Stetson University named Military Friendly School

Stetson University with campuses in DeLand, Celebration and Gulfport, Fla., has been named among 2013 Military Friendly Schools.

The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill covers my tuition for the first semester then Stetson covers the second semester so that I can go to school for the full year without any student loans,” said Stetson student Christopher Griffin, who served as a Medic in the Army for four years and is featured on Stetson’s profile on the website.

A full story and detailed list of 2013 Military Friendly Schools will be highlighted in the annual G.I. Jobs Guide to Military Friendly Schools, distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in early October.

(L-R): Judge Raphael Steinhardt, Dean Michael Allen and Professor Royal Gardner.

(L-R): Judge Raphael Steinhardt, Institute director Dean Michael Allen and Professor Royal Gardner cut the ribbon for Stetson’s Veterans Law Institute in May 2012. The Institute was named the Judge Raphael Steinhardt Building.

“While Stetson University has always been a military friendly school, recognition by our peers just makes it official,” said Stetson Director of Continuing Education Bill O’Connor.

“This process has helped the Stetson University community learn about what is being done across all campuses and all departments; helping us to realize the effort that is made by many to ensure the success of our military and veteran students,” added Stetson Associate Vice President for Boundless Learning Emily Richardson. “We all gained additional pride in our community and their commitment to becoming a military friendly institution.”

Stetson participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, through which the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Stetson provide financial aid to supplement the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill to make college affordable for veterans. Stetson has a Veterans Task Force to continually find ways to better serve veterans. There is an Army ROTC program on the DeLand campus and Student Veterans Organizations on both the DeLand campus and at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport/St. Petersburg.

Stetson Law’s Veterans Law Institute, which opened in May, serves as a center for veteran and military scholarship, the site of Stetson’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic, and will provide continuing legal education for attorneys representing veterans as well as a focal point for student veterans and their pro bono related activities. The institute serves the growing population of active duty military and veterans in the Tampa Bay area, home to one of the largest concentrations of veterans in the U.S.

“The Veterans Advocacy Clinic offers representation for qualified veterans who are applying for or who have been denied benefits,” said Professor Cynthia Batt, director of clinical education at Stetson Law. “Law students learn the fundamentals of practice skills so that they can continue to represent veterans post-graduation.”

“Inclusion in the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools shows Stetson University’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media, which puts out the list. “As interest in education grows, we’re thrilled to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”

The Military Friendly Schools media and website, found at, feature the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The 1,739 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. These schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility, and other services to those who served.

Now in its fourth year, the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 VA-approved schools nationwide. The survey results that comprise the 2013 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by G.I. Jobs. Each year, schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country.

A full list of board members can be found at

To learn more about Stetson’s Veterans Law Institute, visit