St. Mary’s University was ranked eighth in the West region in U.S. News and World Report’s inaugural “Best Colleges for Veterans” rankings, released Nov. 11.

The new rankings were developed to help veterans pursue a college education under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, according to U.S. News. The rankings provide information on institutions that offer federal benefits, including tuition and housing assistance, to veterans and active service members.

“We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the men and women who serve our country,” said University President Thomas Mengler. “Helping them further their education is one way we show our thanks. I’m pleased that we are considered one of the best at doing so.”

To qualify for the rankings, institutions must be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium. A total of 234 schools were ranked in 10 categories.

St. Mary’s was ranked fifth in the West region in the “Great Schools at Great Prices” category by U.S. News, which released its 2014 Best Colleges guide in September.

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