UMSL chosen one of Military Times’ ‘Best for Vets’ colleges for the sixth straight year

UMSL Best for Vets

Military Times named UMSL to its “Best for Vets: Colleges” list for the sixth consecutive year. There are 396 military-connected students on campus this semester. (Graphic by Joan Barnidge)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis has once again been recognized as one of the best universities in the nation for military-connected students.

For the sixth consecutive year, Military Times named UMSL to its “Best for Vets: Colleges” list. The rankings represent institutions that provide welcoming, supportive environments for military-connected students.

UMSL ranked 49th on a list of 134 four-year universities and colleges, and it was the only school in the University of Missouri System to make the 2020 list. Additionally, it was one of only two Missouri schools to be ranked. A total of 196 institutions were listed in the rankings, divided into categories for four-year, two-year, online and nontraditional schools and career and technical colleges.

“UMSL is extremely supportive of our student veterans and supporting veterans across the region to make a successful transition,” said Joshua Perschbacher, director of UMSL Veterans Center.

Military Times invited hundreds of colleges and universities across the country to participate in a detailed 150-question survey on policies regarding military and veteran students. The institutions were primarily evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic policies, academic outcomes and quality, and cost and financial aid. University culture and student support were weighted more heavily in the rankings.

Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as three Department of Education sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate database.

The Veterans Center is one of the most prominent locations where military-connected students get support. There are 396 such students enrolled this semester. Perschbacher said support continues to grow, as do the resources the center is able to provide.

“The current state of support for military connected students on campus is great,” he said. “This month, we are celebrating eight years of having a Veterans Center on campus. We just recently rebranded Veterans Education & Transition Services – UMSL VETS – and welcomed Rachael Timberman as the new assistant director of UMSL VETS.

“In January, we are launching ‘Veterans Arm in Arm,’ which is our grant-funded sponsorship/mentorship program to connect our student veterans with individuals who can be resources during their transition.”

Perschbacher noted that several events geared toward veterans and student veterans are slated during the coming months. UMSL will host the Gateway Veterans Higher Education Collaborative on Nov. 15 to discuss how best practices and resources can be shared among St. Louis region college campuses.

The National Veterans Studies Association will host their biennial Veterans in Society National Conference on the UMSL campus in March. The conference will bring more than 75 veterans studies advocates, professors and scholars together to share their research. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will host their Midwest Veterans Experience Action Center here in June.

UMSL has had nearly 400 military-connected students on campus for the past four years, with 85 graduating in the 2018-2019 academic year.

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