MISSOULA – The University of Montana recently received high rankings from two national organizations that measure institutions based on best practices for military- and veteran-supportive education.

In November, Military Friendly honored UM with a gold-level 2018 Military Friendly School Award in the Tier 2 research institution category, improving over last year’s silver-level ranking. For more than a decade, Military Friendly ratings have set the standard for colleges demonstrating positive education outcomes for veterans and their families. Military Friendly rates companies and colleges on their programs to recruit and retain military veterans as employees and students.

For the 2018 school rankings, Military Friendly increased its ranking criteria again to compare graduation, retention, loan default and job-placement rates between veterans and the general student population. The full 2018 rankings are available online.

Also in November, Military Advanced Education & Transition, the journal of higher education for service members and veterans making the transition from military to the civilian sector, listed UM in its 2018 Guide to Top Colleges & Universities. The MAET guide assesses colleges and universities based on six criteria: military culture, financial assistance, flexibility, general support, online support and on-campus support. The 2018 guide is available HERE.

“I’m proud to join an institution that places such emphasis on helping our service members transition into civilian life while they receive a world-class education,” said incoming UM President Seth Bodnar, a veteran himself who completed a distinguished military career, including serving in the U.S. Army’s elite Green Berets. “I look forward to collaborating with campus leaders to set the bar even higher to make the University the school of choice for veterans.”

In addition to these rankings, UM has received previous accolades recognizing its commitment to veterans. In the spring, the VETS Office received the 2017 Montana Joining Community Forces – Organization Award in recognition of its service to student veterans at UM. In 2015, UM was officially designated as a Purple Heart University – recognition that places it among a handful of select universities in the country to receive the honor.

“Over the years, UM has made every effort to improve services for our veterans and their beneficiaries,” said Shawn Grove, director of UM’s Veterans Education and Transition Office. “We are so fortunate to be surrounded by talented staff and faculty dedicated to the well-being and success of our students.”