University News

WIU: Best for Vets College 2017

November 1, 2016

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- For seven consecutive years, Western Illinois University has been selected as a "Best for Vets College" – Top 175 Schools by Military Times EDGE magazine. Western, ranked 13th (from 15th in the 2016 rankings), is the only Illinois public four-year university in the 2017 list's top 50 and is one of two Illinois public universities in the top 95. In the initial year of the rankings, WIU placed 25th.

According to the Military Times, nearly 600 colleges and universities responded to a survey detailing programs, policies and resources for veterans. Selection criteria included cost and financial assistance, academic outcomes/quality, university culture, academic policies and support services. 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.

"Western Illinois University has a national reputation for providing outstanding educational opportunities and support to active military personnel and veterans," said President Jack Thomas. "The continued recognition of our programs and services demonstrates Western's mission and tradition of serving the men and women of the armed forces."

In addition to offering the Bachelor of General Studies degree and flexible academic studies and support to active military personnel and veterans, for many years Western has provided the resources these men and women need upon entering – or returning to – school.

The University's Wright Residence, which serves as the Veterans Resource Center, provides streamlined services and resources in a centralized location to ensure that all veterans, guard members, reservists and active duty personnel receive individual assistance with any question or concern they may encounter. The center also sponsors a series of group seminars/workshops each year based on the current needs of its military student population.

The center has established partnerships with various campus and community organizations. Students gain direct access to a comprehensive array of services such as VA benefits, financial assistance, disability resources, health care, career development and personal wellness. The center also features computer access, a study/meeting room, a lounge and a three-season porch. Four student-veteran peer assistants work with student-veterans.

The Best for Vets College rankings are published in full in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times on newsstands the week of Nov. 9, and online at, as well as,, and

For more information about veterans' resources at Western Illinois University, contact Kathy Meyers at or (309) 298-3505.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations