Military Times: UArizona ranked No. 1 in the West, rises to No. 6 overall

VETS office

The University of Arizona rose to No. 6 overall, No. 5 among public universities and No. 1 in the West in the latest edition of the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2023 ranking.

The University of Arizona retained its status as one of the nation's best universities for service members, according to Military Times.

UArizona rose to No. 6 overall, No. 5 among public universities and No. 1 in the West in the latest edition of the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2023 ranking, released Monday. This is the university's highest position in this ranking – up two from its overall position last year and a 46-spot rise from its inaugural appearance in the list in 2018.

A total of 325 colleges and universities qualified for inclusion in this year's list.

"Our military and veteran student population is a crucial part of the university community and their commitment to service is an inspiration," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "We will continue to provide world-class educational and research opportunities, along with a wide range of support services, for our military-connected students and their families. We are honored to have these remarkable students in the Wildcat family, and we are thrilled to see our efforts once again recognized by Military Times."

The university's Veterans Education and Transition Services seeks to provide a comprehensive set of services to ensure students transition successfully to the university environment, graduate and obtain meaningful employment. Since its inception in 2008, VETS has been recognized as one of the top programs for student veterans in the country.

"At Veterans Education and Transition Services, we seek to engage, educate, empower and employ our military-connected students and their families to the best of our abilities," said Bruce Grissom, director of the VETS program. "Our consistent rise in the Military Times rankings proves that the tireless work and determination of our team is making a significant impact."

In 2022, the Arizona Board of Regents announced that spouses of honorably discharged veterans enrolled at an Arizona public university or participating community college are eligible to receive free tuition on a first-come, first-served basis.

In 2018, the total cost for active-duty military undergraduate students using U.S. Department of Defense tuition assistance was set at $250 per credit hour at UArizona. The Department of Defense covers tuition costs for active-duty undergraduate students up to $250 per credit hour, which means many of these students are eligible to attend UArizona without paying tuition. This plan also includes students in the National Guard and the Reserves. Military personnel are eligible to receive this benefit when enrolling in undergraduate programs at the main campus, through Arizona Online or at any of the university's statewide distance locations. The university offers a variety of military aid options as well.

In January, Arizona Online earned a No. 4 ranking overall (No. 3 among public universities) for its bachelor's program offerings for veterans in U.S. News & World Report's 2023 Best Online Bachelor's Programs ranking.

This year's Best for Vets: Colleges methodology includes information on university services and programs specific to military students — whether active-duty, veteran, or families and dependents of service members.

Student success metrics are the most important factor in determining the relative ranking of schools on this year's list, followed closely by the range of military-specific resources and the level of financial assistance they offer. Admissions and registration policies, human resources and assorted miscellaneous considerations also factor into the scoring rubric. Survey respondents also are asked to describe a variety of aspects relating to veterans culture on campus.

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