U.S. News ranks UW-Eau Claire among top public universities for military veteransNovember 21, 2013
EAU CLAIRE — U.S. News & World Report has named the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire one of the top public colleges and universities in the Midwest for military veterans.
In its inaugural "Best Colleges for Veterans" list, the magazine ranks UW-Eau Claire second among public universities in the Midwest and 11th among all public and private schools in the region.
UW-Eau Claire is one of just two public universities and the only UW System school among the top 15 institutions in the U.S. News Midwest rankings.
"This ranking reflects the dedication of our outstanding professional staff who ensure our students who are military veterans receive the necessary support to make the most of the high-quality opportunities available here at UW-Eau Claire," Chancellor James Schmidt said. "We follow an approach, informed through close consultation with student veteran leaders here on campus, that is attentive to the specific needs of veterans, which can vary quite markedly from the needs of our traditional-age students."
A total of 234 schools are included in 10 different categories within the "Best Colleges for Veterans" rankings.
To be considered for the new list, schools had to have scored well in terms of graduation rates, faculty resources, reputation and other markers of academic quality measured in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News "America's Best Colleges" guide. UW-Eau Claire has consistently been ranked in the guide as being among the top five public institutions in the Midwest.
Universities on the "Best Colleges for Veterans" list also had to be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, two federal initiatives that help veterans reduce the cost of school.
In addition, schools were required to be members of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium, a group that works to simplify credit transfers and give veterans credit for military training and national tests such as the College-Level Examination Program.
Since the Post-9/11 GI bill was implemented in 2009, UW-Eau Claire has seen a growing number of military veterans and their family members use the expanded educational benefits, said Miranda Cross-Schindler, UW-Eau Claire's military education benefits coordinator. Currently, 235 military veterans and 100 dependents of military veterans are enrolled at UW-Eau Claire, a number that has steadily increased in recent years.
"I'm proud to be part of a university that is a national leader in providing support and services to military veterans," said Cross-Schindler, who also is a military veteran. "Thanks to campuswide support, these students are succeeding academically and leaving here with the knowledge and skills they need to build the life they want."
The U.S. News "Best College for Veterans" ranking is the most recent of several distinctions UW-Eau Claire has received in recent months for its work with students who are military veterans. Earlier this fall, UW-Eau Claire was named a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media (publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine and the Guide to Military Friendly Schools), was selected for the Military Times "Best for Vets: Colleges 2014" list, and was designated a top performer in Military Advanced Education's 2013 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities.