OSU Institute of Technology has been ranked as one of the best colleges for veterans to attend in Military Times' newest "Best for Vets: Colleges" rankings.
OSUIT was ranked No. 4 in the Career and Technical Colleges category in the 2021 rankings. The rankings recognize schools for their commitment to educating and providing opportunities to America's veterans, service members and families.
"As we embark upon OSUIT's 75th anniversary, this type of recognition validates that we've stayed true to our campus's original objective of providing occupational skills for veterans to enter the workforce," said OSUIT President Bill R. Path. "OSUIT remains committed to providing the best services and programs for veterans and their dependents."
Veteran students, spouses and children can enroll at OSUIT using their G.I. Bill benefits to earn an associate or bachelor's. The Veteran Services office deals primarily with processing education benefits offered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
"OSUIT provides a single point of contact for almost everything a student needs regarding admission and veteran benefits. We will walk them through the process step by step to ensure the veteran doesn't get lost in the process," said Sommer Farrimond, Veteran Services Coordinator. "I encourage students to contact the Veteran Services office first so that we can ensure they have the smoothest experience possible."
Zachariah D. King, a 3D Animation student from Tulsa, is a current VA work-study for the Veteran Services office. King served in the United States Air National Guard in Aerospace Ground Equipment Maintenance.
"The Veteran Services office at OSUIT has been extremely easy to work with," said King. "All questions get prompt responses, and any paperwork is quickly received. Any benefits that you qualify for they try to get for you. The entire process is fairly streamlined and easy."
A few things that earned OSUIT this ranking include scholarships for veterans, credit by exam policies, VA work-study programs and academic and career support.
There are at least three scholarships offered through the OSU Foundation that are specifically for veteran students.
OSUIT is one of the few schools that will convert military training to credit that will count toward graduation, not just electives. The institution not only takes American Council on Education credit recommendations, but it also has a Prior Learning Credit system.
The Veteran Services office offers two work-study positions that are provided by Veteran Affairs.
"This is another benefit that veteran students utilizing education benefits can apply for and use at the same time," said Farrimond. "Students can also apply for other work-study positions at the Vet Center in Tulsa and the VA in Muskogee as well as other locations."
OSUIT also provides academic support specifically for veterans. Suppose a veteran student is struggling with a particular class and asks for assistance. In that case, all veteran students who previously succeeded in that class are contacted with a request to help, and those who volunteer are put in contact with the one that needs help.
The campus also offers a Veteran Lounge located in the Student Union available for use by veteran students. The area provides a place to study or socialize with fellow veterans at OSUIT.
"I chose OSUIT because there is a focus on jobs after graduation. My main praise is that the school focuses on getting students hired instead of just pushing them to graduate," said King. "The faculty and staff seem very focused and enthusiastic about their fields of study and go the extra mile to make sure students are prepared for real life. It is easy to find like-minded people that you can work with."
Military Times is an independent news agency covering issues of importance to service members and their families. Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges is the largest and most comprehensive rankings of schools for military service members and veterans, helping them make important decisions about their education. OSUIT was also ranked in the following categories: 106th overall, 98th four-year school, 86th public and 10th southwest.
The annual survey took answers and federal data from more than 300 schools. More than 70 questions sought details about the costs, programs, policies and services that affect military-connected students. Federal data from the U.S. Departments of Education, Veterans Affairs and Defense were also considered.