tech doesn’t offer any means of using prior experience/knowledge for acquiring college credit. (They don’t offer credit for Military Experiences, the CLEP Exam, or DSST Exam.) Bummer.

Highight(s)

Georgia Institute of Technology has one of the best Veterans websites we have seen.

 

In Conclusion…

Hopefully, our investigation into each university has given you a better picture of what these top institutions are currently doing for military and veteran students. For more information on each university’s military programming check out each university’s respective profile on a free resource that specifically tracks not-for-profit higher education institutions’ military and veteran programming.

We’re curious, what noteworthy programs have you heard of? Leave your answer in the comments section!

 

(Featured Image Courtesy of University of Michigan Ann Arbor)