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Military-affiliated population at ASU hits record number

University helps veterans and their families obtain degrees and find internships, research positions and job opportunities

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November 05, 2018

For most of the last decade, Arizona State University has been designated a top military-friendly schoolThe designation comes from Victor Media, a leader in helping connect the military community with education and professional opportunities through their G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse publications. They have given ASU a "gold" rating for nine consecutive years.. It's a great place for veterans to earn a degree, and the metrics prove it.

The university is breaking enrollment records and continuing to build the veteran network at ASU.

More than 8,400 military-affiliated students are currently enrolled online and on campus, making ASU one of the largest universities per capita in the U.S. for students earning their degrees with G.I. Bill and Department of Defense tuition assistance benefits. That number is also a milestone in the university’s history, according to Steven Borden, director of the Pat Tillman Veterans Center.

“The ability to hang out that sign that says, 'We are a place for military and veteran students to succeed,' is really a reflection of what is already going on at the school. It’s wrapped up in our charter, which states our success should be measured by whom we include, not exclude and how those students succeed,” Borden said. “The military community is a valued part of the ASU student body; we want those students to succeed … and the veterans feel it.”  

Man with back against a wall

Steve Borden, director of the Pat Tillman Veterans Center.

Borden said ASU’s military-affiliated community includes students that are still serving in the military, veterans, and their spouses and dependents. In addition to helping veterans and their families obtain college degrees, ASU also points them to internships, research positions, job opportunities and a broad range of beneficial experiences.

“One of the reasons that ASU makes sense for so many veterans is the range of programs at all levels of academic pursuit,” Borden said. “Our military and veteran students are found in every school and college and completing programs from certificates to PhDs.”

Currently, there are nearly 1,300 military-affiliated students in graduate programs, including 57 military or veteran students pursuing PhDs, according to Borden.

Over half of enrolled military students are online. The most popular degree programs for ASU veterans are in engineering and STEM, as well as those leading to continued community service: criminology, criminal justice studies, social work, health programs and teaching.

In addition to defending our country, veterans also make other valuable contributions, said Paul C. LePore, associate dean for student and academic programs for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“With more than 2,000 veterans seeking degrees in various STEM fields, ASU is stepping up to support the career aspirations of the men and women who have proudly served in our nation’s armed forces,” LePore said. “At the same time and through the veteran graduates we produce, we are shaping (very much for the better) the landscape of Arizona’s economy.”

LePore added that veterans have become an integral part of the ASU community.

“The experiences they bring to our campuses — through their training and by sharing what they learned and what they have been able to do through their service to our country — add a richness to our classroom learning environments,” LePore said.

ASU veterans and military by the numbers

In 2018, ASU has broken previous records in all of the following areas:

• Military-affiliated students — 8,400.
• Veteran and military students — 7,201.
• Veteran and military online students — 4,819.
• Veteran and military students in STEM — 2,631.
• Female veteran and military students — 1,691.
• Veteran and military graduate students — 1,227.
• Veteran and military students pursuing PhDs — 57.
• Enrolled veterans and military students at Barrett, The Honors College — 30.

— Statistics provided by the Pat Tillman Veterans Center.

In celebration of Veterans Day, Arizona State University proudly honors veterans and active members of the military through Salute to Service. Your support helps veterans succeed. Text ASUVets to 41444 to donate to the Veterans Education Fund or visit to learn how you can honor a veteran. 

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