The University of North Georgia has been recognized by Military Advanced Education magazine in the publication's 2013 Guide to America’s Top Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities. It marks the third year UNG has been included in the guide.
Published since 2005, Military Advanced Education is aimed at military education service officers (ESO), transition officers (TO) and other top-level commands who work with service members, veterans and their families during active duty, transition, and post-transition to optimize their armed forces educational benefits.
UNG is one of only six schools in Georgia to be included in this year's guide. The guide was published in the magazine's December issue and is available on the publication's website: http://www.military-advanced-education.com/mae-home.html.
Institutions of higher education that wished to be considered for inclusion in the guide submitted a questionnaire that was then evaluated by the magazine's judging panel. Education service offices from all branches of the military assisted in coming up with criteria for inclusion in the guide. All institutions were judged based on the same criteria, regardless of size or status as a public or private school:
- Support: including on-campus child care, on-campus veterans center, faculty trained in veteran reintegration issues, full-time counselors training in veteran-specific mental health concerns
- Financial: including in-state tuition for active duty service members, Yellow Ribbon program, veteran work-study program, military student-specific scholarships, tuition discounts/scholarships for dependents
- Military culture: including on-campus ROTC, MyCAA approved, membership in Service members Opportunity Colleges
- Flexibility: including online learning options, extent of transfer credits accepted by degree level, presence on military installations
"Our ongoing, close collaboration with ESOs and TOs over the years revealed the need for an evaluation tool that would reflect an institution's military-friendly policies in greater breadth and depth, yet still be easy to use," said Laural Hobbes, Military Advanced Education editor. "Each school's performance ranking by category is presented by an easy-to-recognize dashboard. This will enable prospective students to quickly target schools that are strongest in the military-friendly policies that are most important to them, and then put this in context with other academic or career considerations."
Designated by the Georgia General Assembly as The Military College of Georgia, some 750 of UNG's 16,000 students are members of the university's Corps of Cadets. Many cadets, as well as many of the instructors and support staff in the Department of Military Science and the Office of the Commandant, are active members of the military or veterans who have served in the military. Each semester, a number of graduating cadets at UNG are commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.
UNG has Veterans Success Centers on both the Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses. The centers assist service members and their families by serving as a one-stop shop as they enroll, register or apply for GI Bill benefits. The centers also help service members with housing availability, counseling, work-study opportunities and campus activities as well as serving as a hub for military student and veteran social activities.
In addition, UNG awards college credit for military training, accepts transfer credits, offers distance learning, is part of Georgia's Soldiers 2 Scholars program, and is in the coalition of Service members Opportunity Colleges (SOC).
Soldiers 2 Scholars is designed to help those in military service make the transition to civilian life by means of a college degree.
SOC, which currently has some 1,900 member institutions, was created in 1972 to provide educational opportunities to service members who had trouble completing college degrees because they frequently moved from place to place.
Earlier this year, UNG also was recognized by GI Jobs magazine on its 2013 Military Friendly list and by Military Times magazine in its "2013 Best for Vets" ranking, tied for 15th out of 510 schools surveyed across the country.