Media Contact: Joanna Norris, DirectorDepartment of Public Relations(904) 620-2102
For the sixth consecutive year, the University of North Florida has been named one of the most military friendly schools in the United States by Victory Media, which publishes G.I. Jobs magazine and other publications for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The 2015 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.The approximately 1,600 colleges, universities and trade schools on the 2015 list prioritize the recruitment of students with military experience. These schools are recognized for offering scholarships, discounts, veterans clubs, full-time staff, military credit and other services dedicated to their military veterans populations.“The Military and Veterans Resource Center is extremely proud of our sixth consecutive year of receiving a military-friendly school designation—among the top in the nation,” said Ray Wikstrom, UNF MVRC director. “It’s a culmination of many dedicated staff hours to ensure UNF Osprey veterans receive the very best services, resources and special programming to assist them in their transition from combat to the classroom to meaningful employment.” UNF’s veteran population using the Post-9/11 GI Bill has grown at an average of 9 percent per year for the last four years and now numbers more than 1,200 student veterans—with 1 one of every 15 students at the University being a veteran. In 2009, UNF established a Task Force and received a grant for more than $200,000 from the Florida BrAIve Fund at The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, which allowed the University to establish the MVRC on campus. With renovated spaces, the Center opened its doors in August 2010. Additionally, UNF started offering the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corp, an educational program of leadership and military skills training, on campus in 2009. The UNF program, called “The Fighting Osprey Company,” gives students a chance to get Army training while in college.The MVRC’s mission is to provide a broad range of student services and resources focused on the unique needs of today’s military veterans, service members and their families in order to enhance their smooth transition from the military environment to campus life, leading to academic success, graduation and employment opportunities. The Military Friendly Schools designation process includes extensive research and a data-driven survey of schools nationwide approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill funding. The school survey, methodology, criteria and weightings are developed with the assistance of an independent Academic Advisory Board comprised of educators from schools across the country and are independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP, based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media.The Military Friendly Schools website, found at www.militaryfriendlyschools.com, features the entire list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences.UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.
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