Of approximately 1,800 participating institutions, UofL was one of 29 Carnegie Designated Tier 1 Research institutions to earn “Gold” designation. According to Military Friendly, “Gold” designated institutions are selected for their “leading practices, outcomes, and effective programs” for military-connected students. “Gold” designated institutions succeed in the “areas that matter most in helping veterans transition from the military to school and then to satisfying careers in the civilian sector.”
A key reason UofL earned “Gold” designation was a creation of the new Center for Military-Connected Students, set to open this summer in Brodschi Hall. Through this center, the institution is improving how it addresses the academic, financial, physical and social needs of its military-connected students.
Funded by a bipartisan-supported $600,000 allocation from the Kentucky Legislature, renovations began in late February. The nearly 5,000-square-foot facility will have office space for full-time staff, flexible office space for support staff from student services areas, a student lounge, study space and kitchen, a wellness/lactation room and two new ADA-compliant restrooms. “Brodschi Hall will be the one-stop shop where military-connected students can connect with campus and community resources and where they can connect,” center director Kyle Hurwitz said.
UofL’s Physical Plant is constructing with mechanical, electrical and plumbing work engineered by Kerr-Greulich Engineers Inc. Architect for the project is SNDBX Design Collaborative and interior design is by UofL’s University Planning, Design and Construction.
Also, a factor in UofL’s “Gold” designation is the Salute to Service Scholarship for veteran and dependent students. Awarded for the first time in Fall 2022 the scholarship awards four $2,500 scholarships in fall and spring terms, and two $2,500 scholarships for summer terms to veteran or dependent students. The scholarship was made possible by a generous donation from the UPS Foundation as well support from the H.E.R.O Run/Walk/Ruck 5K, a local charity event started in 2022 by a UofL employee and his spouse who work for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Another way the institution is serving its military-connected students is through a collaboration between the Center for Military-Connected Students, the University Career Center and Office of Adult Learning. These units worked together to introduce a voluntary training program for faculty and staff who wish to learn more about the military-connected student experience.
“Red Bird” training creates allies who know about the issues and concerns, unique perspectives, strengths and challenges of military-connected students. “Red Bird” trained individuals assist military-connected students and serve as resources to other faculty, staff or students who have questions about military-connected student issues. The first training session was held in February and almost 40 faculty and staff members were trained. A second training session will take place in April.
According to the most recently available data from the Department of Defense’s Tuition Assistance Decide Tool, UofL has more students using military tuition assistance than the other 14 institutions in the Atlantic Coast Conference combined. Among the reasons for this high enrollment are a reduced tuition rate of $250 per credit hour for active-duty and qualifying members of the National Guard and Reserves applying to most graduate and all undergraduate programs. Additionally, the institution waives application fees and offers priority course registration for currently serving members of the U.S. military and veterans.
The J.B. Speed School of Engineering recently began offering a reduced tuition rate of $250 per credit hour for their graduate programs, including the Master of Engineering in Engineering Management. A complete list of military tuition assistance programs can be found at louisville.edu/online/military.