Kent State ranks as top veteran school

Leanne O’Neill

Kent State ranked in a four-way tie for 69th in the United States as a top college for veterans, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The report chose the top-ranking universities based on “helping veterans and active-duty service members apply for, pay for and complete their degrees,” according to the report’s website

Kent State Veterans Club President Brian Stofiel said the university has great resources for veterans. He said he thinks Kent State deserves the high ranking but still has room for improvement.

Stofiel attributes Kent’s success as a top school for veterans to the Center for Adult and Veteran Services (CAVS), and its director, Josh Rider. He said Rider has positively influenced many veterans’ experiences at Kent

“The CAVS office takes care of all of the paperwork for the GI Bill,” he said. “They have a good process to make sure it gets done in time and veterans get paid. They take care of it all.”

Lt. Col. Daniel Finkelstein, joined as a commander in Kent’s ROTC cadre last year. Finkelstein said Kent State has been helpful with military members and veterans, particularly (CAVS), but feels there is still room for improvement.

“They’ve been very supportive, and we appreciate it,” Finkelstein said. “But (we’re) still very far short of what we’ve seen in other schools and what we want, which is for students to register early, just like athletes and honor students.”

He explained that despite being contracted by the U.S. government to graduate by a particular date, ROTC students do not receive priority scheduling.

Finkelstein, who once was a student athlete, said he understands the demands of athletes in school but wishes that those privileges could be given to contracted cadets.

Stofiel also added that because Ohio has free tuition for military, Kent State appeals to those in the area.

“Josh Rider has gone above and beyond for the military services,” Stofiel said. He explained that CAVS assists veteran students with their medical insurance, loans and funds given to them through the military.

Joe Feldman, a senior justice studies major, said CAVS is a helpful resource on Kent’s campus but does not think that Kent deserves the high ranking.

“Outside of Veteran Services, the teachers have no will to work with students,” Feldman said. “When I deployed my sophomore year, I couldn’t make it to a lot of my classes, and the professors kept pushing my tests back until the end of the semester. They failed me and told me there was nothing they could do about it.”

Recently, Kent’s Air Force ROTC program, titled Detachment 630, won multiple awards regionally and nationally. Of the 37 detachments in the region, Kent State was awarded the North East Region Right of Line Award. This particular award recognizes the most outstanding detachment, meaning Kent will compete for national honors.

Kent State shares the rank of 69 with Indiana University-Purdue, University of Montana and Utah State University.

Contact Leanne O’Neill at [email protected].