Kent State earns gold award for military friendly school

Isabella Schreck, Reporter

Kent State’s main campus ranked in the top 5 percent of most supportive schools for military-connected students for 2022-2023, earning the Gold honor as a military friendly school.

For the 13th consecutive year, the university was named a military friendly school by Viqtory Media, a military marketing company. This year was the first time Kent State earned the Gold distinction.

“We have a number of programs and services, including the Center for Adult and Veteran Services, that are dedicated to supporting our military-connected students at the Kent campus,” Joshua Rider, executive director of Adult and Veteran Services said.

Rider accepted the award on behalf of the university.

Viqtory Media described the Military Friendly Schools survey as “the longest-running most comprehensive review of college and university investments in serving military and veteran students.”

The survey includes questions about a person’s institution and why military personnel, veterans and military-connected students should choose to attend their school. This year, only 665 of the 1,800 schools who participated in the survey earned gold, silver or bronze awards. Kent was in the top 282 schools for its effective military-supporting programs.

Rider said that the university’s Center for Adult and Veteran Services helps it “stand out” from other schools in the area.

“It is a one-stop shop for our military-connected students,” Rider said. “They can come here for pre-admission counseling and to learn about the institution. They can come here and get all their [Veterans Affairs] benefits processed through this office, and they can get referred to on- and off-campus resources that are going to help them be successful.”

When giving out the honor, Viqtory Media looks at a school’s overall support of military service members, veterans and military spouses and dependents. The criteria includes academic policies, admissions, financial aid and loans, and graduation and careers.

“The university is committed to [military-connected students’] success,” Rider said. “That shows through those solid graduation numbers, retention numbers and completion numbers.”

Rider also said the university earning this award proves that it is a “students first institution.”

“It shows that military-connected students are one type of student and they are given the same services that other students are given, in fact maybe even more, to help them succeed,” he said.

Isabella Schreck is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].