Military Friendly – St. Cloud State TODAY

St. Cloud State Earns Military Friendly Top 10 Designation

St. Cloud State University earned the 2021 Military Friendly® Top 10 School designation and is ranked #4 in the General Public category, up two spots from 2020.

St. Cloud State exceeded military friendly standards on every measure.

As a Top 10 School, St. Cloud State is in the Top 10 in our rating category with an overall ranking of 4 in the Large Public School category. The top 10 schools are considered by Military Friendly to set “the standard for other designations and are programs that continue to improve each year.”

“This designation given to St. Cloud State helps us explain our commitment and history to the military and veteran communities in Minnesota and across the country,” said Zac Mangas, director of the St. Cloud State Veterans Resource Center. “We don’t just tell prospective students that we’re a veteran or military-friendly campus. We collect data, share programs and discuss the support systems created to help this community succeed.

St. Cloud State has enhanced policies and procedures for student veterans and offers in-state tuition and an application fee waiver for all veteran applicants.

Once veterans are enrolled, St. Cloud State offers free tutoring, employment assistance, and programs to ease the transition to civilian life.

“It takes a community of dedicated staff, faculty, and departments to ensure our students receive support in a variety of ways,” Mangas said. “This support provided by St. Cloud State helps our military-bound students move forward in pursuit of a degree. We are all proud of the work this campus does to make this happen.

The designation joins other veteran-related accolades for St. Cloud State, including the 2020 “Best for Vets” ranking by Military Times. The Fighting Saints Battalion, a joint Army ROTC program between St. Cloud State, St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, is ranked No. 1 in Minnesota for 2020.

St. Cloud State was one of 747 schools to earn military-friendly school designations for 2020-21. The university is one of 13 Minnesota colleges or universities on the list and one of six Minnesota state institutions honored along with St. Cloud Technical & Community College.

Schools that have earned the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using public data sources and proprietary survey responses. More than 1,200 schools took part in the 2021-2022 survey.
Visit our Veterans Resource Center website to learn more about St. Cloud State’s student veteran programs.

The 2021-2022 Military Friendly® Schools list will appear in the May issue of GI Jobs magazine and can be viewed at

Final scores were determined by combining the institution’s survey response set and government/agency public data sources, in a logic-based scoring assessment. We measure the institution’s ability to meet student retention, graduation, placement, loan repayment, persistence (advancement or degree transfer) and default rates for all students and, in particular, for veteran students.

The methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Board comprised of independent leaders from the higher education and military recruiting community. Final scores were determined by combining the institution’s survey response set and government/agency public data sources, in a logic-based scoring assessment. They looked at institutions’ ability to meet student retention, graduation, placement, loan repayment, persistence (advancement or degree transfer), and default rates for all students. and, in particular, for veteran students. See the methodology.

“Schools that earn the designation demonstrate true commitment and dedication to their efforts. Our standards assist schools by providing a benchmark that promotes positive educational outcomes, resources and support services that improve the educational landscape and provide opportunities for the military community,” said Military Friendly National Director of Military Partnerships, Josh Kayla Lopez.

St. Cloud State Military and Veteran Programs

Veterans Living Community – a great opportunity for military and student veterans who want to share an apartment and receive support, one-on-one meetings with the VRC Director, and help while pursuing their education.

Military Related Student Orientation – helps students connect with each other and key personnel who will help them persevere in school. This also includes the Veterans Appreciation Picnic where they connect with community support and other students at the start of the school year.

Award-winning ROTC program

Fall Veterans Retreat – every October we take students to Camp Courage to connect with nature, ride horses, and have a bonfire and BBQ. Those who have families go out and they meet and share a moment of relaxation away from their studies. We’ve developed a great partner with Camp Courage that offers this for free to our veteran students.

Veterans Day programs and concerts

Yellow Ribbon Company – supports military veterans in our surrounding community who need assistance, such as elderly veterans with yard work, snow removal, or moving to another residence.

Veterans Resource Center — We offer student veterans the opportunity to be employed at the Veterans Resource Center, as well as:

  • peer mentoring
  • Scholarships
  • private study room
  • Computer room
  • social lounge
  • Student Veterans Organization
  • access to information on the benefits of education
  • an emergency relief fund for student veterans
  • access to tutor funding and other financial aid
  • credit for military service and training
  • Exit interview
  • honor cords for graduate veteran students

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