According to a press release, the University of Dubuque (UD) has once again proven its unwavering commitment to supporting the military community by achieving gold status as a 2023-2024 Military Friendly School and earning an impressive eighth-place ranking in the category of private institutions offering doctorate degrees for the Top 10 Military Spouse Friendly Schools. This marks the school's twelfth consecutive year of receiving the designation, highlighting its consistent dedication to serving military-affiliated students.

Rick Ernst, the director of the Sergeant Jeffrey B. Dodge Veterans Center at UD, expressed the institution's deep-rooted commitment to honoring service members, noting that it is a fundamental part of the university's culture. This recognition is a testament to the fact that UD's support for the military community is not just a recent endeavor, but rather it's been ingrained in the schools DNA.

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The Military Friendly School designation is granted based on evaluations that incorporate public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. Out of the over 1,800 schools that participated in the 2023-2024 survey, 655 received special awards for surpassing the standard requirements. UD's success in achieving this recognition underscores its sustained commitment to the military community.

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UD's history of supporting service members and veterans dates back to World War II when it was actively involved in the Navy's V5/V12 programs. This legacy continues today with a vibrant U.S. Army ROTC program and robust support systems in place for veterans studying on campus, primarily through the Sergeant Jeffrey B. Dodge Veterans Center. Furthermore, UD proudly holds the titles of a Yellow Ribbon School, a Vietnam War Commemoration Partner, and a Homebase Iowa employer, reflecting its comprehensive support for veterans.

Rick Ernst emphasized the personalized support that UD provides to military-affiliated students, including veterans, dependents, and active-duty military members. In addition to participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program, the university offers reduced tuition to veteran spouses through its Salute to Service program. This comprehensive approach ensures that military-affiliated students have access to the resources they need to succeed academically and transition into civilian life seamlessly.

One of the students benefiting from these services is Josette Robertson, a senior majoring in music education K-12 and a U.S. Army veteran. Robertson praised the university's commitment to supporting veterans and highlighted the welcoming environment of the Sergeant Jeffrey B. Dodge Veterans Center. For her, the recognition as a Military Friendly School is a testament to UD's genuine care for those who have served in the military.

The 2023-2024 Military Friendly Schools list will be published in G.I. Jobs magazine in the May and October issues. Additionally, the list can be accessed on the Military Friendly website, offering valuable information for military-affiliated students seeking institutions that prioritize their unique needs.

The Military Friendly School designation process involved a comprehensive methodology crafted by Viqtory, with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council, a panel of independent leaders in higher education and military recruitment. Final ratings took into account various factors, including student retention, graduation rates, job placement, loan repayment, and more, for both all students and student veterans specifically. This rigorous assessment ensures that institutions recognized as Military Friendly truly excel in supporting military-affiliated students.

The University of Dubuque's achievement of gold status as a 2023/24 Military Friendly School, along with its top-ranking in the category of military spouse friendliness, demonstrates its unwavering commitment to serving our military community. Through a long history of support, comprehensive programs, and personalized services, UD continues to set a high standard for institutions dedicated to helping military-affiliated students thrive in their academic pursuits and beyond. For more details about UD's services for student veterans, visit their Veterans Center website at

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