• Joshua Scheidler

Olivet designated as military friendly school

Olivet College has received the Military Friendly School designation for 2018 from Victoria Media, a group that advocates for veterans across the country and runs the website militaryfriendly.com, which is where organizations will be listed once they receive a designation.

To receive a score, the college had to submit a survey to Victory Media outlining the school’s programs for veterans on campus, which include the veterans scholarship offered by the college and admission to the Veterans Advocates Group on campus. Victory Media grades the school on six criteria: retention rates in year one and two, graduation rate, job placement rate, loan repayment rate, loan default rate, and persistence rate. The college was given a total 54 out of 100 points and the gold designation for 2018. The formula for scoring, according to Military Friendly’s website, militaryfriendly.com, is “All Students Rate is above 50 percent, or Veteran Students Rate (percent) is above the All Students percentage.”

Olivet is lacking most in the “Graduation and Career Outcomes” category. That category is weighted at 30 percent of the overall score and Olivet scored 32 in the category. The highest score Olivet received in any of the six categories was 83 percent in the “Financial Aid and Assistance” category. That category is weighted at 12 percent.

Olivet was awarded the bronze designation for 2017, but this year made it to gold as a Top 10 School. According to Olivet College’s website, which still shows the 2017 designation, “Military Friendly Schools are leading institutions that have earned the elite Military Friendly designation. Bronze Award winners have programs that scored within 40 percent of the 10th-ranked [sic] institution within a given category.”

Leslie Sullivan, Olivet’s VA certifying official, said, “I think one of the greatest things we have done [to receive the improved designation] is the scholarship that also includes dependents of service men and women.”

According to militaryfriendly.com, the organization uses public data sources to see whether the institution has at least three federal veteran educational programs “in operation and good standing.” They also check public data sources to make sure that the educational institution it is scoring does not have any federal precautionary flags against it for things such as suspension of federal programs or a high rate of student complaints with the VA.

Victory Media is a veteran-owned business that aims to “create vital, civilian-produced resources for thousands of people leaving the military each year” and at no cost to members. The organization’s website, victorymedia.com, said, “…The Military Friendly designation creates better outcomes for veterans. By setting a standard, then promoting it, we provide positive reinforcement for American organizations to invest in programs that improve the lives of veterans.”

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