Those were the words of Greg Eisenbarth, executive director of Military MBA, regarding surging military enrollments at business schools. And it serves as a stark reminder: Servicemen and women aren’t your everyday students.
A sink-or-swim academic culture doesn’t favor veterans transitioning to a less structured civilian life. Like working professionals, they often balance school with the needs of family and work. Active personnel lack predictable schedules, and their jobs often involve life-and-death, not profit-and-loss, situations. Some want refreshers and remediation. Others need a flexible schedule with support available on evenings and weekends. A few require disability services or go-to staffers who can help with benefits processing. And like most MBAs, they’re looking to fit in and have their contributions valued by their classmates.
With the military comprising 8.1% of B-school enrollments in 2012, schools simply can’t afford to ignore the needs of this growing student population. So which schools walk the walk in this area?
Recently, The Military Times ranked business schools on which MBA programs were the best fits for military veterans. A total of 140 schools responded to an 80-question survey covering five core areas: school culture, student support, academic quality, academic policies, and cost and financial aid. In the formula, culture and support were given added weight. Here is how the top 10 schools stacked up:
The D’Youville College School of Business, a private college in Buffalo, New York, tops the list. Along with the stats shown, it received four stars (highest rating) on staff support and academic support (along with receiving high marks for giving academic credit for military training). Ohio State trailed closely behind, knocked down by receiving 3.5 stars in both staff and academic support. The University of the Incarnate Word Extended Academic Programs-School of Extended Studies rounded out the top three, with four-star ratings on staff and academic support. Nearly 20% of its student body is comprised of military veterans, a percentage second only to the D’Youville College School of Business among the top 10 schools.
To view the top 64 schools, along with additional data on location, staff support, academic support, total enrollment, average GMATs, and acceptance of military training credits, click here.