Columbus State Ranked Among Best Colleges for Veterans
COLUMBUS, Ga. — U.S. News & World Report has listed Columbus State University among the Top 25 regional universities in the South in the magazine’s inaugural Best Colleges for Veterans rankings of 234 schools across the nation.
The new rankings provide data and information on schools that offer federal benefits, including tuition and housing assistance, to veterans and active service members, all done in efforts to help veterans pursue a college education under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
“I’d be disappointed if Columbus State wasn’t on there,” said Lt. Col. Michael Feret, professor of Military Science at CSU. “It’s an important honor. As veterans exit the service, it’s good to be able to offer them educational opportunities, which also will be good for the Columbus area.”
CSU’s ranking reflects the relationship between Columbus State, Fort Benning and the large population of veterans who live in the area, Feret said.
“They’re able to leverage some of the benefits by being so close to Fort Benning,” he said. “There’s a strong partnership between Columbus State and Fort Benning and the community, which allows these programs to be supportive of each other.”
All of the 2014 Best Colleges for Veterans scored well in terms of graduation rate, faculty resources, reputation and other markers of academic quality. To qualify for the new rankings, the schools had to be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium.
In total, there were 234 ranked schools across all 10 U.S. News ranking categories: National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities (North, South, Midwest and West) and Regional Colleges (North, South, Midwest and West).
CSU recently reaffirmed its commitment to helping educate veterans when it decided to cover more than $33,000 in tuition and fees for about 50 military students who incurred costs because they registered or attended classes at Columbus State during the federal government shutdown.
During any given semester, about 10 percent of Columbus State’s enrollment is military-related, whether the students are on active duty, veterans or spouses of military members. Those connections prompted the university to ramp up its efforts over the past few years to better serve the military with more online programs, academic credit for military leaders who completed the Captains Career Course, establishment of a CSU office at Fort Benning, expansion of a campus Veterans Affairs office and more.
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