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ODU Ranked 30th Nationally Among Nation’s 120 Best Colleges for Military Vets

Old Dominion University is 30th among four-year schools in a recent ranking of the nation's 120 Best Colleges for Vets by the national publication Military Times.

The news organization, comprising Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times, placed a new emphasis on academic rigor this year when conducting and scoring the fourth annual Best for Vets: Colleges survey, a highly respected 150-question analysis of a school's complete offerings for veterans.

"As with all of the Best for Vets rankings, Best for Vets: Colleges is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that make an institution a good fit for military veterans," said Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times Edge magazine.

ODU trailed only Stratford University among Virginia four-year schools in the rankings, which were compiled from responses of more than 600 schools.

The full rankings are available online at http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20131111/EDU04/311110003/Best-Vets-Colleges-2014.

"Old Dominion University places great value on its affiliation with the military and in being recognized nationally as a 'Military Friendly University,'" said Retired U.S. Navy Vice Adm. David Architzel, military affairs director at Old Dominion University.

"But it is far more than words. ODU is putting words into action by continuing to improve on all aspects of the service and support provided to the military population enrolled at ODU. That population, comprised of active duty, reserve and Guard personnel, veterans, and their dependents make up almost a quarter of the total enrollment at ODU and that number appears to be steadily increasing."

To create the rankings, Military Times scored schools' survey responses based on what veterans said is important to them. Schools were evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic quality, academic policies and financial aid. While the value of each section was comparable, university culture and student support were worth the most, and financial aid was worth the least.

For the first time, U.S. Department of Education statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality were factored into the analysis.

ODU offers a range of services for student veterans through its Military Connection Center and Student Veterans Association. ODU will host the first-ever statewide conference aimed at addressing the complex needs of student veterans later this month. "Stairway to Success: Utilizing your Resources" will be held at ODU's Ted Constant Convocation Center on Friday, Nov. 22.

The Military Connection Center was created to help the university's substantial military-affiliated population in a variety of ways. For the past four years, G.I. Jobs, the premier magazine for military personnel transitioning to civilian life, has recognized ODU as a "Military Friendly" institution. Nearly 25 percent of the university's student body has a direct connection to the U.S. military.

The Military Times' Best for Vets series provides service members a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them. The rankings factored in service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the GI Bill and availability of specific programs to help service members.

The extensive evaluation process also factored in statistics commonly used to track student success and academic quality, including student loan default rates, retention rates, graduation rates and student-faculty ratio.

The rankings are published in full in the November issue of Military Times Edge magazine, the premier publication for military transition, and online at MilitaryTimes.com, as well as ArmyTimes.com, NavyTimes.com, AirForceTimes.com and MarineCorpsTimes.com.

The top 30 four-year schools, top 10 online and nontraditional schools, and top 10 two-year schools are compared in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times, released the week of Veterans Day.

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