November 9, 2015

Military Times Names SUNY Empire State College among “Best for Vets: Colleges 2016”

Best for Vets Colleges 2016

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Nov. 9, 2015) Military Times magazine again has included SUNY Empire State College among its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2016.”

Again this year, the college was highlighted in the online and nontraditional category and identified as a Best for Vets institution. The college has been recognized each year since the magazine first began publishing Best for Vets six years ago.

According to Best for Vets, nontraditional institutions reported that more than half of their classes are either offered exclusively online or that most of students do not attend classes at a central campus or a few regional campuses.

More than 600 public and private colleges and universities from across the country took part in this year’s survey. This group also included for-profit institutions.

The honor noted several specific features of the college including:

  • low in-state undergraduate and graduate tuition and waiving most fees for veterans and active-duty military
  • award-winning Office of Veteran and Military Education
  • low student-faculty ratio and strong support staff
  • extracurricular activities for veterans, active-duty military and their families.

“Every year we strive to improve upon the quality of the education and overall college experience of each SUNY Empire student, including our veteran and military students,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “Six consecutive years of recognition by Best for Vets for student success demonstrates the dedication, effectiveness and commitment of SUNY Empire’s faculty, professional and support staff. SUNY Empire veteran and military students and their families deserve the most praise because they sacrifice so much in service to the country.”

“We award the Best for Vets designation to the very best, the colleges that really are setting the example,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times’ Best for Vets rankings and special editions. “It has been amazing to witness how colleges all across higher education have embraced service members and their families.”

In addition to strengths listed by Military Times, the college supports veterans and members of the military community through:

  • education partnerships with all branches of the military
  • Credit Where Credit is Due: Veteran and Service Member Pathway to the MBA
  • Advanced Graduate Certificate in Veterans’ Services
  • Student Veterans and Military Club.

Last year, the college’s MBA program also was again named to “Best for Vets: Business Schools 2015” by Military Times.

Military Times annually surveys colleges and universities in order to document the array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives each institutions offers students with military ties. The survey also requires campuses to describe their veteran and military culture.

Military Times also factors in data from the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, as well as three education department sources: the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Center, data from the federal College Scorecard and the Information for Financial Aid Professionals Website’s Cohort Default Rate Database.

All Best for Vets rankings are editorially independent news projects that evaluate the many factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 77,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918

518-321-7038 (after hours and on weekends)