Military Times: CSU again ranked among best for vets

Military Times 2018Colorado State University once again ranks among the nation’s top five public universities in the annual Military Times: Best Colleges rankings.

This is the second consecutive year Military Times has ranked CSU in the top five when it comes to serving military service members, veterans and their families. CSU ranks No. 5 among public schools and No. 7 among all four-year schools.

Tops in Colorado

Military Times annually reviews more than 500 colleges and universities and evaluates the many factors that help make them a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. This is the third year CSU has participated in the magazine’s annual survey. CSU is the only Colorado school ranked in the Military Times top 10 schools.

“This is a great reflection of CSU’s dedication to providing services, programs and opportunities to those who have served our nation,” said CSU President Tony Frank. “We are also incredibly fortunate to benefit from the academic achievements and perseverance of our military service members, who contribute in exceptional ways to the life of our campus community as they pursue their education and transition to civilian lives and careers.””

Committed to veterans

CSU has a long history of providing educational opportunities for military veterans but has made a concerted effort in recent years to become a destination for veterans and their families. Numerous programs provide both financial and emotional support and have helped boost veteran enrollment to more than 1,500.

“We’re thrilled to be in the top five for public universities again this year,” said Marc Barker, director of CSU’s Adult learner and Veterans Services office. “Our center is overflowing every day with outstanding student-veterans dedicating themselves to the next greatest challenges in their lives: higher education and sustainable careers. Serving them and their families is an honor.”

CSU’s efforts have paid significant dividends, with 66 percent of veterans earning a degree – significantly higher than the national average of 49 percent – while retaining 86 percent of student-veterans who begin their college journey in Fort Collins.

Other CSU highlights

  • Initiated ELEVATE, a new four-week summer program to give student-veterans a head startby helping them brush up on their math and writing skills and build confidence before their first semester begins, in 2017.
  • The CSU Womens’ Veteran Initiative and Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University held a symposium at CSU for women veterans. The program continues through 2018.
  • Student-veterans created Operation Bear Hug in Spring 2017 to bring awareness to suicide prevention. CSU student-veterans collected $20,000 in sponsorships, engaged CSU student population in a “tough mudder” obstacle course educating non-veterans about teamwork, suicide awareness and suicide prevention. The event attracted 75 participants, and received CSU’s highest award for new student programming. Plans are in the works for a second event in 2018.
  • SALUTE, the only military academic honor society in the country, which was founded and is housed at CSU, increased the number of campus chapters from 150 to 220, and members from 5,000 to 13,000 nationally.

“I don’t see myself anywhere except CSU,” said Glenn Brink, a senior construction management major and president of the CSU Student Veterans Organization. “I feel valued as a student-veteran and have opportunities to be involved in campus activities. Not only am I getting a good degree, but CSU is preparing me for a great job.”