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Military and Veteran Student Perceptions of Military Friendliness on the College Campus

Paul C Dulchinos, Johnson & Wales University


Over two million military personnel will leave the service over the next decade (Cook & Kim; 2009). The majority of these veterans will receive the most generous GI Bill since its inception (United States Department of Veterans Affairs [VA], 2011). Institutions will covet these students to offset discounting (Barr & McClellan, 2011; Basch, 1997; Curs & Singell, 2010; Parrott, 2008; United States Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee [HELP], 2012). To recruit and retain these students, military veterans must view these institutions as friendly (Bean & Metzner, 1985; Radford, 2011; Vacchi, 2012). Previous studies focused on transition and access to veteran services (Ackerman, DiRamio, & Garza-Mitchell, 2009; Cook & Kim; 2009; Diamond, 2012; DiRamio, Ackerman, & Mitchell, 2008; Griffin & Gilbert, 2012; McBain, Kim, Cook, & Snead, 2012; Rumann & Hamrick, 2010). They identified factors that contribute to military friendliness along dimensions of cost, culture, collaboration, convenience, caring, and characteristics; however, they did not correlate these variables with veteran perceptions of friendliness (Ackerman et al., 2009; Diamond, 2012; DiRamio et al., 2008; Rumann & Hamrick, 2010). These studies were qualitative and used small samples (Ackerman et al., 2009; Diamond, 2012; DiRamio, et al., 2008; Rumann & Hamrick, 2010). This study determined how military veterans ranked these variables, compared how they differed by demographics, and determined to what extent these factors explained impressions of military friendliness at their institutions. This quantitative correlational study surveyed veteran populations (N=188) at five institutions in the New England. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to run descriptive and inferential statistics to rank military friendliness factors and compare these rankings along various demographics. Findings revealed significant differences in student perceptions based on gender, marital status, children, age, combat experience, military status, educational assistance eligibility, academic status, institution type, and college residency. Findings also determined to what extent and in what manner these factors explained respondents' perceptions of military friendliness at their own institutions. The results of this study may inform higher educational leaders how to prioritize initiatives and to provide better support to military veteran students.

Subject Area

Marketing|Higher Education Administration|Military studies

Recommended Citation

Dulchinos, Paul C, "Military and Veteran Student Perceptions of Military Friendliness on the College Campus" (2014). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3619794.