CTC among Best for Vets colleges for seventh straight year

CTC among Best for Vets colleges for seventh straight year

by Bruce Vasbinder
Central Texas College

For the seventh consecutive year, Central Texas College (CTC) was named to the Military Times list of best colleges for military veterans. In the recently released Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings, CTC moved from third to second in the category of online and non-traditional schools.  The selection was based on the primary criteria of academic accreditation, whether the school has a central veterans’ office and staff knowledge on veterans’ issues. In addition, Military Times factored in veteran and military students’ success rates.

The survey-based Best for Vets: Colleges requires schools to meticulously document an array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to military and veteran students and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. Several hundred schools completed the 120-question survey used evaluate schools and factor in detailed school-by-school data on veteran students’ academic success. These include graduation, retention, persistence and course completion rates. Other data factors came from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments and three Education Department sources - the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.

At the time of the survey, CTC reported a military enrollment of 22,954 which represents an unduplicated 12-month headcount for the 2015-16 academic year. CTC also reported a 58 percent military student retention rate and a graduation/transfer rate of 13 percent.  

CTC was cited for its cost. The school’s credit-per-hour rate is below the established tuition assistance cap of $250 and under the G.I. Bill cap. CTC’s full out-of-state tuition for all programs is lower than the nationwide cap of $17,500 per school year.

Other factors contributing to the number two ranking were CTC’s VetSuccess Center which was established to specifically handle veterans’ issues, its acceptance of ACE credits, granting some credits for military training recommended by the American Council on Education and for its staff and academic support and the school’s participation in the College Credit for Heroes program which offers college credit to military veterans for their military training and experience.

Also, CTC was also recognized for being a Yellow Ribbon school – a designation received in 2013. The Yellow Ribbon program is designed to help students avoid paying out-of-pocket for tuition and fees associated with education programs by allowing approved institutions of higher learning and the VA to partially or fully fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the established thresholds under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The full Best for Vets: Colleges 2017 rankings can be found online at www.militarytimes.com/bestforvets-colleges2017.

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