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CC Best Colleges for Veterans

The College Consensus ranking of the Best Colleges for Veterans is built to be thorough, combining perspectives from trusted ranking agencies and reputable student reviews. For generations now, military veterans have looked to America’s colleges and universities – with the help of the GI Bill – to expand their career options after service by earning a degree. Our Best Colleges for Veterans shows prospective students the highest quality, best-reviewed military-friendly colleges available. If you’re interested in an online degree, check out our ranking of the Best Online Colleges for Veterans.

Since the US government instituted the GI Bill (technically called the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944), one important measure of how a college does its job is what kinds of support it provides for veterans. The GI Bill was originally intended to help veterans readjust to civilian life, with mortgage support, business loans, and, of course, education expenses. Today, the expanded 9/11 GI Bill has helped a new generation of veterans return to school. College Consensus aims to help guide veterans and military personnel to the colleges and universities that will give them the strongest support and best opportunities for academic and professional transformation.

How Did We Create Our Ranking of the Best Military-Friendly Colleges for Veterans?

College Consensus rankings combine the results of the most respected college ranking systems with the averaged ratings of thousands of real student reviews from around the web to create a unique college meta-ranking. This approach offers a comprehensive and holistic perspective missing from other college rankings. Visit our about page for information on which rankings and review sites were included in this year’s consensus rankings.

The Military-Friendly Colleges for Veterans category is limited to schools that 1.) are Servicemember Opportunity Colleges members, 2.) have a recognized Student Veteran Organization, 3.) are Yellow Ribbon Program participants, 4.) employ a dedicated support contact for veterans, servicemembers, and families, and 5.) offer credit for military training.

Recommended Online Colleges & Universities

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What’s Different About the College Consensus Ranking?

College Consensus’ unique aggregate method provides prospective students with a cleaner, clearer way of comparing colleges. Sure, you could compare all of the rankings out there, or you could let College Consensus do that work for you, providing one straightforward, aggregate score based on all of them. College Consensus cuts through all of the confusion and biases of the many rankings out there by getting down to the numbers – just the numbers. The perspective of experts and real students are given equal weight, making Consensus the only ranking that takes in everyone’s point of view.

The Top Consensus Ranked Military-Friendly Colleges for Veterans are listed in descending order by their Consensus score. In the event of ties, schools are ranked in alphabetical order with the same rank number.

AVG: 0 AVG: 0
92.9
College Consensus
99.5
Publisher Consensus
86.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
88
College Consensus
94.2
Publisher Consensus
81.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
86.6
College Consensus
90.5
Publisher Consensus
82.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
84.9
College Consensus
91.5
Publisher Consensus
78.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
83.4
College Consensus
87.6
Publisher Consensus
79.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

Recommended Online Colleges & Universities

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AVG: 0 AVG: 0
83.3
College Consensus
84.9
Publisher Consensus
81.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
83
College Consensus
86.4
Publisher Consensus
79.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
81.8
College Consensus
83.6
Publisher Consensus
80
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
81.6
College Consensus
84.5
Publisher Consensus
78.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80.2
College Consensus
80.6
Publisher Consensus
79.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

Recommended Online Colleges & Universities

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AVG: 0 AVG: 0
79.9
College Consensus
81.1
Publisher Consensus
78.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
79.1
College Consensus
81.5
Publisher Consensus
76.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.4
College Consensus
75.9
Publisher Consensus
80.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.1
College Consensus
78
Publisher Consensus
78.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
76.2
College Consensus
72.6
Publisher Consensus
79.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
76.1
College Consensus
72.8
Publisher Consensus
79.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
75.8
College Consensus
71.3
Publisher Consensus
80.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
74.9
College Consensus
67.6
Publisher Consensus
82.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
74.7
College Consensus
74
Publisher Consensus
75.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
73.9
College Consensus
68.5
Publisher Consensus
79.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.8
College Consensus
65.5
Publisher Consensus
80.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.7
College Consensus
65.9
Publisher Consensus
79.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.3
College Consensus
66.6
Publisher Consensus
78
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.7
College Consensus
64.8
Publisher Consensus
78.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.6
College Consensus
62.8
Publisher Consensus
80.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

Recommended Online Colleges & Universities

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AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.3
College Consensus
66.1
Publisher Consensus
76.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.1
College Consensus
67
Publisher Consensus
75.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.6
College Consensus
64
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.6
College Consensus
60.9
Publisher Consensus
78.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.5
College Consensus
68.6
Publisher Consensus
70.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.4
College Consensus
67.4
Publisher Consensus
71.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.2
College Consensus
63.9
Publisher Consensus
74.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.1
College Consensus
60.5
Publisher Consensus
77.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.7
College Consensus
60.5
Publisher Consensus
76.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.2
College Consensus
59.8
Publisher Consensus
76.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.1
College Consensus
65.2
Publisher Consensus
71
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68
College Consensus
59.4
Publisher Consensus
76.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.7
College Consensus
57
Publisher Consensus
78.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.1
College Consensus
56.1
Publisher Consensus
78
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67
College Consensus
57
Publisher Consensus
77
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67
College Consensus
54.3
Publisher Consensus
79.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67
College Consensus
57.1
Publisher Consensus
76.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.6
College Consensus
55.2
Publisher Consensus
78
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.4
College Consensus
62
Publisher Consensus
70.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.3
College Consensus
52.4
Publisher Consensus
80.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.3
College Consensus
58.3
Publisher Consensus
74.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.2
College Consensus
59.4
Publisher Consensus
73
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.6
College Consensus
51.3
Publisher Consensus
79.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.5
College Consensus
53.7
Publisher Consensus
77.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.3
College Consensus
51.7
Publisher Consensus
78.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

Recommended Online Colleges & Universities

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AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.2
College Consensus
54.3
Publisher Consensus
76.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.2
College Consensus
58.5
Publisher Consensus
71.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.7
College Consensus
55.4
Publisher Consensus
74
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.6
College Consensus
52
Publisher Consensus
77.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.6
College Consensus
52.4
Publisher Consensus
76.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.1
College Consensus
50.9
Publisher Consensus
77.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64
College Consensus
54.5
Publisher Consensus
73.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.8
College Consensus
52.8
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.4
College Consensus
49.5
Publisher Consensus
77.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.3
College Consensus
45.6
Publisher Consensus
80.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.2
College Consensus
45.7
Publisher Consensus
80.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63
College Consensus
52.3
Publisher Consensus
73.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63
College Consensus
48.8
Publisher Consensus
77.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.9
College Consensus
47.8
Publisher Consensus
78.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.8
College Consensus
46.4
Publisher Consensus
79.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.6
College Consensus
57.2
Publisher Consensus
68.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.5
College Consensus
44.1
Publisher Consensus
80.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.3
College Consensus
47.2
Publisher Consensus
77.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.2
College Consensus
44.8
Publisher Consensus
79.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.2
College Consensus
53.4
Publisher Consensus
70.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.8
College Consensus
47.3
Publisher Consensus
76.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.4
College Consensus
50
Publisher Consensus
72.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.4
College Consensus
46.1
Publisher Consensus
76.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.1
College Consensus
52.8
Publisher Consensus
69.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61
College Consensus
45.9
Publisher Consensus
76.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61
College Consensus
51.6
Publisher Consensus
70.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.6
College Consensus
44.9
Publisher Consensus
76.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.6
College Consensus
44.7
Publisher Consensus
76.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.3
College Consensus
39.7
Publisher Consensus
81
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.1
College Consensus
45.5
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60
College Consensus
44.3
Publisher Consensus
75.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60
College Consensus
45.7
Publisher Consensus
74.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60
College Consensus
45.1
Publisher Consensus
74.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.9
College Consensus
39.3
Publisher Consensus
80.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.8
College Consensus
40.7
Publisher Consensus
78.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.8
College Consensus
53.6
Publisher Consensus
66
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.7
College Consensus
41.7
Publisher Consensus
77.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.7
College Consensus
39.1
Publisher Consensus
80.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.6
College Consensus
42.5
Publisher Consensus
76.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.5
College Consensus
39.5
Publisher Consensus
79.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.4
College Consensus
39
Publisher Consensus
79.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.3
College Consensus
42.4
Publisher Consensus
76.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.2
College Consensus
45.9
Publisher Consensus
72.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.1
College Consensus
44
Publisher Consensus
74.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
58.8
College Consensus
47.2
Publisher Consensus
70.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
58.3
College Consensus
44.8
Publisher Consensus
71.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
57.4
College Consensus
32
Publisher Consensus
82.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
57.4
College Consensus
41
Publisher Consensus
73.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
57.4
College Consensus
37.7
Publisher Consensus
77
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
57.1
College Consensus
32.3
Publisher Consensus
82
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

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Is College Really Free for Veterans?

If you are wondering is college really free for veterans, that depends on where the veteran is located. The best colleges for military members are typically those who are included in the free college for veterans offerings within their states.  Backed by the GI Bill, many veterans can attend college free of charge in the following states:

  • Connecticut: The laws in Connecticut state that may be waived for qualified veterans who attend any state university or one of the 12 Connecticut Community College/Technical Colleges.
  • Florida: Florida law allows veterans to attend undergraduate programs at state universities and community colleges. The educational benefits in Florida state are intended for those who have received Purple Hearts.
  • Illinois: Illinois provides veterans with as well as the payment of selected fees. This is provided that they have served for a minimum of one year, honorable discharge, have Illinois listed as the home of record, and they have returned to Illinois within six months of leaving the service.
  • Indiana: Indiana allows free tuition for veterans for up to 124 credit hours in a state-sponsored college or university. Veterans must be a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal, have a permanent home address in Indiana, and must have been honorably discharged.
  • Massachusetts: The state of Massachusetts waives tuition at state institutions to resident veterans who have not defaulted on student loans.
  • Montana: The state of Montana offers free college courses to veterans at state schools provided that they were honorably discharged, served in a warzone, and were awarded a Campaign or Expeditionary medal.
  • New Mexico: New Mexico offers free tuition to those who have been a resident of New Mexico for 10 years and those who were awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, or any those who were awarded medals for service in support of any US Military campaign or armed conflict that took place after August 1, 1990. Alternatively, free tuition is also offered to those who have been a resident for at least 10 years, served in the Vietnam War, and has been issued the Vietnam Campaign or Service Medal.
  • New York: New York State offers free tuition for the full cost of tuition at any State Univesity of New York.
  • South Dakota: South Dakota offers free tuition to veterans who were honorably discharged, who qualify for in-state tuition, who have served in active duty since August 2, 1990.
  • Texas: The state of Texas offers tuition exemption to veterans who served more than 180 days in active duty service, were honorably discharged, and have not defaulted on their student loans.
  • Utah: Utah offers many programs to veterans and their dependents. These programs are available to those who have received purple hearts or those who are surviving dependents of those who were killed in action on or in the aftermath of September 11th, under certain conditions. Moreover, they also offer free tuition to military members the last year of education at a State University, under certain circumstances.
  • Washington: The state of Washington offers free tuition to veterans who are residents of Washington, to those who have fought in a war or conflict overseas, who were dishonorably discharged, or children/ surviving spouses of an eligible veteran or national guard member.
  • Wisconsin: Wisconsin offers free tuition to veterans under the GI Bill benefits. Which means they full waivers of tuition for up to 128 credit hours. These veterans must be honorably discharged, must have been a state resident while serving, or those who were residents for five consecutive years before enrolling in their school of choice.

How are GI Bill Benefits and the Yellow Ribbon Program Related?

As mentioned, the GI Bill was created to allow veterans to receive free college tuition. GI Bill benefits vary from state to state. However, those who comply with this bill offer free tuition to certain colleges, provided that the applicant meets a certain criteria. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the post-911 GI Bill that allows free tuition to those who have served for at least 36 months after the 9/11 tragedy, those who were honorably discharged for a service-connected injury and 30 days after September 10, 2001, and their dependents, or those who are using the Fry Scholarship. The best Yellow Robbin Schools comply with this bill.

Do Veterans Get Accepted to College Easier?

While there are no guarantees in terms of college admissions, maturity, determination, and honor that most veterans possess makes it somewhat easier to gain acceptance into certain colleges. The best colleges for military veterans are those who support the GI Bill.

How Do the Best Colleges for Active Duty Military Help My Dependents?

As mentioned, there are plenty of VA education benefits for dependents, depending on where you live and what your circumstances are. The details on how does the gi bill work for dependents are listed above.

Related: 

Best Online Colleges for Veterans

College Options for Disabled Veterans

10 Education Support Resources for Disabled Veteran Students

Best Online Degrees for Veterans and Active Duty Personnel

Biggest Scholarships for Veterans and their Families


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