For the third time in six years, Viqtory Media has named the University of Georgia the No. 1 Military Friendly tier 1 research institution. UGA was previously recognized as the top-ranked Military Friendly school in 2017 and 2021, and has been recognized as a Military Friendly school since the Student Veterans Resource Center’s inception in 2013.
Jon Segars, director of the SVRC, said that the hard work of students and the excellent support of donors and alumni are the keys to UGA’s success.
“Together with university and community leaders, we make each veteran’s UGA experience personal,” said Segars. “We strive to remove obstacles they frequently face by focusing on the unique solutions for each student—caring for both their academic and personal well-being.”
To support student veterans and service members, the SVRC works to ease the transition from the military to higher education, improve the UGA experience, and facilitate career readiness. In collaboration with units across campus, the SVRC guides students to maximize their military benefits and explore all their available opportunities.
UGA student veterans are 33 years old on average, and though they bring a wealth of global and life experiences to the classroom, they also carry the responsibilities and demands of adult life. Many of UGA’s 275 student veterans have families, dependents, hold full-time jobs and commute longer distances to campus. More than 20 percent of these students are still serving with the active-duty military or in the reserve component forces. Navigating these personal, professional and academic responsibilities can be extremely challenging.
“Transitioning from the Army was not easy,” said Gabriela Castillo, a student veteran studying biology on a pre-med track. “As a dual military family, my husband and I had to start from square one. I was not prepared for the amount of support I would need at UGA—or how the SVRC staff would help me through the challenges. The response has been overwhelming. From ways to connect with my peer student veterans, to mentoring and opportunities for scholarships, I am so grateful for the guidance and the resources.”
As a former student veteran himself, Segars said it is not easy to maintain the high standards expected of UGA students while balancing numerous commitments outside of school.
“Our continuous support of these military-connected students is critical as we help develop these heroes as the senior leaders of the future,” said Segars. “We are honored by the recognition as the top Military Friendly school knowing that there are many great institutions out there with our same mission.”