News Releases

UWF ranks in top five nationally for Military Friendly® Schools and Military Spouse Friendly® Schools

The University of West Florida has been recognized with a 2024-2025 Top Ten Military Friendly® School designation in the large public category. In the annual rankings released on March 27, 2024, UWF ranked No. 5 and was the only Florida State University System institution to earn recognition from Military Friendly® in the large public Top Ten category. The University was also designated as a Military Spouse Friendly® School in the large public school category for 2024-2025.

“UWF strives to make quality education accessible for all, especially our veterans, active service members and their families,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders. “We are proud of our commitment to the military community. These Military Friendly® designations are a testament to that.” 

The distinction is a direct result of the efforts put forth by the UWF Military & Veterans Resource Center, which serves as the leading campus advocate for military, dependents and veteran students. The MVRC immediately engages with students when they fill out and indicate a military affiliation on a UWF application. Military-affiliated students receive assistance using VA education benefits and scholarships, learn about programming, tutoring and counseling opportunities, as well as accommodations that are made for those with disabilities. Lori Milkeris, director of MVRC, credits the collaboration between all areas of the University for consistently being named a Military Friendly® University.

“We are honored to be recognized as a top destination for military-affiliated students seeking to further their education,” Milkeris said. “This designation is a testament to our dedication to providing comprehensive support, resources, and a welcoming environment for veterans, active-duty service members and their families as they pursue their academic goals. We are committed to serving those who have sacrificed in the defense of our nation.”

After fulfilling a five-year commitment with the Navy and receiving an honorable discharge in 2020, UWF student Samantha Arnoldussen was a stay-at-home mom for two years.

“The prospect of returning to school after so many years was daunting. The MVRC helped me navigate how to use my GI Bill for an accelerated bachelor’s to master’s program. The support I have received at UWF has been amazing.”

This spring, Arnoldussen will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Instructional Design and Technology.

This ranking is another in a long list of accolades that distinguishes UWF as an institution committed to sustained success for veterans, active duty members of the armed forces, future Army and Air Force officers and other military-affiliated students. Accolades include Military Friendly® University designation for more than 10 years and Top 10 for Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report.

To see a complete list of this year’s award winners, or to learn more about Military Friendly® ratings, visit For more information about the Military and Veterans Resource Center, visit