Adelphi, Md. (Nov. 4, 2019) University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) once again earned a place among the top universities in service to military veterans, according to the Military Times “Best for Vets” ranking of online and non-traditional schools for 2020. UMGC was ranked No. 3 overall and the highest ranked public university for the sixth consecutive year.
“Recognition of our commitment to military veterans fills us with tremendous pride,” said UMGC President Javier Miyares. “We were established in 1947 to specifically serve adult students, many of whom were veterans, and we have continually built on this history and experience to offer an array of services that support veterans in their educational pursuits.”
Military Times evaluated schools based on a rigorous survey of more than 150 questions about an institution’s operations and activities that support veteran students, as well as data from the federal departments of Education, Defense and Veterans Affairs. Schools were examined in five categories—university culture, academic quality and outcomes, policies, student support, and cost and financial aid.
According to the Military Times rankings report, “Uncle Sam gives you a paycheck, covers medical expenses and picks up your housing costs when you’re in the military—but maybe the biggest benefit you can get from your service is in the classroom.”
Support for veterans who attend UMGC is comprehensive and continually bolstered to foster success. For example, the university recently added a community college veteran advising specialist, who is trained in the needs of veterans and degree mapping to maximize benefits between UMGC and partnering community colleges.
UMGC created the Veterans Assistance Fund, which is grant-based aid that helps veterans complete degrees when benefits are not available or are exhausted. The university also expanded the number of available military-affiliated scholarships from six per year to 12 per year.
Military Times is an independent publication aimed at military personnel in the United States and around the world. For the past six years, as well as ranking number one twice, UMUC has remained in the publication’s top 10, finishing second last year, third in 2016 and seventh in 2015 on the publication’s annual list.
A Brief History of UMGC and the Military
In 1947, as part of the university’s innovative extension of higher education to non-traditional students in the Washington, DC, region, UMGC also began offering classes to military personnel assigned to the Pentagon. And in 1949, UMGC became the first institution to send faculty overseas to teach active-duty military personnel at military installations in Europe.
The university expanded operations to Asia in 1956 and to the Middle East in 2005, and UMGC faculty have taught in the war zones of Vietnam, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.
UMGC now offers classes to military service personnel and their families at more than 140 locations in more than 20 countries. Today, more than half of the university’s approximately 90,000 students are active duty military personnel and their families, members of the National Guard and military veterans.
Notable military-affiliated UMGC alumni include: Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., 10th chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff; Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Florent Groberg, U.S. Army (Retired); and Miss USA 2016 and U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Deshauna Barber.