First-time freshmen who are military veterans don't fit into one category.
They might be 22 or in their 40s. They could have a year or two of college credit, or maybe they haven't set foot in a classroom since high school.
“They're all different. It's interesting, but it also makes it hard to do the outreach,” said Chuck Flint, coordinator of military admissions and affairs at Oklahoma City University.
OCU is one of 30 Oklahoma universities and colleges deemed Military Friendly Schools® by MilitaryFriendly.com.
The organization conducts an annual survey of schools — brick-and-mortar and online — about their recruitment and retention of veterans and what they do to help veterans and their families succeed, spokesman Ben Langdon said.
MilitaryFriendly.com looks at things like academic credibility, veteran services, number of veterans on campus and if military experience can be counted as academic credit, and honors the top 20 percent with the designation military friendly, Langdon said.
Similarly, it designates Military Friendly Employers® to aid veterans seeking employment.
The organization will conduct a virtual career and college fair online Tuesday and Wednesday for service members, spouses and veterans.
The career fair is from 1-5 p.m. Tuesday and the college fair from 1-5 p.m. Wednesday. Service members, spouses and veterans can go to http://militaryfriendly.com/events and register at no cost, Langdon said.
In his job at OCU, Flint reaches out to two-year colleges and military installations to find people ready to move on.
More and more want a traditional classroom experience instead of online studies, but they want smaller class sizes, he said.
“Our size makes it a very personal experience. I work with everyone using any veteran benefits,” Flint said. “I'll walk them across the campus to the person who does the VA benefits.”
Flint is a veteran himself. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2000 after 20 years of service
“I take a real pride in working with all ages of veterans and dependents to make sure that they get all the benefits they are eligible for,” he said.