By Jonah Grinkewitz

Old Dominion University earned a Gold ranking as a Military Friendly® School for 2023-2024 from 

The rankings evaluate an institution's ability to meet thresholds for student retention; graduation; job placement; loan repayment; persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and specifically for student veterans. For the first time, Military Friendly made public the results of its eligibility assessment.

ODU was one of only four institutions in the state to receive the Gold ranking, with the others being the College of William & Mary, the University of Lynchburg and Virginia Wesleyan University. ODU scored highest in the “culture and commitment” category with 72% of respondents saying the University exceeds standards.

Hampton Roads is home to one of the world's largest populations of military personnel. ODU is located near the world's largest naval base and the only NATO command on U.S. soil. A quarter of ODU's student body is connected to the U.S. military, and the University has been consistently recognized for its efforts to help active-duty personnel, veterans and their families. ODU has also been ranked a "Best for Vets" school in Virginia by Military Times.

To help military Monarchs transition and thrive, ODU offers:

  • 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.

“With our location and large military-affiliated student population, supporting our active-duty service members, veterans and military dependents is part of who we are as Monarchs,” said Robert Clark, director of military activities and special projects at the University. “Earning the Gold ranking as a Military Friendly® School yet again is a testament to the continued dedication of our staff and faculty to give these students the best educational experience possible.” 

Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,800 schools participated in the 2022-2023 survey. Around 530 schools earned the designation, with 250 schools earning "Gold" status for their leading practices, outcomes and effective programs.

The 2022-2023 Military Friendly Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at