FAYETTE, Iowa (May 21, 2014) - The online undergraduate and master's in business administration (MBA) programs at Upper Iowa University have been ranked among the best online programs for veterans and service members by U.S. News & World Report. The "2014 Best Online Programs for Veterans" rankings were released on the publication's website May 20.
The UIU Online Bachelor's Programs are ranked 21st among colleges and universities with online undergraduate programs for veterans. The UIU Online MBA program is ranked 23rd. To be considered for the ranks of best online programs for veterans, each of the 197 colleges and universities on the list also had to be numerically ranked among best online education programs by U.S. News in January 2014. This is only the second year that U.S. News has specifically ranked online programs for veterans and service members.
According to U.S. News, "Veterans and active-duty service members face unique challenges as students, from transitioning between bases and grappling with deployment to balancing work and family life upon return. The Best Online Programs for Veterans are high-quality programs that also offer educational benefits and flexibility for veterans pursuing a degree."
All of the ranked Best Online Programs for Veterans belong to institutions that are certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, two federal initiatives that help veterans reduce the cost of school. The programs are also affiliated with schools that are members of the Service members Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium and offer at least one course in the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) catalog. By associating with those groups, institutions pledge to consider granting academic credit for classes and training completed in the military and offer flexibility for distance learners taking courses at several schools.
The Best Online Programs for Veterans includes bachelor's programs as well as master's programs in education, nursing, engineering and business. Only regionally accredited degree-granting programs that are offered predominantly online were considered.
U.S. News reported that 20 percent more colleges and universities provided data for consideration than in 2013, and this year's rankings also considered peer review data based on programs' evaluations of each other. The result, according to the publication, was considerable movement by programs up and down the list of rankings from a year ago.
"This is an outstanding recognition of Upper Iowa University's long history of working with active military service members as well as veterans and all members of the U.S. military family. Our commitment began during the Civil War, and we have been there for veterans of every military conflict," said UIU President William R. Duffy II, Ed.D., Ed.S. "Today, veterans are earning their degrees at the highest rate since World War II, and this university is extremely proud of its fine record of being able to meet those educational needs not only after they come home but through our online and self-paced programs that allow service members to continue their education during deployments."
Paula Shipper, Ed.D., vice president for Academic Extension, which oversees UIU off-campus programming, called the rankings a tribute to UIU faculty and staff. "At UIU, we are proud to say that we change lives, one student at a time. A college degree is the key to a better, more secure future for most students. This well-deserved recognition honors the hard work of faculty and staff who are dedicated to the UIU mission and who have helped thousands of military students complete their degrees, which will have a significant positive impact on their lives," Shipper said.
President Duffy noted that UIU was among the nation's first universities to embrace distance education. The University launched its first distance education programs more than 40 years ago, and is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its first online offerings in 2014. Today, UIU has more than 1,600 students enrolled in the UIU Center for Distance Education, which includes online and independent study. In 2013, 17 percent of UIU students were either active members of military service or veterans.
UIU has been named to the top 15% of military-friendly schools by G.I. Jobs for five consecutive years and named as a top military-friendly university for six consecutive years by Military Advanced Education.
Information about the UIU online programs is available at www.uiu.edu.
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 6,200 students – nationally and internationally – at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing