The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is among the top 25 colleges and universities in the Best for Vets ranking by Military Times.
Nebraska ranked 22nd on the list of 325 colleges and universities and is first in the Big Ten. The ranking is based on surveys regarding programs for veterans sent to colleges and universities, along with public data from the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Veterans Affairs.
The high marks are a testament to the work of Nebraska U’s Military and Veteran Success Center, which was founded in 2015 to support military-connected students. Joe Brownell, the center’s executive director, said the ranking is also indicative of the university’s overall support of military-connected students.
“A big part of it stems from (the university’s) goals in the N2025 plan — that every individual, every interaction matters,” Brownell said. “When you keep those in mind, you’re going to get a lot of things right. And, here in the center, we are able to keep the N2025 goal front and center by focusing on our five pillars of excellence.”
The pillars of excellence help guide staff in service to students within the Military and Veteran Success Center. They are:
Education benefits — The center provides information and resources to military-connected students to help maximize their financial benefits for education, including the G.I. bill, scholarships, residency and grants.
Academic support — The center has established an academic mentorship program and connects students to additional educational resources on campus.
Student services — The center provides holistic support to students, helping them navigate resources on and off campus, including office hours for Counseling and Psychological Services and for representatives from the U.S. Veterans Administration.
Career services — The center helps place students and graduates into internships and careers.
Outreach — The center participates in events on campus and in the community to ensure military-connected students and prospective students know about the university, the center and the services both offer. The center also connects with each military-connected incoming student at New Student Enrollment.
Through these five pillars, Brownell said the staff advocates for the 1,600-plus military-connected students enrolled in any given semester. That number includes about 1,100 military dependents (children and spouses), 325 veterans and 215 active duty, National Guard and Reserve students. Brownell said the number of certified military-connected students has gone up 3% to 5% every year of the past four.
“We may not always have all the answers, but we will advocate for our students to help find the answers and resources they need,” Brownell said. “The ranking is validation of our focus on students, and it’s a tribute to the staff who work very hard. It also recognizes the very strong support we have from campus, including leadership in the chancellor’s and executive vice chancellor’s offices. We need the support from leadership to be successful.”
New this fall is the Husker Salute Pledge, which offers in-state tuition to any military-connected student accepted into the University of Nebraska. For more information on the center’s services, click here or call 402-472-5276.