Veterans pursuing college degrees often face challenges most traditional students don’t. A national publication has recognized Kansas University for its efforts to help those veterans succeed.
Military Times named KU one of the country’s top colleges for veterans, KU announced this week.
KU ranked 23 out of 86 four-year schools on the publication’s “Best for Vets: Colleges 2014” list. Rankings were based on a survey with categories including whether colleges had veterans offices, accepted credits for military experience, provided academic support and offered extracurricular activities for veterans. It's the fourth straight year that KU has made the list.
In conducting and scoring this year’s survey, Military Times said it placed new emphasis on academic rigor, according to a news release from KU. The survey also considered statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality, such as student loan default rates, retention rates, graduation rates and student-faculty ratio.
Almost 700 veterans are enrolled at KU, ranging from 21-year-olds who have served an initial tour abroad to veterans in their 50s who have retired and are preparing for second careers, said Randy Masten, assistant director for KU’s Graduate Military Programs office.
Retired Army Sgt. Stephen Navarro of Basehor was deployed to Iraq for 15 months during his five-year military career. Navarro, who said he has post-traumatic stress disorder, is studying biochemistry at KU.
“I found it very welcoming,” Navarro said. “I’ve never had a problem getting my benefits through the school. They have different organizations for veterans. ... They also have people in place for helping with any disabilities that people have.”