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June 30, 2021

SVSU ranks as a "Best for Vets" college

Saginaw Valley State University’s commitment to serving military veterans has been recognized with a place in the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges rankings. SVSU ranks 15th among four-year public institutions in the Midwest and is among only 189 four-year public institutions nationwide to achieve this distinction. In addition to the Best for Vets: Colleges ranking, SVSU has been recognized as a Military Friendly School and as a Gold-level Veteran-Friendly School by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. 

“This ranking demonstrates that SVSU strives to be military-friendly,” said Bethany Alford, director of Military Student Affairs and a senior chief in the U.S. Navy Reserve. “We appreciate the sacrifices our military-affiliated students have made for our country, as well as their grit and determination in pursuing a degree. It’s important that we provide them with the resources that will help them succeed.” 

Each year, Military Times surveys colleges and universities across the country to ask about their programs for veterans. The survey results are analyzed — along with public data about the institutions — to create an official ranking, which is found at

SVSU’s Military Student Affairs office is dedicated to the needs and concerns of all military-affiliated students. The office provides a number of services designed to help both active and veteran military students navigate the university landscape to successfully complete their degree and transition into graduate school or the workforce. Three percent of SVSU’s student body are affiliated with the military. 

Harley Davidson, an elementary education major serving as a staff sergeant (E6) in the Michigan Army National Guard, credits the Military Student Affairs office with helping her navigate the process of using her military benefits to pay for college.

“When I started off at SVSU, I was a transfer student who was also new to using my military benefits,” said the Pinconning resident. “The Military Student Affairs office helped to get everything I needed taken care of. They have also been great about giving me and other students a comfortable place to have questions answered and to relax and study. I now work in the office while I’m taking classes. The office has given me the opportunity to connect with other veterans and service-connected students, do rewarding work and connect with many other offices and resources on campus.”

“The Military Student Affairs office has given me and other military-affiliated students a place where we can get assistance with our educational benefits and also a community with understanding individuals,” said McClain Mercer, a political science major living in Bay City. Mercer, who served in the U.S. Army JAG Corps from 2016-2020, said SVSU is helping him prepare for a career through programs and organizations like the Student Law Club and Forever Red

For 10 years, Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges has been a top resource for veterans to help with their education decisions. This is the seventh year SVSU has made the list. 

This year’s rankings now include an individual web page for each school, with information that will help veterans make important decisions about their career planning and how to use the education benefits they earned through military service.