The University of North Georgia (UNG) has been recognized by Military Times magazine in its "2014 Best for Vets" ranking, listed as 21st out of more than 600 schools surveyed across the country.
"We are honored to count numerous service members, veterans and their family members among our students, faculty and staff and depend upon their expertise and leadership as we strive to fulfill our mission of educating leaders," said university President Bonita C. Jacobs.
UNG is designated by the state legislature as The Military College of Georgia and is one of only six senior military colleges in the country.
The organization comprising Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times placed a new emphasis on academic rigor this year when conducting and scoring the fourth annual Best for Vets: Colleges survey, a highly respected 150-question analysis of a school's complete offerings for veterans.
"As with all of the Best for Vets rankings, Best for Vets: Colleges is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that make an institution a good fit for military veterans," said Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times EDGE.
The full rankings are available online, and in print; only 120 schools of the more than 600 that responded to the survey were selected for inclusion on the list. Including UNG, only four Georgia schools were included on the list: Kennesaw State University, Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia Military College.
Best for Vets provides service men and women a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them. The rankings factored in service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the GI Bill, and availability of specific programs to help service members.
The extensive evaluation process also factored in statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality, including student loan default rates, retention rates, graduation rates and student-faculty ratio.
UNG also has several initiatives aimed at assisting active duty service members and veterans:
- The Veterans Success Center on the Dahlonega Campus and the Center for Adult Learners and Military (CALM) on the Gainesville Campus both serve as a one-stop shop as service members or their families enroll, register, or apply for GI Bill benefits and other financial aid. Both centers also serve as a hub for military student and veteran social activities and offer assistance with tutoring, academic advising and other services.
- UNG awards college credit for military training, accepts transfer credits, and offers distance learning and online classes, all initiatives identified in the state's Complete College Georgia plans. At least two graduate degree programs, criminal justice and international affairs, are offered completely online.
- UNG also is part of Georgia's Soldiers 2 Scholars program, which helps service members transition to civilian life by means of a college degree, and the 1,900-member Service members Opportunity Colleges (SOC) coalition, which provides educational opportunities to service members who had trouble completing college degrees because they moved frequently.
The rankings are published in full in the November issue of Military Times EDGE magazine, the premier publication for military transition, and online at MilitaryTimes.com, as well as ArmyTimes.com, NavyTimes.com, AirForceTimes.com and MarineCorpsTimes.com.
The top 30 four-year schools, top 10 online and nontraditional schools, and top 10 two-year schools are compared in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times on newsstands the week of Veterans Day.
Earlier this year, UNG also was recognized by GI Jobs magazine on its 2014 Military Friendly Schools list and in Military Advanced Education's 2013 Guide to America's Top Military Friendly Colleges & Universities.