BGSU ranks among top military colleges

By Kevin Bean and By Kevin Bean

The SR Education group released its list of 2017 Top Military-Friendly Online Schools, and the University is among the 68 schools on the list.

For a college to be eligible for the designation, it must offer a minimum of 10 fully online degrees, according to SR Education. Between bachelor’s and master’s programs, the University offers 13 programs and seven more certificate and endorsement programs.

Taitum Ridgway, the marketing manager for the SR Education group, said being named a Top Military-Friendly Online College “shows that the institution has a proven record of providing exceptional support for military students.”

He goes on to say students, military in particular, who use the website (www.guidetoonlineschools.com) to help with their school search will see the list.

Ridgway said over 400 schools are assessed for the list.

Of the 68 total schools on the list, unsorted by degree level, the University ranks in at 36 with a score of 83.61 out of a possible 100, with an annual tuition of $12,090, just meeting the cost requirement for the list.

The score comes from a survey done by a KMI Media Group, the Military Advanced Education & Transition, and it evaluates several aspects of a university. Four items are on the list: military culture, online support, flexibility and financial assistance.

The survey details each individual category and states “…for every positive answer, schools received a certain number of points.” The points are converted to a score out of 100 (the conversion process is not listed), and each category is averaged together.

When asked about seeing these 68 colleges on the list Ridgeway replied, “It’s great to see all of these colleges making an effort to provide strong support for service members and veterans. It’s encouraging to see the different ways schools are working to find the best ways to provide this support, and I think it’s especially important to understand that support doesn’t just exist in a physical campus environment. The flexibility of classes, financial aid services and other factors greatly impact the online education experience for military students.”

The lowest score on the list is Arizona State University with a 65.56. The top of the list is split between the University of Maryland and Excelsior College in New York, both with a 98.31.

The list of schools can be further sorted by degree level ranging from certificate to doctoral. The University appears on all lists except associate.

A note on the Guide to Online Schools website is two icons that appear next to the annual tuition cost. A yellow ribbon indicates the top 15 universities that enroll an unlimited number of students as well as tuition assistance matched by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. A blue bubble with a dollar sign in it indicat only the tuition assistance from Veteran Affairs. The University does not have either of these indicators.

The SR Education Group, founded in 2004, is based in Kirkland, WA. Their mission, as stated in the press release, is to create authoritative online resources for students seeking an online education program that best suits their budget and career aspirations.

The KMI Media Group “is a dynamic publishing company driven to excellence by an experienced management team dedicated to delivering the highest quality defense-related publications and websites,” according to its website.

Tuition data for the University was based on the Bachelor of Liberal Studies using the credits per year for a full-time student (31) and the cost per credit ($390) found in the University’s official 2016-2017 tuition and fees brochure.

View the full list at www.guidetoonlineschools.com.