California State University San Marcos. Photo by Chris Stone

Three of San Diego’s major universities and one community college ranked highly in a newly released list of military-friendly institutions of higher learning.

In the rankings released Monday by the publication Military Times, Cal State San Marcos placed 24th, San Diego State University 33rd and the University of San Diego 37th out of 140 four-year schools.

CSUSM officials say they have the highest percentage of student-veterans per capita in the 23-campus California State University system. About 11 percent of the student body on the North County campus is composed of military- connected students.

“Our true north is serving our veterans and other military-connected students, and it is gratifying to see our hard work recognized,” said Patricia Reily, director of CSUSM’s Veterans Services. “But we could not provide the outstanding, holistic, high-touch service we provide without the support of our wonderful, collaborative campus and community partners. This accolade belongs to us all.”

According to the Military Times, the rankings are created from answers to a 150-question survey submitted by the colleges, coupled with data from the federal Education, Defense and Veterans Affairs departments. The results showed how schools compare in university culture, academic quality and outcomes, policies, student support, and cost and financial aid.

The top four-year universities, according to Military Times, are D’Youville College, a private institution in Buffalo, New York; the University of South Florida, in Tampa; Armstrong State University, Savannah, Georgia; Rutgers, in New Brunswick, New Jersey; and the University of Kansas, in Lawrence.

Highly ranked nearby schools include Cal State San Bernardino, 15th; and USC, 19th.

Cuyamaca College placed 31 out of the top 34 two-year schools. The top community colleges were Central Community College, in Grand Island, Nebraska; Tarrant County College, Trinity River Campus, Fort Worth, Texas; Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City; Clackamas Community College, Oregon City, Oregon; and Tidewater Community College, Norfolk, Virginia.

The Military Times reported that of schools that track graduation rates for students with military ties, 58 percent reported rates higher than or equal to the rate for their overall student population.

— City News Service

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