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Veterans going to college face different challenges than traditional college students.
For one, only 15% of student veterans are traditionally aged college students. Often student veterans are older, with families and other responsibilities competing for their attention. Veterans may be dealing with trauma or injury from their service.
Yet, all too often when veterans decide to pursue higher education, institutions see money bags. Veterans intent on using their GI Bill are often targets of unsavory institutions and exploitative marketing schemes. These institutions often drain vets of their benefits, giving them little in return.
On the less malicious side, some institutions simply don’t do as good of job at graduating veterans. Determined to find the best colleges for veterans, we dove into the data to find colleges that set veterans up for the most success.
There you go- the 10 best colleges for veterans. Keep reading to see how we determined the best colleges, or go to the bottom to see the full ranked list.
There are a multitude of factors that contribute to veterans’ success in college. Active and supportive veterans’ organizations, personal life circumstances, and academic programs are all a few areas that can contribute to student performance. However, for this study we focused on a few metrics that determine veteran success:
The lower the score in each category the better. For example, a college that graduated every single one of its veteran students would have a 100% completion rate, and receive a #1 in that category.
We only looked at public schools with 4-year degree programs. We excluded private schools because while veterans fare well at Ivy League institutions (and when not excluded these colleges dominate the top 10), only a fraction of veteran students attend these organizations and we wanted a big, expansive look at the best colleges for veterans. Of course, it is worth noting that veterans who attend Yale-calibar schools have excellent outcomes.
Keep reading to see why these 10 schools made an A, or scroll down to see the full list.
Earning Above 28k: 93%
Completion Rate: 88%
Veterans who attend the University Of Maryland, Baltimore have an 88% chance of achieving their bachelor’s degree. It shows in their earning potential- having one of the higher rates of students earning above 28k on the list.
Earning Above 28k: 72%
Completion Rate: 93%
The University Of California is one of the best public university systems in the world. UCLA welcomes veterans and those who are accepted are likely to finish their degree.
Earning Above 28k: 75%
Completion Rate: 90%
The University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill was founded by a Revolutionary War Veteran. Today they continue to honor that military tradition, welcoming vets warmly. The stats show those vets are well-served educationally.
Earning Above 28k: 74%
Completion Rate: 87%
UF is an excellent choice for veterans. Their online and in person courses provide flexibility. In addition, the Office of Student Veteran Services, Collegiate Veterans Success Center, and Collegiate Veterans Society provide support for veterans transitioning into the education world.
Earning Above 28k: 76%
Completion Rate: 82%
The University of Washington is a research focused university. Veterans looking to focus on research, or work in Seattle’s thriving tech scene, would be well served by the University of Washington.
Earning Above 28k: 77%
Completion Rate: 80%
The state of Texas has one of the largest number of military residents in the US. Geographically, the University of Texas at Austin is undoubtedly convenient to many Texan veterans. In addition to location, students have a decent earning potential and a high degree completion rate.
Earning Above 28k: 81%
Completion Rate: 80%
Texas A&M touts that they provide individualized support to all Aggie student veterans. They strive to offer a comfortable environment for veterans achieve.
Earning Above 28k: 73%
Completion Rate: 89%
The second California school to make the list, UC San Diego has a lot to offer veterans. Veterans who attend UC San Diego have a better than average chance of completing their degree.
Earning Above 28k: 88%
Completion Rate: 63%
Another college in the California University system, the Maritime Academy is a choice that will have many vets feeling right at home.
Earning Above 28k: 74%
Completion Rate: 81%
Binghamton University is the number-one ranked public university in New York. Veterans receive a stellar education here, with a better-than-average chance of finishing their degree.
These are the top 10 colleges for veterans- based on degree completion, earnings, and the percentage of tuition the college spends on instruction. Veterans who use their GI Bills at these organizations will be well-served by institutions that graduate veterans who attend and position them for a career. Similarly, these colleges spend a good chunk of vet’s tuition on vets. Veterans seeking a solid education would not be remiss to seriously consider these schools.
Check out the top 100 best colleges for veterans:
|College||Earning Above 28K %||Completion Rate|
|UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, BALTIMORE||92.7%||87|
|UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES||71.7%||92|
|UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA – CHAPEL HILL||74.7%||90|
|UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA||73.5%||87|
|UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON – SEATTLE||75.5%||82|
|UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN||76.8%||79|
|TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY||80.6%||80|
|UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO||72.7%||88|
|CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY MARITIME ACADEMY||87.6%||62|
|NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY||75.1%||76|
|UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS||69.0%||87|
|UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MADISON||78.9%||85|
|STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO||72.0%||72|
|UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE||70.5%||88|
|SUNY COLLEGE AT GENESEO||68.3%||79|
|STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT STONY BROOK||68.1%||71|
|UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO||69.5%||67|
|ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY||76.5%||73|
|UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT||77.1%||77|
|SUNY MARITIME COLLEGE||79.9%||62|
|GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY||86.2%||86|
|STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT ALBANY||70.0%||68|
|SUNY COLLEGE AT CORTLAND||69.2%||73|
|SUNY COLLEGE OF ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE & FORESTRY||60.4%||75|
|UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN – ANN ARBOR||76.7%||90|
|UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA||78.6%||92|
|UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK||77.4%||81|
|JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY||76.8%||82|
|STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE||73.5%||52|
|UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY||74.7%||92|
|CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIVERSITY||78.7%||78|
|MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME ACADEMY||85.7%||74|
|COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY (THE)||80.9%||84|
|UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN||78.0%||86|
|UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING||68.5%||58|
|STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT NEW PALTZ||61.6%||74|
|RUTGERS, THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY||73.4%||77|
|UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA – TWIN CITIES||75.2%||77|
|UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS – AMHERST||73.6%||76|
|SUNY COLLEGE AT ONEONTA||63.5%||71|
|FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY||67.2%||80|
|UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS||71.8%||62|
|UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA||73.2%||65|
|VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE & STATE UNIVERSITY||79.2%||84|
|UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA||73.9%||66|
|GOVERNORS STATE UNIVERSITY||67.7%||70|
|SUNY COLLEGE AT BROCKPORT||63.9%||69|
|UNIVERSITY OF UTAH||70.6%||68|
|CUNY BERNARD M. BARUCH COLLEGE||72.5%||69|
|EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY||64.5%||63|
|GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY||74.6%||72|
|SAINT MARY’S COLLEGE OF MARYLAND||65.8%||78|
|UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER||71.7%||50|
|UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE||78.5%||79|
|CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT UNIVERSITY||70.4%||69|
|MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY||74.1%||79|
|WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY||66.2%||61|
|UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA||76.8%||50|
|VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE||73.8%||75|
|MISSOURI UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY||80.5%||68|
|EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY||66.2%||64|
|UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON – CLEAR LAKE||77.0%||71|
|SUNY AT FREDONIA||58.0%||67|
|RAMAPO COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY||72.8%||72|
|CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY CHANNEL ISLANDS||64.0%||71|
|TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY||65.9%||71|
|WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY||64.7%||75|
|UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA , RENO||67.1%||58|
|STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK COLLEGE AT PLATTSBURGH||60.5%||66|
|COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES||90.1%||76|
|OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY (THE)||68.7%||68|
|UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA||67.3%||72|
|CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY||70.4%||58|
|UNIVERSITY OF IOWA||76.9%||70|
|CITADEL, THE MILITARY COLLEGE OF SOUTH CAROLINA||76.9%||71|
|UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – LACROSSE||73.7%||67|
|COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY||73.5%||91|
|WINONA STATE UNIVERSITY||73.5%||62|
|UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT WILMINGTON (THE)||65.7%||72|
|WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY||72.8%||68|
|SUNY COLLEGE AT OSWEGO||62.3%||65|
|NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY||66.4%||59|
|CUNY GRADUATE SCHOOL & UNIVERSITY CENTER||74.6%||32|
|INDIANA UNIVERSITY – BLOOMINGTON||72.5%||78|
|WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA||71.2%||71|
|UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – OSHKOSH||70.9%||54|
|VALLEY CITY STATE UNIVERSITY||71.4%||47|
|UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – COLUMBIA||72.8%||68|
|UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND – BALTIMORE COUNTY||69.6%||63|
|UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – STOUT||73.7%||59|
|UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA||71.9%||83|
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