Report: Penn State scores highest in veteran-friendly universities

From CDT staff reportsNovember 11, 2013 

For U.S. veterans looking to go back to school after serving in the armed forces, Pennsylvania may be the best place to be — and Penn State’s University Park campus, the very best.

That’s according to U.S. News & World Report. In its inaugural study, the magazine based the rankings in terms of graduation rates, faculty resources, reputation, as well as GI Bill certification and participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which both reduce the cost of tuition for veterans and their families, according to the survey.

Of the 234 schools on the list, four in Pennsylvania — Drexel, Duquesne, Penn State and Temple — made it to the top 25. There was a tie for No. 2 between the University of Texas and Tulane University. Syracuse University was No. 4, according to the report.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment and one we have worked hard to foster. Our veterans deserve our support and assistance every day,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in an email. “Penn State’s involvement with the military began more than 150 years ago through our charter and we have continued this extraordinary relationship with servicemen and servicewomen from all branches. It’s truly a point of pride that we are able to educate these students both on campus and through our World Campus. They deserve nothing less.”

According to the university, there are more than 3,900 student veteran and military dependents utilizing the GI Bill throughout the university, with 950 students at University Park. Signed into law in 2008 and taking effect in 2009, unused educational benefits may be transferred to veterans’ spouses or children.

More than 700,000 veterans and their families have been given the chance to get a break on housing and tuition, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The survey was part of a larger U.S. News study of undergraduate schools in the spring.

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