By Joe Garvey
Old Dominion University was rated as the top public institution in Virginia in the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2022 rankings.
ODU ranked 65th out of 311 schools assessed nationally, placing the University among the top 25% in the nation.
ODU also placed among the top 25% nationally in the following categories:
- Military Times Best for Vets: Public Colleges - 52 out of 223
- Military Times Best Colleges: Four-Year Schools (Best for Vets) - 58 out of 254
- Military Times Best Colleges: Primarily In-Person Education (Best for Vets) - 57 out of 276
The University also ranked 10th out of 32 institutions among Public Appalachia Colleges.
This year's Best for Vets: Colleges survey assessed responses to more than 70 questions about institutions' services and programs specific to military students - whether active-duty or veteran - and families and dependents of service members, according to the organization's website. At ODU, 25% of the student body is military affiliated.
Military Times noted that student success metrics (completion, retention, persistence, GPA) were the most important factors in determining the relative ranking of schools, followed closely by the range of military-specific resources and the level of financial assistance they offer. Admission and registration policies, human resources and assorted miscellaneous considerations were also factors.
"It is quite an honor to see that ODU has made the Best for Vets list again this year," said Robert Clark, ODU's director, military activities liaison and special projects in the Office of Military Activities. "This recognition directly reflects upon all the hard work and dedication our faculty, administrators and support staff put into making ODU an outstanding educational institution for our nation's veteran, active-duty and military-affiliated population. We look forward to even more positive changes in the next year to further help our student veterans achieve their education goals."
ODU offers a wide range of resources to military-affiliated students through its Military Connection Centerand Office of Military Activities. Among them are:
- The Military Connection Center, providing comprehensive support to assist military-connected students with transitioning to academic life, including securing academic tutoring and navigating financial aid.
- A Military to ODU Transition Program that gives new students information about available resources.
- A Veterans Administration work-study program and a career center to help graduates in their job search.
- Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE), a support program connecting incoming student veterans with trained Peer Advisors who can help them navigate college life, address challenges and provide ongoing support.
- VetSuccess on Campus, a partnership between the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and ODU to provide a counselor to help students navigate VA benefits, career counseling and more.
ODU has long been recognized for its efforts on behalf of military students. Among recent accolades: In January, ODU's online master's nursing for veterans and education for veterans programs and bachelor's programs for veterans and MBA programs for veterans were cited by U.S. News and World Report. In March, the University earned a Gold ranking as a Military Friendly® School for 2022-2023 from militaryfriendly.com. In June, ODU earned a "Field of Study" badge for its military support from Colleges of Distinction.
Additionally, Katherine Martinez, the first female president of ODU's Student Veterans Association, in January was named the national Student Veteran of the Year by the Student Veterans of America (SVA).