RMU named as one of the nation’s most “military-friendly” universities


Photo Credit: (RMU Sentry Media: John Blinn)

John Blinn, News Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP – Robert Morris University was recently named one of the most “military-friendly” universities within the United States.

The Military Friendly Company gave RMU a bronze rating for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Data from The Military Friendly Company showed that RMU exceeds all six of their main criteria that act as benchmarks for military friendliness.

RMU’s highest score was in the “Culture and Commitment” category where the university exceeded that standard by 79.49%.

Robert Morris also excelled in the “Academic Policies and Compliances” and “Admissions and Orientation” categories, passing the standard by 73.4% in both categories.

RMU surpassed each benchmark in each other category as follows:

Graduation and Career: 38.56%

Military Student Support and Retention: 23.29%

Financial Aid and Assistance: 10.59%

Director for Veterans and Military Families David Ausman views the ranking as a success for Robert Morris University.

“It means everything because it goes to show that we don’t only talk the talk, we walk the walk,” said Ausman.“You have to treat them well while they’re here, educate them well and then move them on in their careers and that’s something we do.”

Robert Morris has received recognition and the bronze award from the Military Friendly Company in previous years as well.

“I believe we have been ‘military friendly’ since we stood up this center so it’s been basically for about the past ten years I know we have had the bronze rating at least for the past two,” said Ausman.

Ausman went on to explain that the Military Friendly Company raises its standards every year, making it so universities have to continue to improve to maintain their recognition.

“The Military Friendly rating itself, even just to maintain, is hard. They actually make it more rigorous every year. So, for us to maintain bronze, for at least the past two years, means we actually improved services from year to year,” said Ausman.

One RMU student and veteran spoke about how the university offered him financial help.

“Yellow ribbon has been the biggest help,” said Richard Boerst, a junior Computer and Information Systems major. “The GI bill vets use to pay for school doesn’t cover the costs so the yellow ribbon picking up the slack is the biggest help,”

According to RMU’s website, “The Yellow Ribbon Program closes the gap between your education benefits and the cost of RMU’s tuition. For veterans in undergraduate programs whose Post 911 GI Bill is less than 100%, RMU has a Military Service Award to help offset a portion of the remaining tuition and fees.”

The Military Friendly Company also acknowledges the university’s 5,000 square foot veterans center.

Ausman went on to explain that the center is meant to help veteran students with academic success and to help tear down any obstacles that may obstruct that goal.

“While the student is coming here, we want to have academic success but we have to address anything that might be getting in that way,” said Ausman. “Is there a health issue? Mental health issue? Financial issue? Family issue?”

Ausman explained that the center leads veterans to counselors and other resources to resolve any of these problems.

The ranking from Military Friendly does not only help RMU continue to make improvements but it also helps the center establish data that helps them narrow down goals for the upcoming year.

“We are really looking at it from obviously, constantly reviewing, benchmarking our services, make sure we are best in class when it comes to our services as well as do we have the data to back that up and be able to report on?” said Ausman.

According to its website, the Military Friendly Company is an organization that is committed to finding and setting standards as to what organizations should embody to create a community that will properly support the military community.

RMU’s Center for Veterans and Military Families page says: “The center is an oasis for our military students, providing them with a private place to socialize with fellow student veterans, study in our quiet study area or use our computer lab, watch TV, or snag something to eat. Free coffee and snacks are always available to veterans, and there is also a kitchen area with a refrigerator, toaster, and microwave.”

The center is located in the lower level of the Jefferson Center and is open 24/7.

“We really want the students to be able to feel like they have a sense of community here,” said Ausman.

To hear the full interview with Ausman click here.