AMHERST, Mass. – For the third consecutive year, the journal Military Advanced Education (MAE) has named the University of Massachusetts Amherst a “Top Military-Friendly University” – a designation bestowed by at least three separate veterans groups repeatedly since 2011.
UMass Amherst is the only doctoral degree-granting institution among the 11 military-friendly schools listed for Massachusetts. The list also includes several online institutions and community colleges.
Among the attributes evaluated and outlined in the guide are the flexibility of online learning options, extent of transfer credits accepted by degree level, on-campus ROTC, “Servicemember Opportunity Colleges” participation, on-campus active duty/veteran assistance, the support provided to the families of service members, faculty trained in veteran reintegration issues, presence on military installations, and full-time counselors trained in veteran-specific mental health concerns.
The guide lists 430 military veterans among UMass Amherst’s student population. The campus achieved its highest scores in “support on campus” and “military culture” categories.
Military Advanced Education is published 10 times a year and serves education services officers and transition officers at every U.S. military installation, along with the service members they counsel. According to editor Kelly Fodel, the guide provides potential students with information about institutions that go out of their way to give back to men and women in uniform.
“Our staff used strict criteria to evaluate the submissions of the respondents, and we had a record number of schools participating this year,” said Fodel. “We believe the guide serves as an invaluable tool for both education services officers and transition officers when advising service members about their educational opportunities.”
She added that the guide gives service members access to all survey questions and answers provided by schools, as well as explanations about issues like the schools’ activation and deployment policies, withdrawal policies, scholarship and financial aid information and important support information.
The MAE report is very much in keeping with a listing maintained by Victory Media on its Military Friendly Schools website, which lists only the top 20 percent of schools with strong ratings by and for veterans. Only nine Massachusetts schools received top ratings from student veteran reviewers. In the last four years, UMass Amherst has also been repeatedly cited for its military-friendly services, support and programs by GI Jobs Magazine and Military Times EDGE.