DAHLONEGA - North Georgia College & State University (NGCSU) has been recognized by Military Times magazine in its "2013 Best for Vets" ranking, tied for 15th out of 510 schools surveyed across the country.
The survey, which consisted of nearly 150 questions, demonstrated widespread efforts by schools to accommodate veterans and active-duty service members. Nearly 1,000 of the more than 6,400 students enrolled at North Georgia have some military affiliation, including some 750 who are members of the Corps of Cadets.
"We are honored to count numerous service members, veterans and their family members among our students, faculty and staff and depend upon their expertise and leadership as we strive to fulfill our mission of educating leaders," said university President Bonita C. Jacobs.
NGCSU is only Georgia school, public or private, ranked in the top 60.
According to the Military Times survey:
· About 84 percent of responding institutions said they accept American Council on Education credits, which convert military training into academic hours.
· More than three-quarters waive late fees for students whose military education benefits arrive late, while about half waive interest, advance credit toward books and other expenses, or help students find emergency money.
· Almost 75 percent of schools offer online degree programs, which can be crucial for deployed troops.
· Half of schools have special rules in place to give service members in-state tuition. About six in 10 schools have a veterans office on campus.
North Georgia opened a Veterans Success Center in May 2009. The center assists service members and their families by serving as a one-stop shop as they enroll, register or apply for GI Bill benefits. The center also helps service members with housing availability, counseling, work-study opportunities and campus activities as well as serving as a hub for military student and veteran social activities.
In addition, North Georgia awards college credit for military training, accepts transfer credits, offers distance learning, is part of Georgia's Soldiers 2 Scholars program, and is in the coalition of Service members Opportunity Colleges (SOC).
Soldiers 2 Scholars is designed to help those in military service make the transition to civilian life by means of a college degree. SOC, which currently has some 1,900 member institutions including North Georgia, was created in 1972 to provide educational opportunities to service members who had trouble completing college degrees because they frequently moved from place to place.
Earlier this year, North Georgia also was recognized by GI Jobs magazine on its 2013 Military Friendly list and in Military Advanced Education's 2012 Guide to America's Top Military Friendly Colleges & Universities. North Georgia also has been designated by the Georgia General Assembly as The Military College of Georgia and by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents as a state leadership institution.