SUNY Oswego continues to rank among the most military-friendly and supportive universities, according to the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges ranking, released on Nov. 6, 2023.

Best for Vets: Colleges is the largest and most comprehensive annual ranking of schools for military service members and veterans. Oswego has consistently made this ranking, as well as other lists commending outstanding services for veteran and military students.

Matthew Gordon, a broadcasting and mass communication major, is among the students who appreciate the work of the university’s Veterans and Military Services Office, which is part of the Division of Extended Learning.

“The Veterans and Military Services Office has been instrumental in helping me succeed while at Oswego,” Gordon said. “If I ever have a question about financial aid, dealing with the VA, where the best food on campus is, they are always willing to point me in the right direction. The needs of veterans going to college after the military is unique and challenging and they have always risen to help me clear any obstacle in my way.”

Gordon enrolled in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. "Like a lot of Americans at the time, I felt like I had a duty to serve after what happened,” he recalled.

He received his assignment as an anti-tank assaultman and was deployed to Afghanistan with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Force in 2004. He would also serve in Iraq in 2006 and 2007.

“I was there during the surge in 2007 and spent most of my time in a Mobile Assault Platoon patrolling the streets of West Central Ramadi,” Gordon said. “At the time that I was there, Ramadi was considered the most dangerous city in the world.”

Gordon medically retired from the Marines in 2011 as a sergeant and moved from Quantico, Virginia, to Oswego that June. He started classes at Cayuga Community College and was interested in SUNY Oswego as his next move, initially due to proximity.

‘Exceptional education’

“It wasn't until after I started coming to school here that I realized just how exceptional the education I was receiving was,” Gordon said. “Every professor took their teaching incredibly seriously, but they were always willing to work with students who needed additional help. And the support that I received from my advisors to help me narrow down a degree path was invaluable. I honestly felt as if I was getting a very personal education at every turn.”

Adam Coe, an operations management major, came to SUNY Oswego after eight years in the Navy as an aircraft mechanic. This included two tours of the Persian Gulf before an honorable discharge and earning the GI Bill in full. 

“The Navy taught me a great deal of invaluable life lessons and helped me succeed as a student,” Coe said.I’m from the Oswego area and coming home to go to the school that once felt unattainable was rewarding, to say the least.” 

The Veterans and Military Services Office, coordinated by Ken Cisson, has helped his experience as well. Cisson has been “a quality asset to the veteran students,” Coe noted.

“We have a great group of people at Oswego that reach out and make sure we are taken care of,” Coe said. 

SUNY Oswego’s support includes the Battle Buddy Center in 313 Sheldon Hall. The NYSID-designated center is a gathering place used exclusively by military students that promotes a strong sense of community and supports academic and personal success for our veterans. The center, which serves as an information and socializing area, is the first of its kind for higher education institutions in Central New York.

The Battle Buddy Center also hosts annual luncheons for veterans and military students and their supporters, scheduled this year from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13.

Each year, the Best for Vets survey is sent to colleges and universities across the nation asking about their programs for veterans. The survey results are then analyzed, along with public data about colleges and universities obtained from the Department of Education and Department of Veterans Affairs, and turned into an official ranking. 

Schools were asked to complete the survey earlier this year and the responses were then analyzed by the Military Times data team, producing the anticipated, respected and unbiased annual ranking.

In addition to the Military Times ranking, SUNY Oswego also:

  • ranks 18th in the North in the 2024 US News’ Best Colleges for Veterans list
  • was honored among Colleges of Distinctions' Best Military Support Colleges for 2023-24
  • and has been recognized as a Military-Friendly School by both Military Advanced Education and G.I. Jobs.

For more information on SUNY Oswego’s Veterans and Military Services office and opportunities, visit

 Adam Coe, now an operations management major, came to SUNY Oswego from eight years in the Navy as an aircraft mechanic.

Adam Coe, now an operations management major at SUNY Oswego, served eight years in the Navy as an aircraft mechanic.