NMU No. 2 Among 'Military Friendly Schools'

Military Friendly Designation

Northern Michigan University ranks No. 2 among small public schools nationwide that have been designated 2024-25 Military Friendly Schools by VIQTORY Media. Northern is making its seventh-consecutive appearance in the Top 10. It is also recognized as a Military Friendly Spouse School.

The Military Friendly Schools designation honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that provide benefits for military and veteran students. It uses public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey of schools covering 10 indicators of success to determine its rankings. More than 1,800 institutions participated in the 2024-2025 survey, with 665 earning special awards for going above the standard.

NMU exceeded the Military Friendly benchmark standards in six categories. Highlights include rating 80% above the benchmark for military student support and retention, nearly 78% above for financial aid and assistance and nearly 75% higher for culture and commitment.

Mike Rutledge, a U.S. Army retiree, serves as coordinator of NMU Student Veteran Services. He is dedicated to helping individuals on the NMU campus and in the community take advantage of all benefits available to them by virtue of their military service. He also is the staff adviser for the Student Veterans Association.

“The most common thing I see on the end-of-semester surveys we send out is the satisfaction with the direct attention veterans get from this office, which is staffed by veterans,” said Rutledge, whose service dog, Welles, is a campus celebrity. “We try and make contact as soon as veterans submit their applications and then remain in direct contact through their first day and beyond. They don't feel lost or alone entering a completely different world from that of the military.”

For more information on NMU's veteran services and benefits, visit nmu.edu/veterans.

“Military Friendly® is committed to transparency and providing consistent data-driven standards in our designation process,” said Kayla Lopez, national director of military partnerships. “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.”

Media Contact: Mike Rutledge, mrutledg@nmu.edu, 906-227-1402

Prepared By

Bridgette Bowser
Student Writer

Categories: Around NMU