5 Best US Business Schools For Military Veterans

The skillset required of soldiers on the battlefield makes them a natural fit for the boardroom

It may not come as a surprise to learn that the skillset required of soldiers on the battlefield—autonomy and uncertainty, self-sufficiency, and effective decision-making—makes them a natural fit for the boardroom. 

And few could argue that most of the stiff shirts that populate corporate America could benefit from a bit of bootcamp themselves.

Heck, the combination of bootcamp and b-school seems to produce successful entrepreneurs.

According to Small Business Administration stats cited by Syracuse’s Whitman School of Management, “Veterans own 9% percent of all businesses nationwide, employ 5.8 million people, are twice as likely as non-veterans to pursue business ownership, and the five-year success rate of veteran-owned businesses significantly surpasses the national average.”

The GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon scholarships, which typically cover tuition costs for vets, have long been a viable path to civilian success, post-military. With a whole host of financial resources available to veterans and military personnel at both the national and state levels, there’s never been a better time than now to consider business school.

We took a closer look at the top 5 schools in The Military Times’ 2016 list of Best Business Schools for Vets:

1. University of Nebraska, Omaha

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According to Forbes, UNO welcomed “19 military or veteran students among the 386 that enrolled in the 2015-2016 academic year” for its part-time, full-time, executive or joint/dual MBA programs.

UNO’s history with student veterans dates back to 1951, when its Bootstrapper program offered support to WW2 veterans when the school was known as just Omaha University. Today, the school collaborates with UNO’s Office of Military and Veteran Services, to help mentor and guide veterans on their path through business school and beyond. The STRATCOM Strategic Leadership Fellows Program is also a significant resource at UNO for civilian leaders from the US Strategic Command.

Louis Pol, the school’s dean, said: “[We have] a long history of serving veterans. Faculty and staff are trained to understand the unique challenges, needs and learning preferences of military and veteran students, and we work with employer partners to provide an easy transition to productive civilian employment.”

2. Eastern Kentucky University School of Business

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One of EKU’s main missions is to help educate veterans. This past decade has seen Operation Veteran Success become a success unto itself. OVS is comprised of several strategic initatives designed to make EKU as veteran-friendly as possible, including offering in-state tuition for all out-of-state veterans; maximum credit hours for military experience; priority registration; book vouchers; orientation courses; and specialized withdrawal and readmission policies.

3. Rutgers School of Business, New Brunswick & Newark

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Rutgers’ Office of Veteran and Military Programs and Services (OVMPS) collaborates with departmennts throughout the business school—and beyond-- to ensure a “smooth transition and supportive environment” for student veterans. In addition, Rutgers offers a Mini-MBA in Business Management for Veterans, developed to help student veterans and military personnel apply the “knowledge and skills of military training to a civilian workplace.”

4. University of Kansas School of Business

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UKS’ Office of Graduate Military Programs (GMP) “coordinates with the U.S. Armed Forces’ academic institutions and combatant commands to develop specialized academic programs that meet military requirements [and] facilitate the exchange of information, ideas, and knowledge between KU and the Armed Forces.” GMP’s collaborations with the Army’s Command and Fort Leavenworth’s General Staff College seeks to produce “military and civilian faculty with the advanced degrees necessary to teach at the highest level and preserve the certifications required by regional accreditation agencies.”

5. Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management

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“Syracuse University’s institution-wide commitment is to become the nation’s ‘best’ university for military students and veterans,” writes Don Harter, associate dean for master’s programs at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. “Approximately 27 percent of students in Whitman online programs are military and veterans.” According to Forbes, Whitman touts an 85% graduation rate for vets.

Whitman’s 54-credit, 14-month accerelated MBA for Veterans program “offers in-depth courses in entrepreneurship with an emphasis on leadership and innovation, market research and analysis, economics, data analysis, management information systems, financial accounting, marketing management, supply chain/project management, operations management, activity based costing/management accounting, business strategy and human capital management.”

The school also hosts an Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Consortium.

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