WIU: Best for Vets College 2015

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

MACOMB, IL -- As Western Illinois University commemorates Military Appreciation Week, it's appropriate that for the fifth consecutive year, Western Illinois University has been selected as a 2015 "Best for Vets College" by Military Times EDGE magazine. Western, ranked 18th (up four spots from the 2014 ranking), is the only Illinois four-year university in the top 20.

According to the Military Times, 600 colleges and universities responded to a survey detailing programs, policies and resources for veterans. Selection criteria included financial assistance; academic flexibility; campus culture; and support services.

Earlier this year, Western was selected by Military Times as a Best for Vets Business School. WIU's Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is ranked 36 out of the top 64, and Western is one of only two Illinois public institutions appearing in the top 50.

In addition to the Military Times recognition, for the sixth consecutive year, Western Illinois has been designated as a "Military Friendly School" by GI Jobs Magazine and is featured in the 2015 "Guide to Military Friendly Schools." Western has also been designated a "Top Military-Friendly University" in the Military Advanced Education (MAE) "2014 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities."

Western has offered the Bachelor of General Studies degree, along with flexible academic studies and support to active military personnel and veterans, for many years, as well provided the resources these men and women need upon entering – or returning to – school.

The University's Wright Residence, which serves as the Veterans Resource Center, provides streamlined services and resources in a centralized location to ensure that all veterans, guard members, reservists and active duty personnel receive individual assistance with any question or concern they may encounter. The center also sponsors a series of group seminars/workshops each year based on the current needs of its military student population.

The center also has in place a peer mentoring program, and has established partnerships with various campus and community organizations. Students gain direct access to a comprehensive array of services such as VA benefits, financial assistance, disability resources, health care, career development and personal wellness. The center features computer access, a study/meeting room, a lounge and a three-season porch. Four student-veteran peer assistants work with student-veterans.

In addition, the WIU-Quad Cities campus has a partnership agreement with the Rock Island (IL) Arsenal (RIA), which allows current – and potential – college students interested in completing college proficiency exams to complete the exams at the Arsenal.

For more information about veterans' resources at Western Illinois University, contact Kathy Meyers at or (309) 298-3505.