Omaha – It was a special year for UNO in 2013 with countless events, achievements, special guest visits and national recognitions for students, faculty, staff and alumni.
For years UNO has been known as one of the best places military and veteran students can earn a degree, thanks in part to programs like the nationally-ranked online Bachelor of General Studies degree and facilities like the UNO Military and Veteran University Services Office (MaV USO), but it was in 2013 that UNO was officially regonized as the best public university for veterans by the Military Times.
On Veterans Day, UNO was ranked second nationally among four-year universities, behind the private D'Youville College, for military friendliness. UNO has improved its ranking as a top four-year institution each of the last four years, moving from 19th in 2011 to ninth in 2012 to sixth in 2013 and now second in country.
Representatives from more than 600 colleges and universities from across the country took part in the survey, which is designed to provide service men and women a gauge by which to judge whether a school or degree program will truly benefit them. The rankings factored in service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the GI Bill and availability of specific programs to help service members.
UNO's military friendliness dates back to the 1950s and the beginnings of the national Bootstrapper program, which made the transition from active duty to college easier for veterans. One notable UNO alum who took advantage of the program is Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who graduated from UNO in 1971 with a Bachelor of General Studies degree with an emphasis in history.
Hagel returned to UNO this summer, giving his first public speech since being named Secretary of Defense earlier in the year. At the event, Hagel helped announce that UNO would be eliminating the application free for active duty and veteran looking to attend UNO.
UNO currently enrolls over 1,000 students who are active duty or veterans in both undergraduate and graduate courses. Many of these students are part of UNO’s Veterans Student Organization, which regularly holds events to honor fallen troops and connect veterans with employment opportunities.
Previous 'Best of 2013':
OLLAS Celebrates 10 Years