By JACQUE FLANAGAN
(WARRENSBURG, MO., digitalBURG) — The University of Central Missouri is the No. 1 ranked military spouse-friendly school, beating out the likes of the University of Central Oklahoma, the University of Alabama and Buffalo State College.
UCM topped the list of 100 public universities included in Victory Media’s 2017 Military Spouse Friendly Schools, according to a university news release. The list is comprised of institutions with more than 10,000 students.
Jeff Huffman, director of military and veteran affairs, said in a phone interview that the national designation would mean more growth in enrollment and education, for the university and the Military and Veterans Success Center.
“Military (affiliates) feel comfortable bringing in non-military students that have varying backgrounds, which only adds to the richness of the educational experience,” Huffman said. “If a military member is transferred, they want to know they it’s a good community, if there are good restaurants and shopping centers, same holds true with higher education.”
Victory Media selects universities based on an evaluation of the institutions’ admissions, retention, career counseling and mentoring programs, how well they serve veterans, and whether they addressed concerns for military spouses and their families, according to Victory Media’s website.
The evaluation criteria were established with the help of educators and an employer’s advisory council, according to Victory Media’s website.
UCM offers in-state tuition for all active duty and military veterans as well as Military Tuition Packages for students utilizing the tuition assistance or veteran’s assistance education benefits, according to the news release. The university also offers a Command Pass, which allows military members to attend home sporting events for free.
Huffman said UCM has a military transcript specialist who helps incoming military students and their families receive the maximum transferable credit hours for their degree program. He said incoming students may have credits from numerous schools, and the specialist helps them understand the transfer process.
The designation was earned three months after UCM received a Top 10 Gold-level Military Friendly School ranking and a year after the university’s No. 3 ranking for being a Top 10 Gold-level Military Friendly School from Victory, according to Victory Media’s website.
For more information on UCM’s programs for military and veteran students, visit ucmo.edu/vets.