For the tenth consecutive year, the University of North Florida has been designated as one of the most military friendly schools in the country by Victory Media, the leader in connecting the military and civilian worlds.
The 2019-20 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America’s military students and to dedicate resources to ensure success both in the classroom and after graduation. This list sets the standard for higher education institutions to provide the best opportunities for veterans, their spouses and families.
“For a decade now, UNF has been a special place for veterans and military-affiliated students, and each year we work to expand our services,” said Bob Buehn, director of the Military and Veterans Resource Center (MVRC). “During each step of the college experience, from admissions to alumni, our staff is ready to help, support and encourage those who have served our country.”
The Military Friendly Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources, data from federal agencies, input from student veterans and responses to the survey from participating institutions.
The annual, data-driven Military Friendly Schools survey assessment is offered at no cost to more than 8,800 institutions nationwide. Each year, schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than in previous years via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and Victory Media’s Advisory Council. Of the thousands of participating institutions, only 766 schools made the prestigious 2019-20 list, compared with 849 earning the designation in 2018-19.
Final survey results and ratings are determined by combining an institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet minimum thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans. The benchmark is set by the score of the leading institution.
UNF’s veteran population using the Post-9/11 GI Bill has grown at an average of six percent per year for the last five years and now numbers more than 1,350 veterans or military-affiliated students, representing eight percent of the University’s student body. UNF currently has 97 active-duty students, 545 veteran students and 730 military dependents.
In 2009, UNF established a Task Force and received a grant for more than $200,000 from the Florida BrAIve Fund at The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, which allowed the University to establish the MVRC on campus in 2010. Recently, the MVRC increased the amount of scholarships available for veterans and added a scholarship that includes dependents. They also made extensive facility renovations including upgrades to all technology/computers and new furniture.
As an extension of the MVRC, UNF began offering the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp, an educational program of leadership and military skills training, on campus in 2009. This program gives students a chance to get Army training while in college.
The MVRC’s mission is to provide a broad range of student services and resources focused on the unique needs of today’s military veterans, service members and their families to enhance their smooth transition from the military environment to campus life, leading to academic success and post-graduation employment opportunities.
The Military Friendly Schools website features the entire list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences.
UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.