Both USU and the University of Utah garner Gold award rankings for the 2023-2024 school year as top "military friendly" schools in the U.S.
Utah Valley University (UVU) was just named by Military Friendly as the 5th most "military friendly" large public university in the United States for the 2023-2024 school year, while also earning UVU a Gold ranking as well.
The University of Utah also received a Gold ranking from Military Friendly in the Tier 1 Research Institution category for the upcoming school year.
UVU and the UofU were selected from over 1,800 universities and colleges across the U.S. that opted to participate in the 2023-2024 Military Friendly research and ranking program.
A media property owned by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based VIQTORY, Military Friendly was launched in 2003 as a way to identify and rank those organizations that are the "most friendly" as
- Brands, and
to veterans and active duty members of the military, as well as their spouses and dependents.
Background on UVU's "Military Friendly" Status
With the largest student population in Utah, UVU currently "assists around 800 military veteran students and 2,400 military dependents in utilizing their military benefits to fund their education at UVU" through its Veteran Success Center, which was launched in 2015.
According to Kayle Smith, interim director of the UVU Veteran Success Center,
“This 'Military Friendly' School designation represents our progress in these areas, and we look forward to taking additional strides to advance the UVU military-connected experience.”
Military Friendly ranks participating institutions of higher learning based upon criteria in six categories:
- Academic Policies & Compliance,
- Admissions & Orientation,
- Culture & Commitment,
- Financial Aid & Assistance,
- Graduation & Career, and
- Military Student Support & Retention.
For its part, UVU ranked highest in the Financial Aid & Assistance category with a score of 79.63%. Its second highest ranking (at 67.81%) was in the Military Student Support & Retention category.
In describing why individuals should select UVU, Military Friendly published the following:
"Utah Valley University has a robust Veteran Success Center, a place for veterans to come and decompress from the stresses of attending college. The center advises veterans and service members on VA Benefits, provides a study area, creates opportunities for camaraderie, funds an in-house scholarship for students that qualify, brings in career specialists to assist with career development, organizes events for the UVU military-connected community, and offers a stand-alone orientation for veterans and their families. Veterans and their spouses also receive priority registration. These resources help students to maximize their education benefits and get the most of their school experience." (emphasis added)
Background on the University of Utah's "Military Friendly" Status
The oldest and most prestigious public university in the state, the University of Utah
- Offers over 200 majors, minors, and certificates;
- Was named in 2021 one of the Top 10 Best Colleges for Veterans Nationwide by College Factual; and
- Was selected in 2019 as a Top 3 Military Friendly College in Utah by Education Connection.
According to its Veterans Support Center, the UofU is
"committed to establishing a supportive environment and a welcoming campus culture (for veterans, spouses and dependents by) enhanc(ing) the educational experience of military affiliated students by removing barriers; maximizing the academic, psychosocial, and career potentials; and reaching results in unconditional success in the classroom and beyond."
According to the 2021-22 Annual Report of the Veterans Support Center, the UofU averaged 804 veteran/military-affiliated students utilizing the G.I. Bill during the 2021-22 school year, the highest amount ever during an annual year at the university.
Last July, the UofU launched a Veterans Studies Certificate, only the fourth such study program available nationwide, a 24-credit-hour certificate designed to help students
"develop a better understanding of veterans and their experiences by exploring the political, social, emotional, and historical aspects of military service and their implications for veterans and society."
Additionally, last November, the UofU's College of Engineering announced it had entered into a five-year program with the U.S. Air Force designed to
"create valuable learning opportunities for students and research projects that can advance technologies from wireless communications and cybersecurity to robotics and composite materials."
Returning to the rankings published by Military Friendly, the UofU ranked highest in the Culture & Commitment category with a score of 81.78%. Its second highest ranking (at 81.48%) was in the Financial Aid & Assistance category.
In describing why individuals should select the UofU, Military Friendly published the following:
"The University of Utah is an academic powerhouse, offering more than 200 majors, minors, and certificates. The U was named one of the top 10 Best Colleges for Veterans Nationwide by College Factual in 2021 and one of the top 3 Military Friendly Colleges in Utah by Education Connection in 2019. The U has a dedicated Veterans Support Center that is committed to assisting you succeed. The VSC is a one-stop shop for services, support, advocacy, and camaraderie. Some of the services offered through the VSC include: GI Bill/VA educational program services, VA counseling and benefits advising, Career coaching, Peer mentoring, Free SWAG, coffee, and refreshments Student computers with CAC readers and free printing, dedicated lounge and study area, scholarships and financial aid assistance, work-study opportunities, Student Veteran of the Year recognition, and many other military-family only services and events!" (emphasis added)
Congrats to both UVU and the UofU for their recognition by Military Friendly.
Prior to this week's announcement by UVU about its Top 5 ranking by Military Friendly, I had never heard of either Military Friendly or VIQTORY. But as I've researched both, I must say, I am quite impressed.
VIQTORY's predecessor company was formed in 2001 by three U.S. Navy veterans as a media company focused on serving active duty military, veterans, spouses, and their dependents, with G.I. Jobs launched online in January 2002.
Today, VIQTORY is positioned as "the premier military marketing company in the country," an agency and publisher that
- Reaches over 5 million individuals through its websites annually,
- Reaches over 2 million readers through its print and online publications each year,
- Has over 300,000 social media followers, and
- Produces monthly Virtual Job Fairs with 49% of attendees holding a Top Secret Clearance.
Based upon my research, if you are interested in either recruiting veterans or marketing to them / their families, I highly recommend you look into VIQTORY. dlp