ECU named top school for military spouses

East Carolina University has been named one of the top 100 schools in the nation for military spouses.

ECU is the only university in North Carolina to receive Victory Media’s Military Spouse Friendly School designation.


As such, ECU demonstrates “best practices in the education of military spouses and military families,” according to Victory Media, which measured universities on 10 criteria from academic and military family support to offering programs leading to portable career opportunities.

Earning the designation brings great pride, said Rondall Rice, chair of ECU’s Academic Military Affairs Committee, which completed the surveys and compiled information for the designations.

“Having served 29 years in the Air Force, I know the importance of military spouses and families, and the hardships they endure to allow their loved one to serve the nation. Being Military Spouse Friendly recognizes that ECU values their sacrifice and has programs and policies in place to help them achieve their academic goals,” Rice said.

This is the fifth military friendly-related designation this academic year, Rice said, which is a testament to ECU’s campus-wide efforts to make it a welcoming and beneficial place for military students, veterans and their families.

“This specific student population is focused and hard-working, but often face difficulties and unique situations due to their service,” Rice said. “We are proud to work with them all to help them earn their degrees.”

In the fall, the Military Times ranked ECU 28th in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2016 – the highest ranked in North Carolina. ECU also was named a Military Friendly School, which recognizes the top 20 percent of trade schools, colleges and universities that are doing the most to embrace service members, veterans and their families. The other two designations given to ECU are the Military Times’ Best for Vets: Business Schools and Victory Media’s Top 50 Military Friendly Schools for jobs in the pharmaceutical and health care industry.

ECU offers participation in the Veterans Administration Yellow Ribbon Program, which extends GI Bill benefits to cover out-of-state tuition. ECU also has one of only 79 VA-funded Veterans Support on Campus representatives across the nation and the only one in North Carolina.

Other support groups on campus include the student-led Pirate Veterans and the ECU Student Veteran Services office which offers Green Zone training for faculty and staff to increase understanding of military and veteran students and issues they may face in college. ECU also has programs to award academic credit for military training using American Council on Education recommendations. And ECU’s Military Advisory Committee helps raise scholarship money for ROTC and military students and coordinates veterans recognition and military appreciation events.

Victory Media’s Military Friendly Guide is the premier resource used by military personnel and their families when choosing an institution of higher learning. The publication is distributed to all base education centers worldwide and offered to every military member at retirement or transition from service to civilian life. More information about the new designation can be found at

–Crystal Baity