For the second consecutive year, the University of Louisville earned Military Friendly® “Gold” designation from Military Friendly®, a program that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community.
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” when it comes to military-connected students. “Gold” designated institutions succeed in the “areas that matter most in helping veterans make the transition from the military to school and then to satisfying careers in the civilian sector.”
“Our military-connected students, who sacrifice for all of us, deserve our very best,” UofL President Kim Schatzel said. “Earning this designation is validation of the ongoing work of many people across our campuses to serve the military-connected population and our continuing efforts to make the university a great place to learn. We remain committed to continually improving how we serve the more than 2,000 military-connected students at UofL.”
A key reason UofL earned “Gold” designation was 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 with each other,” said center director Kyle Hurwitz.
Construction is being carried out by UofL’s Physical Plant 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.
Freshman music therapy major Bethany Whitney is the youngest daughter of a deceased U.S. Navy veteran and was one of the first two recipients of the Salute to Service Scholarship. She graduated with honors and a 4.0 weighted GPA from Hume-Fogg High School in Nashville. “The scholarship relieves so much financial anxiety on my family, and it feels like my dad is providing for us even after passing,” Whitney said.
Another of the first recipients of the Salute to Service scholarship was Air Force veteran and senior business finance major Roman Lytovchennko. During his four-year enlistment, Roman earned his associate’s degree from the Community College of the Air Force and was among 15% of all Airmen to earn a Below the Zone promotion to Senior Airman. The scholarship is assisting him to purchase a Certified Financial Planner Capstone Course as well as to cover the costs of the CFP license exam.
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 programs as well as to 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 the 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.