Dr. Jayne Violette, right, USCB Associate Professor of Communication Studies, collaborates with Sgt. Jessica Chalco, USMC.

The University of South Carolina Beaufort has earned the 2022-2023 Military Friendly School Gold designation in the small public school category. The superior Gold award is a boost from last year’s Bronze designation and recognizes USCB’s exemplary educational and support services for military students their families.

More than 1,800 institutions were evaluated using public data, survey responses and input from the Viqtory Military Friendly Advisory Council, composed of national leaders in higher education. Gold, Silver and Bronze awards went to 665 schools that exceeded standards for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and specifically for student veterans.

Currently, USCB’s student population of about 2,000 includes 67 veterans using their GI Bill Benefits, 76 family members using GI Bill Benefits, and 24 Active-Duty service members. Through an agreement with the federal government, USCB processes GI Bill benefits and tuition assistance.

“USCB has a history of a deep and enduring commitment to military students. Veterans, active-duty military and their family members have and will continue to enrich our academic and campus life by contributing strong leadership and teamwork, among other skills. We are proud to provide them with career-building educational opportunities at affordable rates, and to support them while they are here,” said USCB Chancellor Al M. Panu.

USCB serves the military community by providing:

• Staff dedicated to serving military students and their family members: Michael Weiss, Director of Military Programs and liaison for the bases in Beaufort County; Pat Greene, Director of Financial Aid and VA Certifying Official for GI Benefits; and Colleen Sanchez, Assistant Director of the Bursar’s Office, processing tuition assistance for active-duty students.

• In-state tuition for military families stationed in South Carolina and veterans who are establishing themselves in South Carolina.

• Discounted tuition for active-duty service members.

• Two associates degrees (Associate of Science and Associate of Arts) offered only to the military community. Service members and their families typically live in Beaufort County only a short time before moving on to the next duty station and can complete these degrees while stationed here.

• College credit for military education and work experience noted on the prospective student’s Joint Service Transcript (JST) – up to 15 elective credits towards an associate degree and 30 elective credits towards a bachelor’s degree.

• Classes, enrollment services and educational and career counseling on base at Marine Corps Recruit Depot and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, for service members and their families.

• A veterans’ lounge on the Bluffton campus for military-affiliated students to enjoy camaraderie and study.

• An annual Veterans Day Celebration.

• Military student organizations, including Sand Shark Veterans and the Student Veterans of America.

For more information about military benefits at USCB, contact Michael Weiss at mcweiss@uscb.edu or 843-368-8211. To learn more about the Military Friendly Schools awards, visit militaryfriendly.com/schools.

Carol Weir is the senior director of communications for the University of South Carolina Beaufort in Bluffton.