Academy of Art University believes in inclusivity and applicants can see this belief reflected in every interaction they have with the school. That includes opportunities for military personnel to pursue opportunities in the art world. In fact, the Academy was honored as a military-friendly school for the 2021 - 2022 academic year. 

This was a major honor for the staff, signifying the school's commitment to go above and beyond to help veterans feel welcome when inquiring about a career as an artist. Academy of Art University is happy to highlight just how the open admissions policy is perfect for veterans who are ready to start fresh with a new career.

Military Friendly School Designation

This designation is granted by Military Friendly®. This advocacy group helps veterans and their spouses by identifying programs and organizations that support the future aspirations of veterans. Military Friendly® Schools are selected using both public data and survey responses from any given school. More than 1,200 schools participated in 2021 - 2022 and the Academy was one of only 747 that made the cut.

Academy of Art University understands the unique needs of a veteran before entering into an art program. That's why the school has been approved for Military Tuition Assistance and Veterans GI Bill benefits. Military Scholarships may be granted to Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, and Coast Guard service members to help them prepare for the transition. Those ready to exit the military will have access to expert advisors at every step of the way. 

Academy of Art University goes the extra mile for veterans, allowing them to see and evaluate the possibilities before settling on a new path for themselves. Explaining all military benefits to service members is a priority for the staff, as it improves the odds of success for their students. (Veterans can learn more about education benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by visiting the department's website.)

Military Success Stories 

Academy of Art University has given the spotlight to several students to illustrate just how rewarding it can be for a veteran to enter one of its many programs.

From Navy to Gaming 

David Markowitz is an alum of the School of Illustration and the U.S. Navy. He had no training when he joined the Academy, but he's now a professional animator at Jam City, a mobile games company. Mr. Markowitz is a team lead for several popular Disney titles, including Disney Frozen Adventures. 

Markowitz might not have had a formal education when he signed up for classes, but he always loved to draw in his spare time. When he was in the Navy, he remained dedicated to his passion while he was traveling around the world. David found that drawing always kept him calm, and that experience would set him up to easily transition to an art career after his time in the Navy was over.

After being discharged from the Navy, David knew he wanted to do something in art school, but wasn't sure how to go about pursuing an art career. Academy of Art University didn't require a traditional portfolio, and the campus location was perfect for where Mr. Markowitz was living at the time. 

From Flying to Wine 

Christopher Bingham is a student at the School of Photography, and he's known for capturing the real-world conditions of the locations that he shoots. The Bay Area might be known for its opulence, but laborers in the wine industry have to deal with far less glamour regularly. When the smoke from wildfires obscured the sun and kept locals indoors, Bingham was there to photograph those who couldn't stay inside. 

This former military pilot spent 20 years in the service and another 10 as an advocate in Sonoma County. In 2017, he returned to school to pursue his Master's in Fine Arts, and the Academy was happy to welcome him. The laborers in the fields are the people who keep the whole economic sector going, and telling their story is a way to shed light on their lives. 

Bingham was surrounded by professional photographs as a child, courtesy of his grandfather. Later, he would become interested in the principles of architecture and experiment with his photographs. Once he joined the service though, it would be many years before he met a veteran who had just received his master's in photography at Academy of Art University. This veteran inspired Bingham to pursue a degree for himself. 

The Practice of Inclusion 

For the Academy, the practice of inclusion goes far beyond applying to become a military-friendly school. Veterans can be enrolled under Chapter 30, 33, 31, 35, 1606, or 1607, making it easier to take advantage of a wide range of benefits. 

Education Service Officers are also encouraged to learn about Academy events or schedule an event on their base so service members know about their options. From acting to advertising to architecture, the Academy offers programs for people with a variety of interests and talents. There's also the Veterans Resource Center on campus, a place where students can come to relax and connect with former service members. 

When people leave the military, it's not always obvious where to go next. The staff at the Academy is committed to bridging the gap for veterans, especially if they already love the art and design industry. It's their work that makes it possible for veterans to discover (or, in many cases, rediscover) their passions and get the education they need to pursue a new career.