Veterans Ball attendees.
Attendees pose for a photo at the fifth annual Veterans Ball in November 2023 in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall. (Brandon Woller '17/University of St. Thomas)

St. Thomas Earns Third Consecutive Military Friendly School Gold

For the third year in a row, the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota received the Military Friendly School Gold Award. St. Thomas has been recognized as a Military Friendly School for seven consecutive years.

“I’m thankful, as we in Veterans Services understand that nothing happens in a vacuum,” Director of Veterans Services Norman Ferguson Jr. said. “Moreover, we are keenly aware of the fact that we would be nowhere without the support of administration, faculty, staff and students. This recognition is testament to the way St. Thomas strives to support military-connected students.”

The Paul and Sarah Karon Veterans Resource Center serves as a hub for student veterans at St. Thomas. At the center, student veterans can access tutoring and counseling services, specialized scholarships and housing support, internships, mental health resources, professional networking and career coaching. Since the center opened in November 2017, St. Thomas has significantly increased the number of programs for student veterans.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,800 schools participated in the 2024-25 survey, with 537 earning special awards for going above the standard.

The 2024-25 Military Friendly Schools list will be published in the May and October issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at

“Military Friendly is committed to transparency and providing consistent data-driven standards in our designation process,” said Kayla Lopez, national director of military partnerships for Military Friendly. “Our standards provide a benchmark that promotes positive outcomes and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the military community. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to evolve and invest in their programs consistently. Schools who achieve awards designation show true commitment in their efforts, going over and above that standard.”

Methodology, criteria and weightings were determined by recruitment marketing company Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

St. Thomas continues to receive high marks from many sources for its services designed for military veterans pursuing their college degrees. The university ranked No. 113 on the most recent U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges for Veterans list.

St. Thomas also has been named three times to U.S. Veterans Magazine’s “Top Veteran-Friendly Schools” list. In addition, the university has been named to the Military Times “Best for Vets” list three years in a row, a comprehensive ranking of schools for military service members and veterans.

To learn more about the ways in which St. Thomas is honoring veteran students, visit the St. Thomas Veterans Resources website.