Eastern ranks No. 13 for ‘Best College for Veterans’

Bob Galuski, Editor-in-Chief

U.S. News & World Report ranked Eastern as the No. 13 “Best College for Veterans” for its commitment to military veterans.

The magazine’s “2015 Best Colleges” rankings, which are published annually, listed Eastern as No. 13 among Midwestern regional universities, both public and private.

The region encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Schools listed in the U.S. News & World Report rankings were described as institutions that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members apply for, pay for and complete their degree.

To be eligible for the list, Eastern needed to be certified for the GI Bill, be a member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges Consortium and, as a public institute, charge in-state tuition, which can be fully covered by the GI Bill, to all veterans applying from out of state.

Eastern’s School of Continuing Education also allows veterans, active-duty military and other non-traditional students the option of receiving academic credit for life work and experiences. The school’s general studies program was specifically designed to meet varying educational goals.

Kimberlie Moock, the director of New Student Programs, which also includes the university’s Military Student Assistance Center, said this could be advantageous for some of the military students who ask for credit based on what they did professionally before and during their service.

Eastern’s practice of charging in-state tuition to student veteran from outside of Illinois began in August 2013 after Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law House Bill 2353, “Higher Ed-Military-Tuition.” Under this legislation, any person utilizing benefits under the federal Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 or any subsequent variation of that act can be considered an Illinois resident for tuition purposes.

Eastern also received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, presented two years ago by the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs. The award recognized the professional efforts of Eastern to support its student veterans, according to IDVA Director Erica Borggren in a press release.


Bob Galuski can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].