The Charger Blog

University Recognized Among Top Military-Friendly Schools in the Country

OnlineU has ranked the University of New Haven in the top half of its 100 best online military-friendly colleges, praising its commitment to creating a strong community and support network.

January 25, 2021

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of U New Haven military students.
The University of New Haven was ranked in the top half of OnlineU’s 100 best online military-friendly colleges.

Before beginning his career at the University of New Haven, Micah Weinstein ’22 served in the United States Coast Guard. He was stationed out of Florida, Washington, Maine, and New York while serving in missions that included counterterrorism, narcotics interdiction, and search and rescue.

After transitioning to the reserves in 2018 to focus on his educational goals, he earned his associate’s degree in criminal justice from Norwalk Community College. Now a criminal justice major at the University of New Haven, Weinstein says the support he has received has made his transition seamless.

“The veteran community at the University of New Haven has been very welcoming and helpful,” said Weinstein, who still drills out of a Coast Guard station on Long Island. “The University offers many ways to meet and interact with other veterans on campus, even during the pandemic, with group video calls and outreach opportunities. The staff have been instrumental, from explaining educational benefits to fostering an environment that allows students who have served or who are currently serving to have an open avenue where they can reach out at any time.”

‘Our students are on the road to success’

The University’s commitment to students from the military community has been recognized by OnlineU, which ranks dozens of programs and hundreds of colleges and universities based on affordability, accessibility, and quality.

OnlineU included the University of New Haven among its top 100 online military-friendly schools in the country for 2020 for the University’s dedication to serving the unique needs of military service members, veterans, and their families. The organization ranked the University #40, using an internal scoring system based on data from the government’s GI Bill Comparison Tool.

Image of Anthony Camera ’22 in Afghanistan in 2019.
Anthony Camera ’22 in Afghanistan in 2019.

“Ensuring the success of our military-affiliated students both on campus and online has always been at the forefront of the work that we do,” said Danielle Desjardins ’17 M.A., coordinator for transfer and veteran success and the University’s veterans representative. “To have received this recognition means so much, and it assures us that our students are on the road to success. This award is a testament to an intentional and concerted effort from our entire team and our dedicated and resilient students. For both, we are so grateful.”

The rankings, which included factors such as the number of GI Bill students enrolled and whether the school has a dedicated point of contact for support services, cited the importance of strong military communities and support networks for military-affiliated students – factors that Ryan Noonan ’20, ’22 M.S. agrees are crucial.

A Marine Corps veteran who served two deployments to Iraq, Noonan is a candidate in the University’s graduate program in national security. A member of the University’s VA Work Study program, he now helps other veterans navigate the transition to life as a student. He calls the program “one of the most rewarding and unique experiences” he’s had at the University, and he enjoys planning events for his fellow members of the veteran community and fostering a sense of belonging.

“The Military and Veterans Services team really takes care of the student veterans at the University,” he said. “As a member of the team, I’ve had the opportunity to grow as a leader and network with other veterans. The most helpful to me has been the support from other veterans. Knowing the challenges and successes that my peers have gone through helped me navigate my own challenges and adjust the way I deal with challenges. Knowing that I’m not alone in my journey definitely helps boost my confidence levels.”

‘I truly feel like I'm at home’
Image of Ryan Noonan ’20, ’22 M.S.
Ryan Noonan ’20, ’22 M.S.

The support and the welcoming environment were also critical for Anthony Camera ’22, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years. Camera, who led dozens of fellow service members and traveled around the world during his time in the military, received an Honorable Discharge as a Sergeant before deciding to continue his education at the University.

He acknowledges that the transition from the military to civilian life is challenging, and he’s grateful for the support he had at the University.

“The staff and other student-veterans made the transition for me so much easier,” he said. “They were extremely helpful, answered every single question I asked, and always pointed me in the right direction. I'm a few years older than the average college student, and because of the age difference, it was initially hard for me to make friends. But the student-veterans at the University welcomed me with open arms, and I truly feel like I'm at home.”