Gannon named ‘Military Friendly’ School

Gannon University has been named to an exclusive list of “Military Friendly Schools” for the fifth straight year.

Universities must meet a list of requirements in order to be considered a ‘Military Friendly School’ and be in the top 15 percent of a list compiled by Victory Media, a service-disabled and veteran- owned business located in Pittsburgh that also publishes G.I. Jobs Magazine.

Schools recognized on this list are considered to have “gone above and beyond to provide transitioning veterans the best possible experience in higher education.”

Victory Media then uses data-driven surveys and methods that have been created and supervised by independent advisory boards to narrow the list down to the top 15 percent.

The survey is extensive and covers many requirements that the school must meet, including military support on campus, academic credibility, percentage of military students, academic credit for military service, flexibility for military students, veteran graduation rates, student tuition assistance, student survey, employment rates, military spouse policies and government approvals.

The results of these surveys are then tabulated, processed and verified by an independent company, Ernst and Young LLP.

Ronald K. Swift, a retired lietenant colonel with the U.S. Army Reserves and a veteran Financial Aid and enrollment counselor at Gannon, said the university provides services and accommodations to the nearly 70 military students that are currently enrolled, including prior service veterans, serving members of the National Guard and Reservists as well as military dependents.

Swift said the director of Financial Aid used to be the primary person who took care of veterans, until the school made a decision to add him as another staff member member to specifically lend support to veterans as their population at Gannon grew.

“Gannon has always helped its veterans by providing the best service possible,” he said, “and we do this first by getting them accepted and getting them their benefits.”

Swift’s primary job as the veteran Financial Aid and enrollment counselor is to help these students qualify for the G.I. Bill or answer any questions regarding things such as financial aid, veteran benefits and housing.

Swift isn’t the only person at Gannon helping our veterans and military members. He said it’s more of a team effort.

“We try to do a lot of things to honor our veterans at Gannon,” Swift said.

Three major events throughout the year include the President’s Day Breakfast in September, Veterans Day Salute in November, which includes a memorial ceremony and free admission to the football game, and the Four Chaplains Interfaith Memorial Service in February.

“We want veterans to know who we are at Gannon,” Swift said, “we want them to know about all the services we have available to them.”

Swift also wants veterans coming to Gannon to know they can and are welcomed to be involved with Gannon’s ROTC program.

“It’s nice to have veterans come to Gannon and develop a close comradery with the ROTC program, not only for the veterans but also for the students,” he said, “I feel that their involvement really helps to enrich the program and strengthen Gannon’s proud military history.”

CHARLES LEAR

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