Virginia Tech has once again been named a Military Friendly School by VIQTORY – a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that connects the military community to civilian employment and educational and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The university achieved a Silver rating for 2020-21, moving up from its Bronze level rating earned through last year’s evaluation. The Silver rating is reserved for schools who meet certain survey requirements and score within 20 percent of the 10th-ranked school in the peer category.

“Our new designation as a Silver-level military friendly school underscores and validates Virginia Tech’s commitment to our veterans and military dependents,” said Jerry Headley, director of the Office of Veterans Services. “I’m thrilled by our new recognition and confident that our continued commitment to veteran and military dependent students will only continue to grow.”

Under Headley’s leadership, the Office of Veterans Services works closely with Virginia Tech’s Bursar’s Office, Registrar’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Services to receive and process all documentation related to veteran and military student educational benefits. The office also collaborates with university and community partners to ensure that veterans and military dependents are connected to the financial, academic, and social resources necessary for a successful transition to and through their course of study at Virginia Tech.

Students served by Virginia Tech’s Office of Veterans Services have access to a variety of tutoring and mentoring and assistance in navigating the U.S. Veterans Affairs system.

Virginia Tech and the other institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using public data sources, input from studentveterans, and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,000 schools participated in the 2020-21 survey with 695 earning the designation.

Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the 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.

“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to colleges creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to invest in programs to provide educational outcomes that are better for the military community as a whole,” said Josh Rosen, Military Friendly’s national director.

The survey is administered for free and is open to all post­secondary schools that choose to participate. The complete list of 2020-21 Military Friendly School can be viewed on its website.

Over the past few years, Virginia Tech’s Office of Veterans Services has worked to enhance many of its programs, including increasing its Yellow Ribbon Program awards that help out-of-state veterans and dependents cover the cost of tuition, and creating a new “VetZone” lounge and study center in the Johnson Student Center. They have also established a new support services area in Hillcrest Hall that features private consultation rooms; space for support programming, such as veteran, dependent, freshman, and transfer orientation sessions; and administrative space to support VA benefit certification services for students.

To learn more about Virginia Tech’s Office of Veterans Services, visit their website or contact them at veteran@vt.edu.