UAA earns gold distinction as Military Friendly School
by Michelle Saport |
The University of Alaska Anchorage earned recognition as a Military Friendly School for the 15th consecutive year, achieving gold-level status for the first time.
"Earning gold demonstrates our continual commitment to students," said Peter Clemens, Military and Veteran Student Services (MVSS) program director. "It shows a dedication to our military and veteran student population by the entire university community."
Approximately 18% of UAA students are active-duty military, National Guard and Reserve personnel, veterans or their immediate family members. The MVSS office serves as a key resource center, and hub for the veteran community at UAA, but efforts to make UAA accessible and welcoming extend across campus, from orientation to graduation and beyond.
Recognizing how important a strong start is, MVSS recently partnered with New Student Orientation to better connect with military-connected students that's set to roll out this summer. These specialized sessions include one-on-one time with MVSS staff, an overview of military education benefits, the application process, and connecting student-veterans to university resources.
To help with affordability, UAA offers a reduced military tuition rate that caps undergraduate tuition and student fees at $250 per credit. For students using military tuition assistance, the reduced rate significantly curtails out-of-pocket expenses. Military and veteran students are also eligible to apply for additional scholarships from UAA's Office of Financial Aid, such as Seawolf Start and Persist or 49th Finishers, without negatively impacting their service-related tuition benefits.
As part of its commitment to serving military and veteran students, UAA offers resources, courses and proctoring services through two locations on Joint Base Elmendorf/Richardson (JBER). "The expanded presence on JBER has been really beneficial for removing barriers of distance and access," noted Clemens.
In addition to expanded in-person offerings on base and a resource center on the Anchorage campus, the university continually works to improve the experience for students taking online courses across the University of Alaska system. UAA's MVSS staff frequently collaborate with colleagues at UAA's community campuses, as well as UAF and UAS, to streamline the student experience, regardless of home campus.
MVSS regularly facilitates Seawolf Boot Camp sessions to help faculty and staff better support military and veteran students and grow the military culture on campus. The one-hour training includes an overview of the military and veteran student experience, military culture, VA benefits and available resources, along with ample time for questions.
For any students or employees seeking support or answers related to the military and veteran student experience, Clemens offered this advice: "Reach out to our office. We're always happy to help."
The annual Military Friendly Schools list rates institutions on their ability to meet thresholds across six categories, including admissions, student support, culture, financial aid and career outcomes. UAA exceeded the benchmark standard in all categories to earn top honors. Among the 1,800 schools that participated in the 2023-24 survey, UAA is one of only 250 selected for gold award status for "leading practices, outcomes and effective programs." Learn more about methodology and view the entire list at militaryfriendly.com.