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RCC Earns National Ranking in 'Best for Vets' Survey of Colleges for 2019

RCC Earns National Ranking in 'Best for Vets' Survey of Colleges for 2019

(L-R) Student Veterans Jonathan Winfield, US Marine Corp, Miguel Rellita, US Army, Shalisha Scudder, President Michael A. Baston, David Howe, US Marine Corp, Steven Sullivan, US Navy and Coordinator of Veteran Affairs Jonathan Barnwell

College attains No. 2 rating for a SUNY school, 21st among all 2-year schools

DATE: November 26, 2018

RAMAPO, N.Y. – RCC has achieved a national ranking in The Military Times' survey of the best colleges for student veterans in 2019. RCC was ranked 21st among two-year institutions nationwide in the Best for Vets Colleges survey and No. 2 among SUNY schools after Jefferson Community College, which ranked No. 11.

The Military Times, an independent news source for current military, veterans, friends and family, sent a comprehensive survey of some 150 questions to hundreds of colleges across the country. The publication used their answers, coupled with federal data, to rank the colleges in the categories of university culture, academic quality and outcomes, academic policies, student support, and costs and financial aid.

Since establishing its Veterans Affairs office in November 2010, RCC has successfully managed an overall 300 percent increase in its student veteran population. Each year the college implements new initiatives for its student veterans. RCC was the first community college in New York State to install a chapter of SALUTE, the veterans honor society, and in 2016 received a grant from the New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID) to enlarge and renovate its Battle Buddy Center/Veterans Lounge.

In August 2018, the college was awarded a $24,250 state grant for renewal of a veterans financial literacy course and for further enhancements to its veterans lounge. The grant was provided by the SUNY Impact Foundation and the U.S. Ambassador Trustee Carl Spielvogel Fund for Veterans.

RCC's Veterans Affairs also holds a pre-semester orientation for student veterans that supplements the general student orientation and provides vital information regarding scholarships, health care benefits for veterans and their families, and other resources to help veterans in their transition from military life.

“We've created a 'one-stop shop' so the veterans have one central place to go for information about their benefits, use of the GI Bill, the application process, and other things relative to college life,” said Jonathan Barnwell, RCC's coordinator of Veterans Affairs since its inception. “I get to know all the student veterans, whether they're using the GI Bill or not. We have excellent programs at RCC and great services, and the faculty's offices are extremely flexible. They are more and more attuned to the needs of the veterans.”

RCC is a military-friendly institution, having again received this designation from publisher Victory Media. RCC captured a Gold Award for 2018 from Victory Media for the College's programs for veterans returning to school.

The Best for Vets survey used data compiled from the fall 2017 semester. RCC was listed in the rankings with a graduation (transfer) rate of 63 percent for its student veterans, well above the rate for the school's overall student population.

“We welcome the increased attention because, hopefully, it will lead to increased enrollment of veterans and veterans’ families,” Barnwell said.

For more information about RCC's programs for veterans, contact Jonathan Barnwell at or 845-574-4105.

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CONTACT: Strategic Marketing