The University of North Georgia (UNG) has once again been named by two national publications as one of the preferred educational institutions in the nation for current and former military personnel and their families.
Selection by Military Times magazine and Victory Media, which publishes GI magazine and other publications for military personnel, recognizes UNG's efforts to support its growing military community. UNG's enrollment includes more than 1,000 veterans, active military members and reservists.
"Veterans and active duty service members have always been a vital part of UNG's mission of educating leaders," said UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs. "The perspectives and experiences these students bring to UNG enrich the university community and make us a stronger organization."
Victory Media chose UNG for its 2016 Military Friendly Schools list. The list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America's military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.
In the Military Times annual Best for Vets rankings, UNG is listed as 116th out of more than 600 colleges that took part in this year's survey.
"It's been amazing to witness how colleges all across higher education have embraced service members and their families," said Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times' Best for Vets rankings and special editions. "Over the past six years of our surveys, we've seen so many schools first begin to foster – through new policies, services and dedicated facilities – and then nurture these wonderful communities."
Best for Vets provides service men and service women a barometer on which universities or degree programs will benefit them the most. The rankings are formed from an extensive evaluation process that factors in such things as student-faculty ratio, graduation and retention rates, percentage of tuition covered by the GI Bill, academic quality, service member enrollment, and availability of programs designed to help service members.
UNG 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. Two graduate degree programs popular with members of the military and veterans, 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.
UNG is one of only six senior military colleges in the country and is designated as The Military College of Georgia. There are currently 768 students in UNG's Corps of Cadets, and the university expects to commission 70-80 graduating cadets as second lieutenants into the U.S. Army or Georgia National Guard this year.