By Hannah Fermanich
NMU has found its place on “G.I. Jobs” magazine list of 2012 Military-Friendly Schools.
Over 7,000 schools throughout the nation are evaluated using surveys and research to determine the 2012 Military-Friendly Schools list.
NMU was a part of the top 15 percent of schools that were deemed to provide the most assistance for veterans. Service members wishing to acquire an education, sealing its place on the list for the third consecutive year according to the “G.I. Jobs” website.
“I’m glad that NMU has been recognized for its efforts,” said Lt. Col. Kyle Rambo. “Even though it was voted military- friendly, NMU is still trying to keep going and make it better for service members.”
Universities are evaluated based on four different categories including non-financial efforts for recruiting service members through programs offered, financial assistance offered to students, how effective the university’s recruiting efforts are, and the different accreditations the school has earned according to the “G.I. Job” website.
One of the reasons that NMU has been placed on this list is for its financial contribution towards past and present service members attaining their education through NMU.
For incoming high school students and current college students interested in the ROTC program, NMU offers scholarships that include 100 percent coverage of tuition and fees, $600 a semester towards books, a monthly stipend ranging from $300 to $500, a housing allowance, and the possibility to qualify for the student loan repayment program, Rambo said.
“The financial aid office is very understanding that it can take longer for some government grants towards school to go into effect,” said Simon Zelinski, a ROTC cadet and junior biology major.
On top of the scholarships already available to service members, NMU participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program for out of state students.
The program is designed to compensate for the remaining out of state costs that the original scholarships don’t cover according to the G.I. Job’s website.
NMU also works with students to ensure the time they spend in training counts towards their academics. Students who spend time in different training courses or have done so in the past are eligible to receive academic credit towards their degree.
“The school involves us in the Wildcat football games and instructors are also more flexible about giving time off for training,” Zelinski said.
The Veterans Affair’s Center through NMU provides information to soldiers wishing to come back as a student. They work with the soldiers to make sure they receive the academic credit that they have earned and to ease the transition back into school.
The university also works hard to ensure that service members coming in with credits are able to transfer them, said Cpt. Benjamin Hormann, executive officer and assistant professor of military science.
A mentorship program is also available for cadets, allowing seniors to help freshmen with classes and getting into the flow of school and training, Hormann said.
There is more available to service members than just academic and financial assistance. NMU’s campus and the surrounding community offer a sense of support and encouragement to veterans.
“Whenever I’m out to lunch in my uniform, I always have someone coming up to me to shake my hand and thank me for my service,” Hormann said.
The military science department is looking to create a meeting place for service members to socialize and connect with each other. They are also currently working on restarting a veterans group on campus to help soldiers reconnect and to talk to people with similar experiences, Rambo said.
G.I. Jobs is a magazine publication dedicated to helping veterans succeed after their time spent in the service.