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Press Release for Thursday, November 5, 2015

UNF Named Military Friendly School for Seventh Consecutive Year

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

For the seventh consecutive year, the University of North Florida has been designated as one of the most military friendly schools in the country by Victory Media, the leader in connecting the military and civilian worlds.

The 2016 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America’s military students and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation.

“Post-secondary institutions earning the 2016 Military Friendly® School award have exceptionally strong programs for transitioning service members and spouses,” said Daniel Nichols, Victory Media chief product officer and Navy Reserve veteran. “Our Military Friendly® Schools are truly aligning their military programs and services with employers to help students translate military experience, skills and training into successful careers after graduation.”

Institutions competed for the elite Military Friendly® School title by completing a survey of over 100 questions covering 10 categories, including campus military support, graduation/employment outcomes and military spouse policies. Survey responses were scored against benchmarks across these key indicators of success. In addition, data was independently tested by Ernst & Young based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media with guidance from an independent advisory board of higher education and recruiting professionals.

“The Military and Veterans Resource Center is extremely proud of our seventh consecutive year of receiving a military-friendly school designation—among the top in the nation and one for each and every year of our existence,” 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 five years and now numbers more than 1,200 student veterans—with 1 one of every 14 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 thousands 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 advisory board comprised of educators and HR, diversity and recruitment professionals from schools across the country. The survey is administered for free and open to all post-secondary schools who wish to participate.

The Military Friendly Schools website, found at, 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.