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Military Times Ranks A-State Among Top Universities In “2015 Best For Vets Colleges” For Sixth Time


JONESBORO — For the sixth straight year, Arkansas State University in listed among the Military Times “Best for Vets Colleges.” The rankings factor is the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military students’ success rates. A-State has appeared on the rankings since its inaugural year of 2010.

According to Military Times, as with all Best for Vets rankings, Best for Vets Colleges 2015 is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that make an organization a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families.

“We are honored to assist the members of the U.S. military and their families and are so glad they pursue their higher education with Arkansas State University,” Kathy Mathes, Veterans Administration university certifying official. "It is a thrill to be picked as a ‘Best for Vets’ institution for the sixth consecutive year.”

Services offered through Arkansas State’s Beck PRIDE Center also was a major factor contributing to the ranking. Along with Mathes, the Beck PRIDE Center’s Kelly McCoy and Linda Nash provide the resources for these individuals to achieve their education goals and support veterans in achieving their post military service goals. For more information, contact Mathes at rmathes @astate.edu or by phone at (870) 972-3402. McCoy and Nash may be reached by calling (870) 972-2624.

The Beck PRIDE Center focuses on “Personal Rehabilitation, Individual Development and Education,” which is the basis for the PRIDE acronym. Its mission is to supplement, not replace, other traditional forms of assistance to military veterans.

“Along with the Beck PRIDE Center, we work very hard to ensure our service members have the resources and the educational benefits they need to achieve their goals,” continued Mathes. “There are 410 students using the educational benefits through the Montgomery GI Bill and the Beck PRIDE Center maintains services for 219 military veterans.”

Establishment of the center was made possible in 2007 through the generosity of Buddy and Charlotte Beck of Fairfax Station, Va., who are A-State alumni. From the beginning, more than 400 veterans have received services from the Beck Center.

The U.S. Department of Defense, recognizing the Beck Center’s progress, provided $1.4 million for program evaluation and replication design. The funding is supporting a research project titled “Beck PRIDE Center – An Effective Solution for Combat-Injured Student Veterans.”

According to a Board of Trustees policy, A-State offers in-state tuition rates for active duty U.S. military personnel and their dependents, as well as veterans who are honorably discharged, regardless of the individual’s duty station or residence.

The survey-based Best for Vets Colleges does not manipulate mainstream research to skew more “veteran.” The detailed survey requires schools to meticulously document a tremendous array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to military and veteran students and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus.

“We factor in what is, to our knowledge, the most detailed school-by-school data on veteran students’ academic success anywhere, including graduation, retention, persistence and course completion rates,” says Amanda Miller, editor of Best for Vets. 

“Two years ago, only 11 percent of the hundreds of schools surveyed could provide that level of detail. This year, that figure is up to 45 percent. “By recognizing only the schools that do the most, we believe we’re helping to raise the bar in veteran student services.”

For the full Best for Vets Colleges 2015 rankings, go to: www.militarytimes.com/bestforvets-colleges2015.

The rankings are published in full in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times; in the November issue of Military Times EDGE magazine; and online at MilitaryTimes.com, as well as ArmyTimes.com, NavyTimes.com, AirForceTimes.com and MarineCorpsTimes.com.

Military Times’ series of Best for Vets survey-based rankings includes colleges, career and technical colleges, business schools, franchises, employers and law enforcement.