The university has been included on a list of the top 15 percent of schools doing more to help military students, according to militaryfriendlyschools.com
Victory Media,comprised the survey, surveyed more than 12,000 schools nationwide and came up with a list of just over 1,700 eligibile campuses.
Military support on campus, academic credibility and percent of military students were weighted most in the survey and was 64 percent of the criteria.
“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools shows Appalachian State University’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media in a press release.
David Cox, Professor of Military Science and Battalion Commander, said those in the ROTC department knew Appalachian State was a great place for ROTC and student veterans.
“Because [the university has] great people working in the Veterans Affairs Office, University Admissions and the Registrars Office give academic credit for some military schools and training, academic advising here at ASU is willing and able to work with veterans and ASU has an active Student Veterans Organization,” Cox said.
Appalachian provides military students with in-state tuition without residency requirements for active-duty military students and full-time veteran counselors or advisors on staff. The university also has a chapter of the Student Veterans of America on campus, Cox said.
Bob Gibbard, a retired major with the U.S. Army, is the Special Population advisor for veteran students and ROTC cadets.
“As a veteran who has been on deployments across the globe, I understand their needs and have shared their experiences,” Gibbard said.
John Edwards is the President for the Appalachian State University Student Veterans Association, a senior Parks and Recreation Management major and Army veteran.
“[The Student Veterans Association] raises awareness that there are veterans on campus and is really a one stop source for [military students] to get information and resources they couldn’t find elsewhere,” Edwards said.
Edwards said he would agree that Appalachian is a military friendly campus, and that professors in particular are very understanding of military students and the fact that they are non-traditional students with other responsibilities and commitments.
“There are still hurdles,” Edwards said. “Things [the university] could set in place to make it easier.But overall, Edwards said he still recognizes Appalachian treats him better than other college campuses he has friends fromt he army on
“There’s one that I feel like the university tried to address and gave it an effort, but priority registration for veterans is something they could definitely set in place to make our lives easier, mainly due to the fact that most veterans are in their 20s, have full time jobs, wives, and kids,” Edwards said.
Story: JOSHUA FARMER, Intern News Reporter
Photo: ANEISY CARDO, Intern Photographer