Saint Mary’s University is a veteran-friendly institution.

Just ask the many veterans enrolled in Saint Mary’s programs, ranging from bachelor’s and master’s to doctoral.

CAPTION: Veteran and MBA student Jackie Mahon (far right) spoke at the Veterans’ Roundtable on August 26, 2013.

Jackie Mahon is one such student.  She’s in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, works as a project coordinator for Global Financial Institutions at Wells Fargo International Group and is a member of the Air National Guard.

As an active Guard member with a full-time job, Mahon said she chose the Saint Mary’s MBA program because it was cost-effective, flexible and relevant. “I didn’t want to have a ton of debt at the end of my education, so I found a program that I could cover completely using my military and Wells Fargo education benefits. I also like the flexibility of the night and Saturday classes,” Mahon said. “And at Saint Mary’s, the professors have experience out in the world, then they come back to teach what they know.”

“You receive a great education from Saint Mary’s without having to sacrifice your financial security and personal life,” Mahon said. “I will be graduating with my MBA degree this month (Dec. 2013). The past few years in my program have been enjoyable both personally and professionally.”

Mahon and other military students appreciate Saint Mary’s veteran-friendly status. During a recent class presentation on the Minneapolis campus, an Ed.D. student wearing a U.S. Army uniform emphatically stated, “Yes, Saint Mary’s is helpful and welcoming to military students.”

This fall, Mahon spoke from personal experience when she participated in a Veterans’ Roundtable, hosted by Saint Mary’s in conjunction with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) at the Twin Cities campus. More than 80 people — veterans and civilians — attended the Aug. 26 discussion on how to improve education and workforce skills development for veterans returning to Minnesota following service. The complexity of applying for education benefits and learning how to translate skills earned in military service onto a resume were two issues that surfaced during the event.

Recently, Saint Mary’s University was the only Minnesota institution in the U.S. News “National Universities” category to be ranked one of the “Best Colleges for Veterans.” This list includes the top-ranked schools in the magazine’s overall Best Colleges rankings that participate in federal initiatives to help veterans and active service members apply, pay for and complete their degrees.

All of the U.S. News Best Colleges for Veterans scored well in terms of graduation rate, faculty resources, reputation and other markers of academic quality in the 2014 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges. To qualify for the veterans’ rankings, the schools also had to be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and Service members Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium.

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