UNCG’s commitment to military students has earned the University a designation as a Military-Friendly School, ranking in the Top 10 nationally among Tier 2 research institutions.
“It’s not just the dedication and devotion to serving our military population from our office. It is really a University-wide commitment,” says Chris Gregory, director of the Military-Affiliated Services office (MAS).
About 1,500 Spartans are military-affiliated students. There are likely more, since that only includes students who specify they are military-affiliated during their application process or are using military benefits.
Garett Barto, a captain in the Army Reserves, explains that the office has been instrumental in his transition from active duty. He gained an internship at UNCG, and then transitioned to conducting research as a PhD student in UNCG’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department – all while continuing to serve. He’ll use his doctorate as an Army biochemist.
“Being the only military PhD student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department can be lonely, as my life experiences are very different from most of my peers,” he says. The office has been hugely supportive, not only helping him navigate optimal usage of his GI Bill for PhD credits – a complicated process – but also as a vital source of social support.
“One of the biggest things we hear from folks coming directly from the military to higher education is they don’t really know where to go for things,” says Gregory. “We try to help break down some of those walls.”
Some ways UNCG is doing that:
- All active-duty (including National Guard and reservists) along with veterans can apply to UNCG with no application fees.
- All active-duty, veterans, and anyone who uses military educational benefits get priority registration for classes.
- A convenient, one-stop shop for these students, the MAS office helps them handle military benefits as well as scholarships, grants, and loans.
Learn more about how UNCG serves military-affiliated students:
By Avery Craine Powell and Elizabeth Keri
Photograph by Sean Norona