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University News | Military and Veteran Services

UCM Ranked Third Among Large Military Friendly® Schools, Also Recognized for Commitment to Military Spouses

By Jeff Murphy, March 27, 2024


Providing staff and resources for support, the Military and Veterans Success Center, located on the first floor of the Elliott Student Union, is a popular gathering spot for active duty military members, veterans and military dependents at the University of Central Missouri.

WARRENSBURG, MO – The University of Central Missouri’s continued commitment to the men and women who serve the United States is being honored through UCM’s top-10 ranking as a 2024-2025 Military Friendly® School and as a Military Spouse Friendly School. UCM was ranked third among large U.S. public universities with over 9,000 students, demonstrating its efforts to provide active duty military members, veterans and military dependents meaningful and sustainable paths toward a higher education. UCM’s dedication to military spouses was recognized in a separate category.

VIQTORY Media, an organization that provides rankings to celebrate companies and institutions of higher education that demonstrate positive employment and education outcomes for military personnel and their dependents, released its list of Military Friendly® Schools today. This list will be published in the May issue of GIJOBS Magazine® and can be found at

Military Friendly® Awards provide a competitive view of how institutions compare with similar colleges and universities. UCM’s recognition continues a string of Military Friendly® Awards the institution has received during the past decade. This includes Top 10 Gold recognition for the first time in 2017-2018, as well as Gold designations in 2022-2023, and Silver and Bronze awards in previous years.

Award levels were determined in accordance with how the university scored overall in an assessment that was offered at no cost to more than 8,800 institutions nationwide. This survey included weightings in categories such as academic policies and compliance, military support and retention, graduation and career outcomes, admissions and orientation, culture and commitment, and financial aid and loan repayment. Results in these areas were then combined with an assessment of the university’s ability to meet minimum thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment and loan default rates for all students and specifically for veteran students.

Courtney Swoboda, a U.S. Air Force veteran who serves as director of Military and Veteran Services at UCM, commented on the Military Friendly® rankings, noting, “The commitment our campus shows to our military-affiliated students and their success is truly exceptional. It's crucial to highlight the dedication and enthusiasm of the Military and Veterans Success Center. Without the incredible staff, this wouldn't be achievable."

UCM has a strong relationship with individuals who serve in all branches of the military. While it is in close proximity to Whiteman Air Force Base and offers courses at the base, it has online course and degree offerings that can reach individuals across the globe, including those military members who may be deployed. The university also offers in-state tuition for all active duty and military members and their dependents, and veterans, plus a Military Tuition package that helps reduce costs not covered by traditional military benefits. Additionally, it provides the Command Pass that enables all military members, veterans and their immediate family members free admission to home athletic games.

While such opportunities are ongoing, many additional efforts have been taken over the past three years to assist individuals affiliated with the military. This includes working on numerous projects such as updating furniture and creating a quiet study computer lab in the Military and Veterans Success Center, a facility that was created more than a decade ago as a one-stop resource to serve active duty military, veterans and military dependents who are enrolled at UCM. Other initiatives include partnerships such as becoming an AU-ABC- approved (Air University Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative within the Community College of the Air Force) institution, and collaboration with departments on campus such as the Career and Life Design Center to provide opportunities to attend job fairs and use other resources that serve military affiliates..

In addition to receiving Military Friendly® designations from VIQTORY Media, UCM’s dedication to active duty military members, their dependents and veterans contributed to being recognized by other organizations, including Military Times. An organization that provides the largest comprehensive annual ranking of higher education institutions for military service members and veterans, Military Times named UCM among its 2023 Best for Vets: Colleges. UCM earned the highest overall rankings among all public and private Missouri institutions. This is in addition to being ranked by U.S News & World Report among the Best Colleges for Veterans.

For more information, contact Swoboda at 660-543-8848 or



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