The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith announced today that it has earned the 2021-2022 Military Friendly School designation from Viqtory Media, earning a place as one of 747 schools, colleges, and universities in the United States awarded the prestigious designation.
Viqtory determined methodology, criteria, and weightings with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. They assessed the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer), and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, student veterans.
“According to the Department of Defense, more than 1 million Americans are active duty service members, and there are nearly 23 million living veterans in our country,” said UAFS Chancellor, Dr. Terisa Riley. “The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith strives to educate and support these brave individuals because we owe our rights and freedom to them. The backbone of our academic freedom rests squarely on our ability to protect and defend our rights as a nation, and the best way to show our gratitude is through the provision of services and support for veterans who may need additional financial, emotional, and professional support. This Military Friendly Award and designation will broadly reassure veterans and active duty service members that they can find extraordinary support at UA-Fort Smith.”
In addition to its commitment to the academic success of military-affiliated students, UAFS provides professional advisors, dedicated resource and congregational spaces, support services, and well-prepared financial aid advisors to create space for veterans and military-affiliated students to thrive.
Additionally, UAFS employs numerous veterans and affiliated family members, and it regularly hosts public events honoring veterans and active military members. The Student Veterans Organization is also an active, encouraging, and award-winning registered student organization on the UAFS campus.
“Military Friendly® is committed to transparency and providing consistent data-driven standards in our designation process,” said Kayla Lopez, national director of military partnerships with Military Friendly. “This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to consistently evolve and invest in their programs. Schools that achieve designation show true commitment and dedication in their efforts. Our standards assist schools by providing a benchmark that promotes positive educational outcomes, resources, and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the military community.”
“This designation indicates that we take the needs of our military and veteran students seriously,” added Dr. Lee Krehbiel, vice chancellor for enrollment management at UAFS. “At the same time, as we prepared our application for this honor, we recognized some areas where we can direct additional attention. So, while being recognized as a Military Friendly institution is an honor, it is one that comes with additional responsibility to serve our students in even better ways.”
About Military Friendly ® Schools:
The Military Friendly® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria, and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all post-secondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.