For the second consecutive year, UTSA has been recognized in the Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges 2016 rankings.
The Best for Vets rankings consider the factors that make an organization a good academic fit for service members, military veterans and their families. A detailed survey requires schools to document an array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to military and veteran students, along with a description of veteran culture on a university’s campuses.
Military Times also factors in data from the Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Defense Departments, along with data from three Education Department sources: the Institute of Education Sciences Data Center, College Scorecard and the Cohort Default Rate Database.
“We award the Best for Vets designation to the very best – the colleges that are setting the example,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times’ Best for Vets rankings and special editions.
About 10 percent of UTSA’s enrollment is military affiliated. These include military veterans, active duty military or military dependents. The university provides numerous services and programs for its military community, including the Veterans Certification Office, the VetSuccess on Campus program, which provides two full-time vocational counselors from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Student Veterans Association and the Veteran Services Advisory Committee.
From 2009 to 2013, UTSA certified more individuals with Post-9/111 GI Bill benefits than any other public, four-year university in Texas, according to the Veterans Administration.
“The UTSA military-affiliated and veteran community are a tremendously important part of our university culture,” said Ret. Col. Lisa Firmin, UTSA associate provost for diversity and recruitment. “We work diligently to ensure a smooth transition into academic life and provide a top tier educational experience, and, in fact created a Veteran Cultural Competence module to help educate our faculty and staff on this unique student population to aid in the overall transition of our student veterans.”
UTSA has been recognized consistently for its veterans outreach services. In 2014, the university was designated one of the nation’s top Military Friendly Schools for the fifth consecutive year by G.I. Jobs Magazine. That same year, Military Advanced Education awarded UTSA the designation of a Top School in its 2015 Guide to Colleges & Universities.
UTSA’s dedication to supporting its military-affiliated community extends to its leadership. In September 2014, the Department of the Army presented UTSA President Ricardo Romo with its Outstanding Civilian Service medal in recognition of the services and support that UTSA provides to members of the military and their families. The award, established in 1959, is the third highest honor that a private civilian can receive from the U.S. Army.