UWRF named ‘military friendly’ school for 2023-24

Posted April 10, 2023

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has been recognized as a Military Friendly School for the 2023-24 school year by a Pennsylvania-based advertising and marketing company called Viqtory.

Out of more than 1,800 schools surveyed, only 350 were chosen for designation. UWRF earned a silver rating, with the tiers being Top 10, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Robert Bode, the director of UWRF’s Veteran’s Service and Financial Aid Office, said that he is pleased with being recognized as a Military Friendly institution. However, he said there is room for improvement.

“The (Military Friendly) survey lists graduation and career, and military student support and retention, as the two areas where we could use the most improvement,” Bode said.

According to Bode, the Military Friendly designation is based on exceeding benchmarks for six different categories: academic policies and compliance, admissions and orientation, culture and commitment, financial aid and assistance, graduation and career placement and military student support and retention. The ratings program started in 2003, according to the militaryfriendly.com website.

“We participate in the Military Friendly survey each year,” Bode said.

Bode added that Viqtory uses publicly available data and survey responses to measure school performance in these areas against a minimum standard. The greater the percentage by which the college’s score exceeds this benchmark results in a higher ranking for the college.

“So, for UWRF to become a Gold or Top 10 (school), we would have to dedicate more human and financial resources to these six areas of support for our military and veteran students.” Bode said.

Bode added that another area UWRF is looking to improve is restarting the UWRF Veterans Club.

“The Military/Veterans Resource center is working on restarting the vets club, and there has also been some interest among veteran students this semester,” Bode said. “One of the challenges with the vets club has been that being nontraditional students, vets often have other life demands which affect full participation in campus activities.”

According to Bode, the activities of the Veterans Club ceased during the COVID-19 pandemic and have not continued since. However, that doesn’t mean all hope for the club is lost.

“We hope to have a full vets club running by fall 2023.” Bode said.