McKendree University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Lindenwood University -- which operates a campus in Belleville in addition to its main campus in St. Charles, Mo. -- have been named top military friendly schools in the country by a publication that helps members of the armed forces make the transition to civilian life.
Victory Media publishes an annual military friendly school list, which names schools in the top 15 percent of U.S. higher learning institutions at helping military students and veterans get the education they need to transition to civilian life.
Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs Magazine and vice president at Victory Media said the schools on the list go above and beyond what others do for America's fighting families.
Being on the list "shows commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students," Collins said.
The 2013 list will be the fourth consecutive year that McKendree and SIUE have made the list.
McKendree provost and dean Christine Bahr said assisting the military is a priority for the school, which has seen an increase in the number of members of the armed services who have enrolled both in their metro-east main location and at its Radcliff, Ky., campus.
"We continue our commitment to meeting the needs of these students so that they may achieve their academic goals," Bahr said.
Collins said the military friendly school list evaluates 12,000 colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide to determine which are doing the most to answer the education needs of military service members, veterans and spouses and to ensure their campus success.
McKendree has designated several staff members to specifically assist military members and their families, Bahr said. For more information about benefits that are available, visit www.mckendree.edu/veterans.
Also on the list of top military friendly schools were several St. Louis institutions: Fontbonne University; Maryville University, Missouri Baptist University; St. Louis University, Washington University and Webster University.
Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at email@example.com or call 239-2626.