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MSN on-line ranked No. 4 nationally for veterans

U.S. News & World Report ranked Lamar University’s online graduate nursing program as fourth in the nation specifically for veterans.

“This designation joins three others recently where U.S. News & World Report has noted the quality of our online Masters of Science in Nursing program,” said Paula Nichols, executive director of distance learning division at Lamar University.

The program in the JoAnne Gay Dishman Department of Nursing was tapped No. 2 overall in 2013, and placed in the Top 20 in 2012 and 2014, by U.S. News & World Report.

The university itself was recognized as a “military friendly” school and included in the 2014 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities released by the Military Advanced Education magazine.

“Our reputation has always been a quality education at an affordable price,” Nichols said. “Through our online programs, we provide military service members and veterans an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the quality education at Lamar.”

U.S. News & World Report, publisher of Best Colleges and Best Online Programs released the 2014 Best Online Programs for Veterans on usnews.com this week. The rankings, now in their second year, are designed to help veterans identify high-quality online degree programs that suit their educational needs.

The 2014 edition includes rankings for online bachelor’s programs and online master’s degree programs in business, education, engineering, computer information technology and nursing.

“Veterans and active-duty service members face unique challenges as students, from transitioning between bases and grappling with deployment to balancing work and family life upon return,” said Robert Morse, director of data research for U.S. News. “The Best Online Programs for Veterans are high-quality programs that also offer educational benefits and flexibility for veterans pursuing a degree.”

“Veterans are going back to college in the highest numbers since World War II,” said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News. “We developed these rankings to help them find top-quality institutions and programs that also offer federal benefits that ease the burden of applying, paying for and completing a degree.”

To be ranked, an online degree program had to report participation in four key programs that offer educational benefits to people with military service. The rankings methodology requires programs to belong to institutions that are certified for the GI Bill; they must also belong to schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program or public institutions that charge in-state tuition for all out-of-state veterans. The Best Online Programs for Veterans are also affiliated with schools that are members of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium and offer at least once        course in the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) catalog. Lamar University is a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium and the SOC Degree Network System.

Finally, all schools evaluated in this ranking must have been awarded a numerical rank in the overall 2014 U.S. News Best Online Programs rankings, which were released earlier this year. Those programs were assessed for various factors, including affordability, faculty credentials, student services and reputation. Only regionally accredited degree-granting programs that were predominantly online were considered.

U.S. News & World Report developed the Best Online Programs for Veterans and inaugural Best Colleges for Veterans, released in November, to help the thousands of returning veterans and active-duty service members pursue college or advanced degrees under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

More information on Lamar’s online programs can be found at luonline.lamar.edu.