Late in 2018, the Military Times published their 2019 Best Colleges for Veterans report. Institutions of higher learning were invited to complete a survey of around 150 questions centered around their active service members and veteran students. The survey responses, in addition to data from three other sources, were compiled to come up with their list.

The Methodology

Of the 54 Two-Year and Career and Technical Schools making their list, the ones in the first chart below all share the same criteria in regard to veteran students:

  • Are public schools, meaning the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays all tuition and applicable fee costs.
  • Participate in the VA’s Principles of Excellence, 8 Keys to Veteran’s Success and have a signed DoD Memorandum of Understanding on file.
  • Have a Veteran’s Center.
  • Are regionally accredited.
  • Have GI Bill gap coverage.

The Best Schools for Veterans

Top Five 2-Year Schools

School Central Community College Palm Beach State College Tarrant County College- Trinity River Campus Pierce College Norco College
Location Grand Island,



Lake Worth,


Fort Worth,






Vets Center C/O/V C/O/V C/O C/O/V C/O/V
Retention Rate 55% 86% 63% 66% 73%
Graduation Rate 46% 71% 22% 29% 67%
Student/Teacher Ratio 15:1 23:1 25:1 17:1 34:1
Notes Offers both Degree and Non-Degree Courses Has Center for Cyber Defense Wide Variety of Health Science Courses Offers STEM Program Offers both Degree and Non-Degree Courses


The career and technical schools in the chart below also share all of the same criteria as two-year schools with the exception of the first school being a for-profit school, but a good one based on them having the second highest retention rate and third highest graduation rate of the five schools in the chart.


Top Five Career and Technical Schools for Veterans

School ECPI University Savannah Technical College Gwinnett Technical College Hawkeye Community College Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
Location Virginia Beach, VA Savannah, GA Lawrenceville, GA Waterloo,


Okmulgee, OK
Type of School For-Profit Public Public Public Public
Vets Center C/O C/O C/O/V C/O/V C/O
Retention Rate 70% 67% 54% N/A – 75% Overall 83%
Graduation Rate 51% 73% 43% 49% 55%
Student/Teacher Ratio 19:1 15:1 17:1 20:1 14:1
Notes Offers an Associate Degree in Cyber and Network Security Has Cyber and Related Course Offerings In Addition to a Huge Offering of Other Courses Offers both Degree and Non-Degree Courses Large Offering in Health Sciences Large Offering of Associate in Applied Science Degrees


  • Vets Center
    • C – Center
    • O – Office
    • V – Virtual
  • Regional Accreditation
    • HLC – The Higher Learning Commission (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools).
    • NWCCU – Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
    • SACS – Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
    • WASC-ACCJC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
  • N/A – Not Available


We know going to school for 4 years after getting out of the military is not for everyone. However, there are other choices. The schools in this article offer associate degrees and non-degrees such as diplomas, certifications and certificates in a number of fields. Since the fields of Cyber Security and STEM are fast-growing and a great fit for veterans, a special note was made of the schools offering these programs. Click each school’s link to see a complete list of their academic program offerings.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.