The University of South Dakota recently ranked as 7th among Tier 2 research institutions in a list of the country’s 849 Military Friendly® Schools. The Military Friendly® Schools list, designated by veteran-owned business Victory Media, is based on both public data and survey responses completed by schools and their students. While more than 1,300 schools participated in the 2017-2018 survey, Victory Media conducted extensive research on more than 8,800 schools nationwide.
The methodology, criteria, and weightings for the list were designed by Victory Media and the Military Friendly® Advisory Council, which is comprised of independent higher education and military recruitment leaders.
What are Military Friendly® Schools?
Victory Media defines Military Friendly® as, “the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort, and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for the military community.”
For 2018, this meant attaining designated thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, persistence, loan repayment, and default rates. Schools that met these baseline standards earned Military Friendly® designation. Schools that exceeded these expectations—such as USD—received higher-level awards.
“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to colleges creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to invest in programs to provide educational outcomes that are better for veterans,” said Daniel Nichols, Victory Media’s Chief Product Officer.
As the only public liberal arts university in South Dakota, USD is committed to giving military members and veterans a high-quality education. In fact, active duty military are now eligible for reduced undergraduate tuition of only $250 per credit, dramatically reducing the cost of earning your degree. USD offers a variety of flexible online degree ideal for active duty military including Business, Health Sciences, and Addiction Studies among others. At USD, many of the admissions, financial aid, and business office procedures have been specifically tailored to address the needs of military members and veterans. At the same time, the school offers a full-time VA School Certifying Official in the Registrar’s office and a Student Veterans Resource Center so that students can get the support they need to succeed.
For this reason, the 2018 Military Friendly® Schools list stated that USD is not only meeting, but exceeding its Military Friendly® Standards in every category. When it comes to “academic policies and compliance,” for example, USD is exceeding standards by a staggering 90 percent. In the areas of “culture and commitment” and “admissions and orientation,” USD is exceeding expectations by more than 50 percent. With such a strong commitment to serving military members and veterans, USD is honored to have received several awards in addition to its recent Military Friendly® Top 10 designation. USD was also ranked “Best for Vets” by Military Times, and the Military Advanced Education Guide to Colleges and Universities ranked USD among top colleges for veterans.