November 17, 2014

SIU earns honor for serving student veterans

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale continues to earn national recognition for educational services it provides to student veterans. 

Military Times magazine recently ranked SIU among the best in the nation when it comes to assisting student veterans as they return to the classroom. The magazine ranked the university 30th in the nation from among more than 250 four-year institutions in its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2015” rankings.” The magazine listing shows the top 100 four-year institutions, along with the top 20 two-year and top 20 online and nontraditional schools. In all, more than 600 institutions responded the survey. 

The university has been in the Military Times list in each of the five years it has been published dating to 2010. 

“We really appreciate the feedback we receive from Military Times as they evaluate schools for inclusion. SIU Carbondale has a long history of support for veteran, active military and military family member students and we’re always on the lookout for good ideas to improve our programs,” Paul S. Copeland, SIU Carbondale’s Veterans Services coordinator, said. 

“The goal for all of us is student success.  We want to attract highly skilled and motivated students from the military population and Military Times helps us attract these high-potential students by publishing the results of their evaluation,” he said. 

Military-specific factors included in the evaluation process include service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the GI Bill, and availability of specific programs to help service members.  Retention, graduation rates, student-faculty ratios, student loan default rates, an applicant’s average SAT and ACT scores, and selectivity are among other factors involved in the editorially independent news project. 

A complete look at the rankings is available at 

In March, the magazine ranked the College of Business 24th in the nation in its “Best for Vets: Business Schools 2014” rankings.

In September, the university received the spring 2014 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Veteran Education, an award SIU was the first to receive in 2010. SIU is the first two-time recipient. 

Also in September, Victory Media named the university a “Military Friendly School” for 2015, an honor for the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the United States “doing the most to embrace America’s military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.” SIU Carbondale has earned the status in each of the six years that Victory Media, whose publications include G.I. Jobs magazine, has published rankings.