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Best Colleges for Veterans Methodology

US News & World Report

To provide military veterans and active-duty service members with data on which top-ranked schools offer benefits that can help them pursue a college education, U.S. News has produced the Best Colleges for Veterans rankings for a second year.

These rankings only include numerically ranked schools in the 2015 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges that meet each of the following criteria:

  • The institution is a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium.
  • The institution is certified for the GI Bill.
  • The institution participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program or is a public institution that charges in-state tuition, which can be fully covered by the GI Bill, to all veterans applying from out of state. This allowance for public institutions is a change from the 2014 Best Colleges for Veterans ranking methodology.​​​

U.S. News ranked these qualifying schools numerically and in descending order based on their 2015 Best Colleges ranks. There were ​​​​​​​​​​311 ranked schools across 10 separate ranking categories: National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities (North, South, Midwest and West) and Regional Colleges (North, South, Midwest and West). A further breakdown of the Best Colleges for Veterans shows that 123 were public and 188 were private. The National Universities category accounted for 72 of the schools, or 23 percent of the total Best Colleges for Veterans, the largest for any ranking category.

This is how the rankings worked:

For example, Georgetown University in Washington, which took the No. 21 spot among National Universities in the overall Best Colleges rankings, is the highest-ranked school that is GI Bill certified, participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and is a member of the SOC Consortium. Consequently, it is the No. 1 ranked school among National Universities in the Best Colleges for Veterans rankings.

Similarly, Pennsylvania State University—University Park and the University of Washington, which tied at No. 48 among National Universities in the overall Best Colleges rankings, are the second highest-ranked schools that meet the three criteria; therefore, they are tied for the No. 2 spot among National Universities in the Best Colleges for Veterans rankings.

Unranked or Rank Not Published schools from the 2015 Best Colleges rankings do not have a Best Colleges for Veterans rank since schools without numerical ranks were not eligible for the Best Colleges for Veterans list.

Schools reported on their benefits for veterans as part of the broader survey of undergraduate schools by U.S. News during spring 2014. For a detailed explanation of the overall Best Colleges rankings, see the methodology.

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