BOONE, N.C.—Appalachian State University has earned the 2017 Military Friendly® School designation by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM JobsSM and Military Spouse.
The designation means that Appalachian is among those colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. It has been awarded to Appalachian every year since 2010.
“If you are going to make a commitment to school, you should definitely do some research to see what will and won’t be a good fit,” said Eric Gormly, Appalachian’s student veteran services coordinator. “With Appalachian having the Military Friendly® designation, it shows that we are in that upper echelon of serving our student veterans.”
The list of Military Friendly® schools at MilitaryFriendly.com is aimed at service members and their families, helping them select the best college, university or trade school to receive the education and training needed to pursue a civilian career.
Appalachian’s commitment to student veterans manifests itself in several ways:
In 2015, for example, Appalachian received a three-year, $273,922 Department of Education Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success grant. The grant aims to support student veterans on campus, to increase awareness across the university community of the richness they bring to campus, and to increase student veteran enrollment.
As a result of the grant, the Major General Edward M. Reeder Jr. Student Veteran Resource Center opened this past November to serve the needs of Appalachian students who are active duty military personnel and veterans. Gormly, a six-year veteran of the U.S Marine Corps, was hired in June to lead the center and its efforts.
Appalachian’s Office of Admissions maintains a website for veterans and military service members considering enrolling at the university. The university also has veteran counselors, as well as academic and financial aid advisors on staff, and a chapter of the Student Veterans Association on campus.
The Career Development Center assists student veterans with career planning and veteran’s preference programs. Appalachian offers in-state tuition without residency requirements for military students who are in the N.C. National Guard or on active duty at a military base within North Carolina.
In addition, Appalachian created a Military Affairs Committee (MAC) in 2012, which takes an enrollment management approach to supporting student veterans and other military-affiliated students. Representation includes financial aid, admissions, advising and orientation, counseling, graduate school, ROTC and others. In addition, the MAC has representation from the Boone community and the Student Veterans Association.
Institutions that earned the Military Friendly® designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from Victory Media’s proprietary survey. More than 1,700 schools participated in the 2017 survey; 1,273 were awarded the designation.
Ratings methodology, criteria and weightings were determined by Victory Media, with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining an institution’s survey scores with the assessment of its ability to meet thresholds in several categories. The categories included student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates.
“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to the majority of colleges gives veterans a comprehensive view of which schools are striving to provide the best opportunities and conditions for our nation’s student veterans,” said Daniel Nichols, a Navy Reserve veteran and the chief product officer at Victory Media. “Military Friendly® helps military families make the best use of the post-9/11 GI Bill and other federal benefits while allowing us to further our goal of assisting them in finding success in their chosen career fields.”
About Victory Media
Founded in 2001, Victory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs®, Military Spouse, Vetrepreneur®, STEM JobsSM and Military Friendly® brands. Learn more at http://www.victorymedia.com.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.