For the second straight year, UCCS has placed in the top 10 among large institutions in the Military Friendly Schools rankings.

UCCS placed fifth in the 2020-21 rankings, up from seventh in 2019-20, according to a news release from UCCS spokesperson Jared Verner.The campus outperformed Military Friendly’s standards in all six categories of academic polices and compliance; admissions and orientation; culture and commitment; financial aid and assistance; graduation and career; and military student support and retention — performing best in the financial aid and culture categories, Verner said.

“We are so grateful for the service that our military-affiliated students have offered to our country,” Chancellor Venkat Reddy said in the release. “In return, we are committed to their success both in and out of the classroom — from supporting our students academically to providing resources for their mental and physical well-being.”

Nearly 20 percent of UCCS students have a military affiliation, including active duty, veteran or family member, Verner said.

The McCord-Herbst Student Veteran Center in Gateway Hall opened in 2016 and was further expanded in 2019 to provide a home for the campus Office of Veteran and Military Affairs and a lounge for student veterans between classes, he said.

“We’re honored and humbled to be recognized as one of the top places for a student-veteran, active-duty or family member to earn a degree,” Crista Hill, assistant director of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, said in the release. “These students have served their country, and it’s now our duty to give them the best possible educational experience.”

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The Military Friendly Schools list is owned and operated by VIQTORY, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs and Military Friendly brands, according to the news release.The list is created each year based using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans and responses to the proprietary, data–driven Military Friendly Schools survey from participating institutions, according to the release. Criteria for consideration can be found