In late October 2019, the Military Times released their Best Colleges for Veterans 2020 report. Institutions of higher learning from trade to four-year schools were asked 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.

The Methodology

Of the 134 four-year schools making their list – down from the 137 on last year’s list – the ones in the chart below all share the same criteria regarding veteran students:

  • Accept the Post 9/11 GI Bill – Tuition and applicable fees at the in-state resident rate can be paid up to the full amount charged at public schools
  • Accept tuition assistance for active duty members, meaning tuition is at or below TA per credit limit set by each military branch
  • Have a veteran’s center – either a center, office or virtual application for online students
  • Are regionally accredited – am accreditation more widely accepted than national ones
  • 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

The list was further filtered down to just the top 10 schools with military/veteran retention rates over 65% and graduation rates over 80%. Rates this high are good indicators the school is veteran-friendly and should be on your list of schools to consider after getting out.

Top Ten 4-Year Schools for veterans

School Location Tuition


Accreditation Retention Rate Graduation Rate Notes
University of Texas – Arlington Arlington, TX


$11,040 SACS 69% 85% Heavy in Engineering, Architecture Planning and Public Affairs
Syracuse University* Syracuse, NY $53,849 MSCHE 88% 83% Offers Over 200 Degree Majors and Over 100 Degree Minors
Quinnipiac University* Hamden, CT $48,560 NECHE 90% 89% Has Courses in 9 Different Career Areas Including Law and Medicine
University of West Florida Pensacola, FL $6,360 SACS 68% 90% Offers Degree in Cybersecurity
Washburn University Topeka,


$9,470 HLC 92% 95% 55 Degree Majors Offered
Manhattan College* Riverdale,


$42,364 MSCHE 71% 82% Offers 15 STEM Courses In Addition to Courses In 8 Other Fields
Elizabeth City State University Elizabeth City,


$13,213. 38 SACS 89% 87% Offers 28 Degree Programs in 9 Different Departments
North Carolina State University Raleigh,


$9,100 SACS 93% 91% Offers 89 Majors with Large STEM Presence
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksberg,


$13,691 SACS 89% 86% 150 Majors Offered to First-Year Students
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles,


$13,239 WASC 94% 85% Over 125 Majors In 10 Different “Schools”


  • * – Private School – Post 9/11 GI Bill tuition and fees is capped at $24,476.79 per year
  • Regional Accreditation
    • HLC – The Higher Learning Commission (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)
    • SACS – Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
    • MSCHE – Middle States Commission on Higher Learning
    • NECHE – New England Commission of Higher Learning
    • WASC – Western Association of Schools and Colleges

The schools on this list not only provide a variety of locations, but also a large selection of degree majors. Any of them would be a good choice for veterans, as evidenced by the facts in this chart.

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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.