UW-Eau Claire receives gold ranking in military friendliness

UW-Eau Claire moves up from silver ranking for the 2023-24 year

Cade Fisher

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The Veterans Resource Center is located in Schofield Hall 20 and is a meeting space open for veterans to relax and learn about resources on campus.

UW-Eau Claire received a gold rank in military friendliness for the 2023-24 academic year. The university’s rank increased from a silver level during the 2022-23 year.

According to Viqtory, the organization that runs the ranking survey, over 1,800 schools participated in a 2023-24 military friendliness survey and UW-Eau Claire ranked gold in the large public institution category. 

Five hundred and thirty schools out of the 1,800 participating schools ranked either bronze, silver or gold. 250 of those institutions were awarded gold, according to Integrated Marketing and Communication.

The survey measures an institution’s ability to meet quotas for retention, graduation, job placement, debt repayment and loan default rates for veteran and active duty students, according to Viqtory.

Viqtory is a veteran-owned business that handles military marketing and advertising. The organization markets for student recruitment and enrollment, advertises to military families, offers cyber security services and markets for governmental recruitment.

Miranda Cross-Schindler, the Military and Veterans Services manager, said since starting at UW-Eau Claire the institution has always ranked but never ranked gold. 

“To finally break the mold and get gold ranking is really exciting,” Cross-Schindler said. “It goes to show how we’ve responded to the changing needs of our students.”

According to Cross-Schindler, UW-Eau Claire ranked silver in military friendliness for the past two academic years and bronze the year before. This year, only one other University of Wisconsin school besides UW-Eau Claire ranked gold in military friendliness.

Landon Albrightson, a soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve and student at UW-Eau Claire, said the gold ranking for military friendliness is a stamp of approval for the school and sets a status quo as a school ranked highly compared to others.

“I think that is going to be an attractive thing towards fellow veterans who are looking to get out of the military and transition back into school,” Albrightson said.

UW-Eau Claire was ranked gold by Viqtory for its practices, outcomes and programs for veterans, active duty members and dependents of people involved in the military.

Cross-Schindler said the survey studied UW-Eau Claire’s recruitment, student success, financial aid, veterans benefits and post-graduation careers to determine the ranking of the institution.

“It’s a holistic review of what our campus services are and how we deliver those services,” Cross-Schindler said.

For potential veterans who want to attend UW-Eau Claire in an undergraduate or graduate program, veterans can follow the veteran’s benefits website to apply with benefits considered.

According to the UW-Eau Claire financial aid website, veterans need to research benefits on their own before applying. Once they apply to UW-Eau Claire they can connect their official military transcript to find transfer credits and wave service learning.

Veterans can then apply for federal and state benefits online, along with the free application for federal student aid, to have an initial understanding of their financial aid. Veterans will then submit their documentation to the Veteran Services office and be notified as enrolled students.

“I hope that this ranking attracts further students and attracts further talent to our campus and that they just know that if they come here they will be taken care of,” Cross-Schindler said.

Fisher can be reached at [email protected].