MTSU cracks top 50 in Military Times' Best Colleges survey

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MTSU student veteran Kevin Hicks, left, and

Middle Tennessee State University's veterans' program is basking in the limelight of another appearance in the Military Times Best: Colleges 2018 ranking announced Monday (Nov. 20) by Vienna, Virginia-based Military Times.

It is the sixth straight time MTSU has made the ranking, formerly known as Best for Vets, and first time the university has cracked the top 50, as it is ranked 49th out of 140 four-year schools this year.

In their eighth year, the rankings factor the results of Military Times' annual survey, the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement, Military Times said in the release of the rankings.

More than 600 colleges took part in this year's detailed survey.

"MTSU has long been focused on providing veterans, currently serving military and military family members with a high-quality educational experience," said Hilary Miller, director of the MTSU Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center.

"The transition into the university, academic achievement and career attainment of military-connected students is of the utmost importance, and MTSU has continually made support available to ensure that success is a reality," Miller added. "The Daniels Center is a national resource that stands ready to help all."

George Altman, Military Times editor in charge of the rankings, said of the hundreds of schools that applied, fewer than half received the designation for 2018.

"Only the best made the cut," Altman said. "For the past eight years, we've seen colleges and universities consistently increasing their resources, revising their policies and improving their academic outcomes for military and veteran students. The rankings showcase the very best of these efforts.

Military Times' Best Colleges survey asks colleges and universities to "meticulously document a tremendous array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties," said Christine Aquino with Military Times, whose digital platforms and newsweeklies are a source for independent news and information for service members and their families.

MTSU leaped to 49th on the 2018 list after being 75th out of 130 four-year schools selected in 2017. It ranked 65th out of 125 schools in 2016 and 94th out of 100 in 2015. MTSU received two, four-star ratings by Military Times.

D'Youville College, a private school in Buffalo, New York, ranked No. 1 overall this year. The University of South Florida was second overall and the top public school. The other Tennessee school making the list was the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, which was selected 114th overall.

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