USF Selected as Military Friendly School

USF in top 15 percent of institutions nationwide, only public school in state participating in Yellow Ribbon program.


By Mary Beth Erskine News Writer


TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 10, 2010) – The University of South Florida has been selected by G.I. Jobs magazine as a “Military Friendly School” for 2011. This is the second consecutive year that USF has earned the designation placing the university in the top 15 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide.

In addition, USF currently is the only public university in the state of Florida participating in a Department of Veterans Affairs program that reduces tuition for student veterans. Called the “Yellow Ribbon” program, it is part of the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Bill that took effect in 2008.

The new GI Bill covers tuition and fees (up to the highest undergraduate rate in the state which in Florida is at the University of Florida) for student veterans plus a monthly housing stipend and up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies. By voluntarily participating in the Yellow Ribbon program, universities such as USF agree to fund up to 50 percent of any additional fees that exceed the VA limit. The VA, in turn, matches the same amount as the institution.

To date, approximately 1,100 private and public colleges and universities nationwide have agreed to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program.

USF was also the first university in the country to strike an accord with the Department of Veterans Affairs to have specialized services for veterans taking advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The program piloted by USF is called VetSuccess on Campus.

According to Lawrence Braue, director of Veteran Services at USF, efforts such as the Yellow Ribbon and VetSuccess on Campus are among the numerous initiatives the university provides to student veterans that led to its recent designation by GI Jobs magazine as a military friendly school.

“This is a tremendous award that recognizes USF’s unwavering commitment to the success of our student veterans,” said Braue. “Here at USF, serving our student veterans is not a job, it is a moral imperative. USF understands the sacrifices our veterans have made to protect our nation, and we are committed to providing the programs and services they rightly deserve. It is an honor and a pleasure to serve our student veterans.” 

“USF has a long and strong history of serving member of the armed forces,” said Jerry Collins, director in the Office of Undergraduate Studies who participated in the G.I. Jobs survey on behalf of USF. “We have allocated significant resources and personnel to ensure every military and veteran student need is met in a very timely and efficient manner.”

Research conducted by GI Jobs magazine to compile the ratings included government agencies and private entities that administer education benefits and a comprehensive survey and interviews with veterans. The goal of the research was to determine which of 7,000 colleges, universities and trade schools in the country offer the best education, value and welcome to members of the military, veterans or spouses.

The magazine assessed factors such as certifications, academic programs, policies, and non-financial efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students; a school’s financial commitment; and the number of military and veteran students enrolled.

G.I. Jobs is a monthly magazine that assists veterans in seeking civilian employment and education. Published by Victory Media, Inc., a veteran-owned business, G.I. Jobs annually selects the nation's "Military Friendly Schools" and publishes results in the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Mary Beth Erskine can be reached at 813-974-6993.