UMass Amherst named ‘Top Military-Friendly University’

By Collegian News Staff

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Collegian File Photo

Collegian File Photo

According to a press release from the Office of News and Media Relations, the journal Military Advanced Education (MAE) has listed the University of Massachusetts as a “Top Military-Friendly University” for the third year in a row. This title has been granted to the University by at least three separate veterans groups since 2011.

Among the military-friendly schools listed for Massachusetts, including community and online institutions, UMass is the only school that issues doctoral degrees. There are 430 military veterans listed as being a part of the University’s population.

The school was evaluated on its online learning options, its acceptance of transfer credits by degree level, the on-campus ROTC program, support given to military families as well as the availability of full-time mental health counselors trained in veteran-specific issues, among other features. The University received its highest marks in the categories of “support on campus” and “military culture.”

For decades, the UMass Amherst University Without Walls (UWW) program has been aiding students who are or have been in the military. UWW students are appointed their own personal faculty advisors when they enter the University. One advisor, Cynthia Suopis, is a veteran of the Navy. UMass Veterans Services also provides a drop-in support center as well as phone and email information and assistance.

Since one of the points evaluated is the extent to which transfer credits are accepted, UMass offers a transfer credit policy of 75 credits. There are also opportunities to receive credit for work or life experience, professional or military training and for finishing basic training.

According to the release, the MAE is published 10 times per year and “serves education services officers and transition officers at every U.S. military installation, along with the service members they counsel.”

Kelly Fodel, its editor, said the guide gives potential students information about those institutions that find a way to give back to service members.

“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,” Fodel said in the news release.

This report corresponds to a listing on Victory Media’s Military Friendly Schools website, which lists the top fifth percent of schools that have strong ratings from veterans. There were just nine schools in Massachusetts that received such high ratings from student veteran reviewers.

This is the fourth year UMass was referred for its military-friendly services by GI Jobs Magazine and Military Times EDGE.