On October 29, 2019, the Military Times published their Best Colleges for Veterans 2020 report. Institutions of higher learning were invited to complete a 150-question survey centered around their active duty service members and veteran students. The survey responses, in addition to data from three other sources, were compiled to come up with their list.

what makes a top school for vets?

Of the 47 Two-Year and Career/Technical Schools making their list – down from the 54 on last year’s list – the ones in the chart below all share the same criteria regarding veteran students:

  • All are public schools and accept the Post 9/11 GI Bill
  • Have signed DoD Memorandum of Agreement required to accept Tuition Assistance for active duty members – tuition is at or below TA per credit limit
  • Have a Veteran’s Center – either a center, office or virtual application for online students
  • Are regionally accredited – more widely accepted than national accreditation
  • Have GI Bill gap coverage – schools have agreed to reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs by accepting the Post 9/11 GI Bill and/or offering the Yellow Ribbon Program
  • Have the best military/veteran student Retention and Graduation rates – indicators how happy veterans are at the school

Top Five 2-Year Schools

School Palm Beach State College* Pasadena City College Central Lakes College Central Community College * Norco College*
Location Lake Worth,







Grand Island,




Vets Center C/O/V C/O C/O/V C/O/V C/O
Retention Rate 76% 67% 69% 58% 73%
Graduation Rate 71% 48% 43% 42% 66%
Notes Includes Corporate and Continuing Ed Courses Offers Courses in Six Career Communities Has Courses in 10 Different Career Areas Program Offers are Heavy in Healthcare Programs Offered Heavy in Business and STEM

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 private, but a good one based on it 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 Keiser University Savannah Technical College* Gwinnett Technical College* Dakota County Technical College Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology *
Location Fort Lauderdale,




Lawrenceville, GA Rosemount,


Okmulgee, OK
Type of School Private Public Public Public Public
Vets Center C/O C/O C/O/V C/O C/O
Retention Rate 87% 57% 70% 51% 97%
Graduation Rate 62% 74% 42% 50% 75%
Notes Offers an AA Degree in Homeland Security Offers Cyber-Security; Heavy with Courses in the Trades Offers 140 Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs Offers Courses in Nine Different Departments Offers AS Degree in Applied Sciences and Sciences


* On this list second year in a row

Vets Center

  • C – Center
  • O – Office
  • V – Virtual

Regional Accreditation

  • HLC – The Higher Learning Commission (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)
  • 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.

The two-year community colleges and career/technical schools in this report offer a great way for veterans or active duty service members to use their Post 9/11 GI Bill or Tuition Assistance, respectively and get trained in a career field in two years or less. Three each of the two-year schools and career/technical schools made the list for the second year in a row – a testament to the school’s credibility.

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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.