American International College in Springfield has been named to the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools. The list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

The list was published by Victory Media, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that has been serving the military community since 2001. Criteria for making the Military Friendly Schools list included efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting military and veteran students and academic accreditations.

Diane Furtek, AIC Registrar and Veteran Resource Center liaison, said, "Currently, there are more than 50 veterans and family members receiving benefits and are enrolled at American International College. The overall goal is to help AIC veterans and family members navigate the government paperwork, reintegration to academic life, and reach employment success through higher education," she said.

Schools on the list range from state universities and private colleges to community colleges and trade schools. The common bond is their shared priority of recruiting students with military experience.

"We strive to provide support and up-to-date information on Veterans’ benefits and other important events, such as Honoring our Heroes Week and the Admiral Hines Ribbon Ceremony," Furtek said. "Our staff works diligently to develop programs and initiatives that address every need a veteran or service member may have and link them to a variety of key resources. We have created a veterans’ space on campus where veterans can relax, study, and interact with one another in a friendly environment," she said.

Sean Collins, Vice President at Victory Media and a nine-year Navy veteran, said "Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools shows AIC's commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students. The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools," he said.

Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA tuition funding. The survey results that comprise the 2014 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media.

Collins said, "The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools. The 1,868 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. These schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served."