Laurel Ridge Again Recognized as a Military Friendly® School

For Immediate Release:
November 16, 2016

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134


Laurel Ridge has been named a 2017 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, which surveyed thousands of institutions and employers on how they attract and keep military employees and students. This year, it designated 210 Military Friendly® Employers and 1,273 Military Friendly® Schools.


Victory Media looked at publicly available data, personal opinions of veteran students, and surveys from participating schools when compiling the latest rankings. Laurel Ridge was scored on how well it retained veteran students, their graduation and job placement rates and how consistently veterans repaid their loans.


“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard across thousands of employers and schools gives veterans a comprehensive view of those striving to provide the best opportunities and conditions for our nation’s veterans,” Daniel Nichols, Chief Product Officer of Victory Media and head of Military Friendly® development, said. “Relating data from companies and colleges positions us to further our goal of supporting service members and veterans along their entire path from military service to success in their chosen civilian career field.”


Laurel Ridge scored particularly high in the benchmark standards of culture and commitment, admissions and orientation, and academic policies and compliance. Academic support for veterans, transition assistance, career planning services, networking events designed for veterans and having full-time veteran counselors were also cited in the Military Friendly® ranking.


Additionally, Laurel Ridge’s waiving of the application fee for vets, awarding college credit for military training and experience, and providing admissions events customized for service members were also noted.


This past summer, Laurel Ridge opened its Veterans Center in Cornerstone Hall at our Middletown Campus, a 160301_sharon_painter-0001_final_largespace where veteran students can relax, talk with other service members, use the free printing service, or grab a coffee. There, they can also meet with Sharon Painter, veterans assistant and certifying official, and Sandy Burner, veterans specialist, for help with a variety of services, including course advising and assistance with military education benefits paperwork and other financial aid matters. 


Sharon and Sandy are also working to develop a mentoring program between successful veterans and student veterans.


“We are so pleased that our efforts to aid veterans in their transition to college life and into a meaningful second career have once again been recognized with this Military Friendly® designation,” said Burner. “All of us here at Laurel Ridge appreciate everything veterans have done for us, and want to do all we can to help them succeed in their next mission.”


During the 2015-2016 academic year, 224 veterans were enrolled at Laurel Ridge, with nearly two-thirds receiving military benefits to help pay for their schooling. The top degrees sought were in general studies, science, business administration and liberal arts.


On Thursday, Nov. 17, the Middletown Campus is hosting an information session from 5:30-6:30 p.m. for veterans to learn more about education benefits for military members and about opportunities at Laurel Ridge.


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected]173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.