What Are the Military-Friendly Colleges and Why Veterans Need Them

Modern marketing and advertisements make a difference when it comes to our day-to-day choices. They impact almost every decision we make, starting from which food we buy and up to the university we want to enter.

The same approach works for many self-called "military-friendly" colleges too. Unfortunately, many institutions are paying for fashionable logos, banners, and ads to assure they are friendly to military members and veterans. A big advertising budget is not what creates comfortable conditions for transitioning service members, though.

But what does? Military-friendly schools are there to understand your experience, special requirements you may have because of the service, and they are sensitive to your needs as a military member. This newfound education for veterans is maybe the greatest foundation to lay when it comes to starting a civilian life again.

In this article, you will find how to identify military-friendly colleges, what are the top 30 online and offline education providers for veterans, get valuable student resources, and discover your prospective military employers.

How to Find a Military-Friendly College

Finding a good college often becomes a complex and time-consuming task for many regular students, not to mention the one with military experience. Service members and veterans need to consider even more factors to receive an education and successfully enter the civilian workforce once they are back home.

To ease your life, we supply you with a brief checklist of things to consider while choosing a college to serve your veteran needs.

  1. Is there an academic credit awarded for military experience?
  2. Is financial assistance for veterans and/or military students available?
  3. Does the college provide specialized support for veterans and/or military students?
  4. Are there any military spouse & dependent programs?
  5. Does the institution have flexible learning options? Has it proved its students' success?

To minimize your time and effort investments, we have reviewed colleges by all these factors and outlined 30 best military-friendly colleges in the list below.

Top 30 Military-Friendly Colleges

Top Online Colleges for Veterans

  1. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
    In-State Tuition: $14,974
    Out-of-State: $31,282
    Rutgers started operating in 1766 as a Queens College. Being one of the oldest institutions in the US, it is ranked in the top 30 national public universities. Veterans are also welcomed to use their GI Bill to reimburse tuition fees.
  2. Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC
    In-State Tuition: $3,926
    Out-of-State: $7,926
    This institution is a part of the UNC system and remains one of the best regional institutions in the South. It provides exemplary support to veterans and military members and maintains a one-on-one admission process and financial aid for continuing education.
  3. University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
    In-State Tuition: $9,267
    Out-of-State: $31,233
    The University of Iowa features a sprawling campus with diverse architecture and breathtaking views. It assists the military community with half-a-dozen educational assistance programs. Not surprisingly, over 2,400 veterans attend the institution during any given semester.
  4. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
    In-State Tuition: $12,462
    Out-of-State: $35,992
    The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public research university. It offers 109 Bachelor's degrees, 77 Master's degrees, and 48 Doctorates. Engineering faculties are the top advantage of this institution.
  5. George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
    In-State Tuition: $12,462
    Out-of-State: $35,922
    The primary specialization of George Mason University is the humanities. The strongest and, accordingly, the most popular specialties among students are known as business, computer science, literature, law, and economics.
  6. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
    In-State Tuition: $9,222
    Out-of-State: $29,215
    Offers more than 90 graduate-level degrees and over 80 undergraduate programs.
  7. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
    In-State Tuition: $ 12,467
    Out-of-State: $ 36,366
    Comprise over 40 colleges and provides Bachelor's degrees, Master's degrees, and Doctorates in more than 330 fields.
  8. University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
    In-State Tuition: $9,972
    Out-of-State: $27,042
    MU public university is a state research institution providing both online and offline education programs for more than 35,000 learners.
  9. Webster University, Saint Louis, MO
    In-State Tuition: $27,900
    Out-of-State: $27,900
    Perfect place to get a bachelor's or master's degree in business, management, communications, media, media, sociology and psychology.
  10. University of Minnesota, Crookston, MN
    In-State Tuition: $11,822
    Out-of-State: $11,822
    UMC is a relatively small public institution with 900 students enrolled on campus and 900 online attendants.
  11. University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
    In-State Tuition: $6,368
    Out-of-State: $22,467
    Whatever your passion, you can find your path to success with UCF's 220-degree programs and colleges in 13 locations.
  12. Washington State University, Pullman, WA
    In-State Tuition: $11,584
    Out-of-State: $25,820
    Although the university is research-committed, its most renowned graduate school options are the College of Education, the College of Engineering, and the College of Business.
  13. National Louis University, Chicago, IL
    In-State Tuition: $10,710
    Out-of-State: $10,710
    At National Louis University, you can expand your career horizons with more than 70 programs in fields like hospitality management, psychology, culinary arts, and education.
  14. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
    In-State Tuition: $53,244
    Out-of-State: $53,244
    This comprehensive on a global scale research institution is ranked as one of the 15 largest private universities in America. Drexel offers the same accredited curricula online just as their traditional on-campus equivalents.
  15. The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
    In-State Tuition: $10,780
    Out-of-State: $29,230
    Among its 200+ programs, you should outline professional courses like rural medicine and law.

Top Offline Colleges for Veterans

  1. University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
    In-State Tuition: $6,410
    Out-of-State: $17,324
    USF is most known for its majors in health, biological and biomedical sciences, social sciences and engineering, and business and marketing.
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA
    In-State Tuition: $51,832
    Out-of-State: $51,832
    MIT admission is very competitive, but it worth its price if you want a degree in engineering or physical sciences.
  3. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
    In-State Tuition: $9,080
    Out-of-State: $ 19,040
    Apply here if your interests are in the field of business, management, marketing, journalism, or family/human sciences.
  4. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
    In-State Tuition: $8,987
    Out-of-State: $35,170
    UNC takes its specialization in biomedical sciences, social sciences, communication, journalism, and psychology.
  5. University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor, MI
    In-State Tuition: $15,262
    Out-of-State: $49,350
    Umich is among global leaders when it comes to medicine, biomedical studies, law, and political science.
  6. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
    In-State Tuition: $56,225
    Out-of-State: $56,225
    USC is the most popular West Coast institution with a primary focus on performing arts. Also features a successful football program.
  7. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
    In-State Tuition: $10,555
    Out-of-State: $36,805
    Most known for its programs in computer and information sciences, economics and finance, and biology.
  8. Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
    In-State Tuition: $9,992
    Out-of-State: $28,794
    Apply, if you associate your future with education, pharmacy, nursing and speech pathology, or audiology fields.
  9. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
    In-State Tuition: $13,620
    Out-of-State: $31,908
    Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive in engineering and human sciences; still, you will find more than 280 majors offered here.
  10. Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
    In-State Tuition: $10,726
    Out-of-State: $30,742
    The best about its institution is its 46,000 community, amazing atmosphere, and sports program.
  11. James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
    In-State Tuition: $12,016
    Out-of-State: $28,416
    JMU is a highly rated public university that selects the strongest candidate for health professions, business and management services and liberal arts sciences.
  12. University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
    In-State Tuition: $50,226
    Out-of-State: $50,226
    Being one of the most prestigious US places to get your degree, this university is maybe the most proficient in law, business, medicine, and all related studies.
  13. Citadel Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
    In-State Tuition: $12,516
    Out-of-State: $34,988
    This government educational institution is one of the six oldest military academies in the USA. The institution is divided into five schools offering training in 20 specialties.
  14. Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
    In-State Tuition: $8,126
    Out-of-State: $23,540
    The university offers top programs in business, engineering, and ecology. Currently, more than 15 thousand students are studying here; 96% of graduates are successfully employed within 6 months after graduation.
  15. Georgetown University, Washington, DC
    In-State Tuition: $54,104
    Out-of-State: $54,104
    ​Offers undergraduate programs in arts, natural sciences, humanities, languages, and social sciences. Georgetown alumni have an average salary starting from $61,400 and an average mid-career salary of approx. $129,500.

Guide for Veteran Students to College

For many military students and veterans, college life often becomes a startling contrast to the military life they are used to and, thus, causes a lot of challenges. While some college newcomers may suffer from the feeling of isolation, others tend to face time-management and self-motivation issues. None of the problems are new or uncommon, so there's no need to reinvent the wheel to solve them. Below, there are some strategies to smooth your road to the college environment.

  1. To ease the transition, start with a few courses (if possible) and establish a daily routine. Stick to the schedule you've made to help you move forward.
  2. Join a support group for military students to avoid feeling isolated.
  3. Take advantage of college learning resources and materials. This tip is especially useful in case you have troubles concentrating on the lectures.
  4. Participate in sport and entertainment activities to break down the barriers between you and your groupmates.
  5. Practice regular exercise and relaxation techniques – they will help you improve concentration and reduce overall anxiety you're likely to face in the beginning.

8 Military-Friendly Employers

According to the 2020 Military Friendly Company List, the top 8 prospective employers for your future workforce are as follows:





7-Eleven, Inc.

Retail Consumer Goods



Business Services








Adecco Group

Business Services



Energy, Extraction, and Utilities


American Water

Energy, Extraction, and Utilities


Archer Daniels Midland Company


College Resources for Veterans

There are numerous resources providing information on military college options, financial aid, and scholarships for veterans. We've got 10 of them listed below.

Apart from policymaking, this authority body is also committed to maximizing the college credit amount that you can receive for military service. There's a database of military courses available on the website, all according to your credit value.

It contains all the necessary data on applying for education and managing training benefits you, as a veteran, have earned.

Here you can access all of your VA benefits and health care, starting from education and training up to housing assistance and life insurance.

Provides news about military operations, educational programs and benefits, and changes to them. Features a job board as well.

Program for those who want to serve in the army, but at the same time want to pursue higher education. In this article you'll find types of ROTC programs, requirements, cost and different scholarships.

The VAF is a community of veterans dedicated to helping other veterans and their families to get back in track. Except for psychological support, this organization is there to help you find education, housing, and employment.

Informs about financial aid of any type, including the ones from higher education institutions to military members.

Get answers on frequently asked questions about veteran education benefits and updated list of military-friendly colleges.

Offers scholarships, grants, and employment services to veterans from all military branches.

Features a comprehensive resource of links to scholarships, standardized testing, and general info about military-friendly college programs.

Provides extensive services to veterans and Army members; the list contains JST assistance, online training programs, and available scholarships.

Bottom Line

Veterans face numerous challenges on their way to find the right college, navigate the GI Bill, and submit all necessary documents. Also, students who saw combat might have issues trying to fit in socially, succeed academically, and staying afloat financially at the same time. We hope our brief guidebook will serve you to address some of the challenges that you as a college-bound veteran face daily.

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