Military Times ranks NIU at No. 28 in its 2013 Best for Vets: Colleges survey. The survey demonstrates widespread efforts by colleges and universities to accommodate veterans and active-duty service members.
It is the second external recognition this fall of NIU’s support for veterans.
The university earned a spot in October on Victory Media’s coveted Military Friendly Schools® list, which honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students and to ensure their success on campus.
“Our staff is very proud to be recognized nationally for our achievements, and the dedication we have displayed to our military student population. It is exciting to know that others have acknowledged the work that we do,” said Jarvis Purnell, acting director of Military Student Services at NIU.
“This recognition has also been very motivating for us to further explore, identify and pursue other ways to grow our program here at NIU,” he added. “We believe that practicing quality student-centered service consistently helps establish a relationship of trust with our students and helps them learn how dedicated we are to helping them achieve success.”
Nearly 75 percent of schools offer online degree programs, which can prove crucial for deployed troops.
More than three-quarters waive late fees for students whose military education benefits arrive late, while about half waive interest, advance credit toward books and other expenses, or help students find emergency money.
About 84 percent of the record 650 responding institutions said they accept American Council on Education credits, which convert military training into academic hours. NIU is affiliated with Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, which also helps students to earn as much college credit as possible for their military training.
Beyond academic assistance, NIU provides several other programs to help veterans and active service members flourish in school. These include education for faculty and staff to improve their understanding of military culture and the unique experiences that student veterans face in the classroom.
“A number of other initiatives and resources, like an application fee waiver, military lounge, Veterans Club and a dedicated military student counselor are provided to NIU military students to help make NIU a wonderful community for them,” Purnell said.
“Military Student Services will continue to build a coalition of support both within NIU and the DeKalb community,” he added. “It is important for us to help ensure that our military students feel welcome in all aspects of the campus community.”
For more information on Military Student Services, call (815) 753-0691 or email MSS@niu.edu.