ASU earns 4th consecutive distinction as a 'Best for Vets' school

ASU Military Veterans

Military-affiliated students pose for a group photo after the ASU Veterans Honor Stole ceremony during graduation week in May 2018. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now


For the fourth consecutive year, Arizona State University has been named a “Best for Vets” school by the Military Times Group, publisher of the top-read news publications by U.S. military members.

The Best for Vets: Colleges 2019 rankings, in their ninth year, are the most comprehensive school-by-school assessments of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement, as well as a detailed review of public data collected by federal agencies.

Home to the renowned Pat Tillman Veterans Center, ASU serves one of the largest student-veteran populations per capita in the nation. The university supports nearly 8,200 military-affiliated students including active-duty, Guard, Reserve and family members using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

“ASU is a Best for Vets university because it is in our DNA,” said Steve Borden, Pat Tillman Veterans Center director and former U.S. Navy captain. “ASU is committed to student success — all students, including those who have bravely served in our armed forces.”

Comprehensive veteran outreach efforts sets ASU apart, along with an established culture that drives the staff to help meet individual student needs.  It is not a “one size fits all” approach, Borden said.

“We look at our student population, we assess their needs and then we allocate resources to meet those needs and empower students to succeed, at ASU and beyond,” Borden said. “Within the center we want our student veterans to recognize they have already succeeded as members of world-class institutions in their respective military branches. Now they can come and succeed at another one — ASU.” 

The Pat Tillman Veterans Center offers students multiple pathways to success by facilitating opportunities for students to get involved in research, internships and work-study programs. The center also hosts the Department of Veterans Affairs Vet Success on Campus program with a counselor on site to help students transition and process their GI Bill benefits.  

“Military Times' Best for Vets designation is trusted throughout the veteran community as the mark of excellence for schools and other organizations that work with veterans, service members and military families,” said George Altman, the Military Times editor in charge of the rankings. “It can't be bought with advertising dollars — unlike some other supposedly veteran-friendly rankings — only earned through a record of steadfast service and dedication to those who have served.”

Military Times’ annual Best for Vets: Colleges survey asks colleges and universities to disclose academic outcome and input data, describe many aspects of veteran culture on campus and meticulously document a wide array of services, special policies, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties. Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as three Education Department sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.

“Fewer than half of the roughly 500 colleges and universities that competed for the recognition earned the right to call themselves Best for Vets in 2019,” Altman said. “Their efforts should be commended.”

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