Editor’s Choice: The Most Military-Supportive Colleges and Universities in America

Your military service is going to be one great big learning experience.

From day one on the grid at basic to your final post, you’re going to be picking up new skills and strengths. You’ll discover things about yourself along the way. You’ll probably even learn that you’re a lot stronger and more capable than you thought you were before joining up.

A lot of that training and personal growth will serve you well in your life, whether in a civilian career or through military promotions if you choose to stay in.

After all that amazing training, valuable life experience, and character building, you still need to get down to the brass tacks of selecting a military friendly college – one that recognizes your benefits and that offers a degree in the field you’re aiming for.

We’re to help make that selection process easy.

Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia

Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming

Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington

What Exactly Makes a College or University the Most Military-Supportive Option Available?

There are a lot of different things to look for when it comes to sizing up military-supportive colleges. But in the end, there are two major points that make all the difference.

The most military-supportive colleges in the country, both public and private, are the ones that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program with special provisions that …

At the full benefit level, the GI Bill® covers the full cost of in-state tuition at state schools, and the Yellow Ribbon Program kicks in to help if you’re looking at a more expensive private university. But the vast majority of schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program either put a cap on how much funding they offer to individual students, limit the number of students they offer the benefits to, or both.

Of the more-than 2,000 colleges around the country that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, only an elite 500 or so go all the way in – ensuring eligible vets don’t have to pay a dime in tuition and that each and every eligible applicant gets the benefit.

The Yellow Ribbon Program opens the door to a huge opportunity, letting service members, vets, and their families attend some of the most elite and exclusive private schools in the country, free of charge. But going to an elite school isn’t for everyone, and we understand that.

There’s More to Being Military Supportive Than Just Providing a Tuition-Free College Education

The willingness to offer 100% free tuition to 100% of eligible students also turns out to be a huge tell when it comes to comparing the other policies and accommodations schools can implement to make life easier for military affiliated students. Not only are these schools willing to put a significant chunk of money in to cover tuition costs, they are also much more likely to offer other kinds of important support services to military students and their families.

Even if you plan to attend a state school close to home that the GI Bill® alone will cover and don’t have any need for those additional Yellow Ribbon Program tuition benefits, you’ll still find this elite group of schools offering something special. They all go out of their way to make the college experience more accessible, more fun, and more life-affirming for military affiliated students by offering…

Find out more about the characteristics and policies that make colleges and universities military friendly.

A Region by Region Look at the Most Military-Supportive Colleges for Military Affiliated Students

For most veterans and military family members, GI Bill® and Yellow Ribbon Program benefits open up a new world of opportunities for a college education and the realization of life-long dreams.

Whether your dream takes you to the same college up-state that your big brother went to, or to one of the Ivy Leagues on the other side of the country, you’ll find it easier to explore the full menu of options when you see it laid out by region and state. To make the grouping a little more familiar to you after your time in service, we broke out the lists according to the Veterans Administration regional districts around the country:

Supporting You in Your Search for a Military-Supportive College or University

For the rest of your life, you’ll always have common experiences to talk about with any other veteran you meet. But even with the bond you have through all that shared experience, the reality is that service members hale from very diverse backgrounds and bring their own interests and talents to the table. That means there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to finding the right military-supportive school. The one that matches your ambitions may have a whole different set of academic options and other characteristics than what your buddies are looking for.

The American military reflects the diversity of our society, made up of people from every socioeconomic background and with a wide range of interests and goals.

Some aspire to become doctors, lawyers, psychologists, and business leaders, and may be gearing up for a rigorous admissions process to prove they have what it takes to attend a big-name school. Some want to build directly on the training they received for their MOS to prepare for a civilian career in fields as diverse as cybersecurity and criminology. Some want to learn about non-traditional education options available through art, fashion, or film school. Others are looking for technical training.

All you can really say for sure is that every active duty and former service member is looking for a degree that will put them on the path to the career they want. Along that path, we believe that each one of them deserves to have a life-changing experience they can look back on with pride and appreciation.

In the end, you have to make the final decision yourself about exactly which school is going to give you exactly what you need. We simply made it our duty to gather the intel to make that process a little easier. You can be sure that every military supportive school we feature here will deliver an education with the same kind of heart and dedication that you gave to serving your country.