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CSC again named 'Best for Vets'

December 4, 2012

A Chadron State College ROTC member salutes the battlefield cross during the Veterans Day ceremony at the Sandoz Center last month. (Photo by Justin Haag) A Chadron State College ROTC member salutes the battlefield cross during the Veterans Day ceremony at the Sandoz Center last month. (Photo by Justin Haag)

Chadron State College has again been named one of the nation’s best institutions for military veterans seeking higher education.

For the third consecutive year, Military Times Edge magazine has placed CSC on its “Best for Vets” list of colleges and universities. CSC’s No. 11 ranking is its highest yet.

This year’s accolade follows rankings of 13 and 23 the past two years. Of the more than 650 colleges and universities that responded to the Military Times Edge 150-question survey, only CSC and two other Nebraska institutions were listed in the top 68.

“We are pleased to again be listed among the best colleges and universities for veterans,” said Dr. Randy Rhine, CSC’s former vice president for enrollment management and student services who is scheduled to become president in January after serving eight months as interim. “It says a lot for not only Chadron State College but also the surrounding area. We are proud to live in a community and region that is very military-friendly.”

Jon Hansen, CSC veteran and military enrollment coordinator, said the institution’s affordability, with low tuition and features such as free tutoring, make it stand out from other colleges and universities.

CSC gets high marks from the Military Times Edge survey for its veteran services office on the third floor of Crites Hall, where coordinator of veteran affairs Chris Singpiel and others are located.

CSC also gained points for having costs below the cap for the G.I. Bill’s Tuition Assistance program and for participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a federal initiative that pays tuition and fees for veterans attending public institutions. In addition, CSC accepts credits from the American Council on Education, a program that awards college credit based on military training and experience.

Adding to affordability and dedicated service, Hansen notes that CSC has four Veterans Affairs work-study students and the institution’s proximity to the VA hospital in Hot Springs, S.D. He also said Chadron has a low cost of living compared to most other college communities.

“We have a wide range of programs availableand we have one of the most liberal transfer policies,” Hansen said.

In recent years, Chadron State has placed a concerted focus on serving active military and veterans.

In the survey’s reporting year, 2011-2012, the CSC enrollment included 203 students with military affiliation. Hansen notes that the number has increased from 86 veterans and active military students in 2010 -- the year Hansen, a retired U.S. Army officer, joined the CSC admissions staff to assist in recruiting students from military backgrounds.

“About half of our students are from the National Guard, whether it’s South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming or Colorado,” he said. “The other half is a combination of ROTC cadets, active duty from all the services or just straight-up veterans.”

Military Times Edge isn’t the only military media to take note of CSC. During the past three years, CSC also has been listed among G.I. Jobs magazine’s list of military-friendly schools. Only 15 percent of colleges and universities in the United States earn that designation.

—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services

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