August 10, 2023

Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Designates “Gold Status” to Michigan State University for Eighth Consecutive Year

When it comes to Veteran Friendly Schools (VFS), Michigan State University (MSU) ranks among the best in the state. In its annual ranking list, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency designated MSU its “gold status” for the eighth consecutive year. The ranking recognizes higher education institutions committed to supporting the needs of veterans and military-connected students.

“The Student Veterans Resource Center is a small office and we often rely on help from the campus community to support our Spartan veterans and military families. With this being MSU's eighth year receiving this designation, it speaks to that community commitment to supporting military-connected students,” said Patrick Forystek, director of the Student Veterans Resource Center.MVAA Veteran Friendly School Award Graphic

MSU has been fortunate to have had gold status since the VFS program’s inception in 2015-16. Institutions are awarded Gold-, Silver-, and Bronze-level status based on their veteran-centric services and programs. MSU’s Student Veterans Resource Center, within the Division of Student Life and Engagement, provides programs and services to support student veterans and their families at MSU. They even work closely with MSU Athletics to feature veterans at on-campus athletic events as “Veterans of the Game.” Beyond the center, MSU participates in the Michigan Veteran Education Initiative.

“The Spartan family has shown, year after year, that they strive for excellence when it comes to providing a welcoming, warm, and safe campus for service members, veterans, and their families.  Their recognition as an MVAA Gold-Level Institution is evidence of their dedication to that mission,” said Chris Taylor, education analyst with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. 

To become a Veteran-Friendly School with Gold-Level status, universities, colleges or trade schools must meet at least six of the following criteria:

  1. Established process for identification of current student veterans
  2. Veteran-specific website
  3. Active student veteran organization or club
  4. Veteran-specific career services, resources, advising, and/or outcome monitoring
  5. On-campus veterans’ coordinator and/or designated staff point of contact
  6. System to evaluate and award academic credit based on prior military training and experience
  7. Monitoring and evaluation of student veteran academic retention, progress, and graduation rates

Per Forystek, “We have seen the criteria evolve with the needs of military-connected students, and to be recognized as a gold-level institution shows we are capable of adjusting our services to meet those changing student needs."

Student veterans are an important part of the MSU Community. Over 400 student veterans call MSU home. With more than 2,000 military-affiliated students, the university continues to show it has the infrastructure and the services to support veterans in a number of ways, including in academic success.

Spartan helmet