U.S. News & World Report has a long, highly-respected tradition of evaluating the quality of higher education with its annual rankings and Best lists. To help veterans choose a quality online program, the publication has launched its first rankings of the Best Online Programs for Veterans, naming Brandman University, part of the Chapman University System, as the second-best in the nation for undergraduate programs. In addition, online graduate education programs at Brandman were ranked No. 10 and graduate business programs No. 11 on the Veterans list– all lead rankings for the state of California.
Originally founded in 1958 to provide active-duty troops with college courses, today Brandman University serves some 12,000 military and working adult students at 26 campus locations; six of those are located on military bases both in California and Washington. About 20% of Brandman students are either active-duty or veterans.
“This is certainly fantastic news for the Brandman community and reflects the superb work of our dedicated faculty and staff,” said Gary Brahm, Chancellor. “We are proud of our rich military history, and meeting the unique needs of active-duty and veteran students is a priority for the entire university.”
Curtis Coy, deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs told U.S. News that “the challenge for online student veterans to some degree is helping them make the right choices, and making sure those student veterans know, and are informed consumers of what those programs offer and don't offer.”
“Finishing a degree can be a challenge for veterans and service members. Active-duty troops often move from base to base, making it difficult to complete an academic program at one location,” writes U.S. News reporter Devon Haynie. “Veterans, some of whom struggle with mental or physical wounds, can find it hard to adjust to civilian life on campus. For these students, online programs provide a good alternative to attending brick-and-mortar universities. These programs have taken steps to improve the higher education experience for veterans. Their commitment takes on extra relevance in the wake of reports of educational institutions, particularly for-profit schools, engaging in misleading recruiting processes, including persuading veterans to take out costly loans and not disclosing key graduation and employment data.”
With a graduation rate of over 70%*, Brandman is a non-profit leader in serving adult students in the pursuit of a quality education. Earlier this year, U.S. News ranked Brandman University as No. 8 on the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list for 2013 - Brandman was the sole California institution among the top ten. Graduate programs in business and education were also named among the top online programs on for 2013. [*The Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) definition of cumulative graduation rates was utilized to calculate the Brandman University graduation rate].
“Like other students, veterans and active-duty service members gain most from distance education that is affordable, accessible and well-regarded,” said U.S. News reporter Eric Brooks. “The Best Online Programs for Veterans rankings measure these factors in consideration of benefits available specifically to people with military experience.”
According to Brooks, schools were evaluated based on data collected between August and October 2012. To ensure academic quality, all schools first had to be named in the U.S. News 2013 Best Online Education rankings, and academic programs meeting core criteria for veteran students were then ranked numerically to form the Best Veterans list. This means each program is housed in a regionally accredited institution, and performed well enough on a multitude of factors - including faculty credentials, support provided to students, high graduation rates and low debt loads - to be included in the broader rankings. For more information visit http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/bachelors/veteran-rankings