UNCG is a Military Friendly School for the fourth straight year, putting it in the top 15 percent of colleges and universities nationwide that are doing the most to support veterans and ensure their success.

Victory Media’s Military Friendly Schools listing, now in its sixth year, is based on a data-driven survey of more than 8,000 schools approved for Post-9/11 GI Bill funding.

“Supporting students with military backgrounds — financially, academically, personally — is a point of pride for UNCG,” said Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “These students have much to offer in terms of self-discipline, life experience and specialized skills. UNCG is honored to dedicate the necessary resources to ensure their success in civilian life.”

The number of students using Veterans Administration benefits to pursue their education at UNCG has increased by about 90 percent since 2008, said Mike Tarrant, the university’s director of strategic initiatives. This fall, 490 students are using VA benefits — 225 veterans or active duty service persons and 265 military dependents..

“Our faculty and staff, students, alumni, as well as employers have shared with us the leadership skills, global perspective, and commitment to service that our veterans, members of the military, and their family members bring to our community,” Tarrant said. “That is why we have developed academic programs and support services designed specifically with these students in mind.”

Tarrant points to programs and services such as the Yellow Ribbon Program, the School of Nursing’s Veterans Access Program, and the recently established Veterans Resource Center that are designed to support UNCG’s growing military-affiliated student population.

UNCG opted to join the VA’s Yellow Ribbon program, where universities offset educational expenses beyond what is allotted through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The VA matches the university’s contribution.

The School of Nursing’s Veteran’s Access Program offers an accelerated bachelor’s in nursing degree (BSN) for medically trained military veterans. The program allows veterans credit for their valuable hands-on medical experience.

“Providing programs that ease the transition from the military and accelerate the path toward a degree benefits not only our veterans, service members, and their families but strengthens our entire community,” Tarrant said.

For Elizabeth Cranford, UNCG’s veteran services coordinator, supporting veterans and their families on campus is a way to thank them for their military service.

“The price of freedom is not free, and many of our student veterans have made great sacrifices,” she said. “Additionally, our students who are dependents of veterans have seen great sacrifice and experienced a lot of difficulty. Therefore, to have the opportunity to serve our student veterans and dependents is truly an honor and joy, both personally and institutionally. UNCG’s military friendly recognition is a community award, and I’m so thankful to be a part of a team that makes this endeavor such a high priority. These students are dedicated and goal-driven. It’s an honor to help them meet their goals and to see them excel.”

View the 2015 Military Friendly Schools list here.