Eastern Kentucky University continues the tradition of being a top school for veterans as the Military FriendlyⓇ Schools has released its 2022 rankings, placing EKU at No. 3 in the United States.
Military FriendlyⓇ Schools require institutions to meet a variety of standards, including student support and retention, graduation rates and campus culture. Schools participating in the rankings are held to an even higher standard than previous years, according to a press release from the Military FriendlyⓇ organization.
“EKU is committed to the belief that veterans and military service members offer a unique cultural and social perspective to our campus community,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “We are proud that our continuous investment in the programs offered through our Office of Military and Veterans Affairs is being recognized once again.”
The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs (OMVA) provides a centralized office with dedicated staff who are equipped to advocate for students from the moment an application is received until graduation and beyond.
“While we are thrilled and honored to have achieved this ranking, it is simply representative of the value our leadership and campus community place upon these students,” said Barbara Kent, director of the OMVA. “EKU recognizes that in addition to the life experience, leadership skills and academic success they bring to campus, they are a diverse population and our services and programming reflect the investment EKU is willing to make to ensure their needs are met.”
Kent noted that EKU’s increased retention, graduation and career outcome rates are a contributing factor to the top three ranking.
“In 2021, we launched our distinctive VETS|ReadyⓇ Opportunity Portal, a public, user-friendly tool that prospective students located anywhere in the world can use,” Kent said. The portal allows prospective students to enter their branch, rank and dates of training and receive a personalized report of credits that will transfer and what else would be needed for graduation.
Another initiative the OMVA established is the Reduced Military Spouse Rate, recognizing that military families also serve.
OMVA programs have provided peace of mind to students as they finish their degrees.
“The EKU Office of Military and Veterans Affairs is top notch and the people who work there are very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful,” said SPC Luke Sampson, U.S. Army (Ret.), a wildlife management major from Berea. “They definitely go above and beyond. They are passionate about what they do and want to see us succeed. The program is great, the people are better. It is very much like my new military family.”
Institutions earning Military FriendlyⓇ School status were determined based on public data and survey responses from more than 1,800 participating schools. Institutions are selected for their leading practices, outcomes and effective programs.
EKU is home to nearly 1,500 veterans, active duty service members, Reserve/National Guard members and military spouses and children. For more information about services available, visit va.eku.edu, or contact the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs at 859-622-2345 at EKUVeteransAffairs@eku.edu.
To see the complete list of 2022 Military FriendlyⓇ Schools Awards, visit militaryfriendly.com/schools/.