Bismarck State College named top “Bang for your buck” college for veterans

Published: May. 14, 2019 at 5:44 PM CDT
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A nonprofit veterans group ranked Bismarck State College the best "Bang for your Buck" for two-year colleges. Veterans Education Success says BSC spends more on instruction than any other two year institution in relation to how much GI money they get.

“Chris Geck is a 13 year vet in the North Dakota National Guard. From 2005 to 2007, he was in Afghanistan trained to protect the skies. Now the father of four is half way to his bachelor’s degree. He spends his day as a budget analyst for the North Dakota National Guard. He's also spent 13 years in the Guard. When he wanted to go back to school, he didn't know where to start.

"My big fear was actually the algebra classes, some of the classes I knew I'd struggle in,” said Geck.

He eventually ended up at BSC. Now the college is being recognized for their investment in veterans education. Veterans Education Success, a nonprofit advocating for veterans education, says BSC received more than $3.8 million from 2009-2017 from the GI Bill. The college then spent more than any other two year institution on their programs.

"Other institutions were getting form the GI Bill and what they were doing was buying TV ads and they were promoting themselves. The money we get from the GI Bill and tuition assistance, we use that to educate the veterans,” said BSC President Larry Skogen.

Skogen says the new cyber security program should increase the number of vets.

"Our own North Dakota National Guard has a mission in cyber security so they're very interested that we're standing up that program. So we expect a lot of growth with our military student,” said Skogen.

Skogen says the program coming in is scalable, meaning they'll be able to grow with the enrollment and he expects the program to have a footprint similar to the energy program.