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Alabama home to some of the best colleges for veterans seeking an affordable education

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Blackwood, of Cleveland, AL, in Basra, Iraq March 23, 2010. With the Army National Guard from Athens, AL.
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Blackwood, of Cleveland, AL, in Basra, Iraq, March 23, 2010. With the Army National Guard from Athens, AL.

According to a national study done by U.S. News and World Report, The University of Alabama,(#78), Auburn University,(#83), and the University of Alabama at Birmingham,(#120), have ranked on The Best Colleges for Veterans list.

The study was done in order to provide military veterans and active-service members with data for which schools offered the most benefits that could help make a college education more affordable.

Some criteria needed to be met in order to be considered for ranking was that institutions must be certified for the GI Bill, participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, and/or be public school that charges in-state tuition to all out-of-state veterans.

In order to qualify to receive the Yellow Ribbon benefits you must meet the following criteria:

  • Served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months;
  • Honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and they served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001;
  • Are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service.

In another study conducted by the United Services Automobile Association, (USAA), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, Tuscaloosa, AL was named the top-ranked metros for veterans seeking higher education. The top metros considered in that study were from a pool of 401 major U.S. metropolitan areas.

“For us, I think it gives more prominence to the fact that we are veteran friendly and that we’re striving to be as veteran and military friendly as possible,” said David Blair, director of UA Veteran and Military Affairs.

Tuscaloosa ranked the highest out of the top 10 in two of the variables studied – graduation rate and percentage of Post-9/11 Yellow Ribbon recipients.

With Veteran’s Day recognizing the national heroes who have selflessly served the country, it’s great to know top-ranked colleges here in the Yellowhammer state are providing veterans with opportunities for a higher education at affordable costs.