UMSL ranked on Military Times ‘Best for Vets: Colleges’ list for 8th consecutive year

by | Sep 29, 2022

The university serves more than 350 veteran and other military-connected students on campus, providing them support with benefits through the Veterans Center.
A student veteran talks to Provost Steven Berberich and Veteran Center Coordinator Josh Evans during an event at the Veterans Center

The UMSL Veterans Center hosted Pizza with the Provost to kick off its annual Student Veterans Week Programming last spring. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Faculty and staff at the University of Missouri–St. Louis have worked hard to cultivate an environment that supports military-connected students as they pursue their educational goals, whether they’re veterans transitioning out of service or active duty members looking to advance their military careers.

For the eighth consecutive year, Military Times included UMSL in the top 100 on its “Best for Vets: Colleges” list. The university was ranked No. 86 nationally, including seventh in the central region and in the top three in Missouri.

The publication aims to have the largest and most comprehensive rankings of schools for military service members and veterans to help them make decisions about their education. It included 311 institutions in its 2022 rankings.

“Our student veterans are a lot like the many other adult learners on the UMSL campus, and the university has long specialized in providing the resources necessary to address their biggest needs,” said Josh Evans, coordinator of UMSL’s Veterans Center. “UMSL leadership, starting with Chancellor Kristin Sobolik, has made it a priority to support the Veterans Center and how we engage with students to ensure we’re delivering key services, and we’ve been a model for other institutions in our region.”

The university counts more than 350 veteran and other military-connected students on campus – including some children and spouses of veterans receiving GI Bill benefits.

The Veterans Center, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this December, has trained staff on hand whose top priority is to ensure students have all their requisite paperwork certified in order to receive those benefits so they can remain enrolled and progressing toward their degrees.

“We do everything in our power to make that process as simplified and as painless as possible for our students, so they can focus on their studies and their work,” Evans said.

The center is academically focused, providing military-connected students a comfortable and quiet place to study with resources such as computers and access to tutors on site.

It also offers a comfortable space to hang out and find camaraderie with other students with similar life experiences as they adjust to being on a college campus. The supportive staff can help refer them to other student services, such as those provided by Student Advocacy and Care, when needed.

“We serve as a first-stop resource for our veteran community,” Evans said. “They connect with us especially early on in their education for whatever needs they have. If they encounter anything on campus, anywhere, that they need assistance with and they don’t know where to go or what to do, they can contact us. We help them find the resources that UMSL already has in place, because it already supports adult learners in such an excellent manner. The overall goal is that over time they’ll need us less as they learn to navigate the campus on their own.”

The Veterans Center can also help students take advantage of Career Services at UMSL as they look to enter the workforce or transition to new careers.

Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik