U.S. News & World Report recently released its rankings of the top colleges and universities for veterans for its 2014 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges. While the index of the best universities and liberal arts colleges is released annually, this is the first time that the publication created a list of the best higher-education institutions for returning servicemembers.

To compile the inaugural index, the news outlet looked at the federal initiatives serving veterans at each college. Many of these programs, including the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill,  help former servicemembers apply and pay for continuing their education. In order to qualify for the rankings, the news outlet stated that the institutions had to be certified for the G.I. Bill, participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and be a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium. 

Which universities came out on top? Pennsylvania State University – University Park claimed the No. 1 spot, while Tulane University in New Orleans came in at No. 2. The University of Texas – Austin, Syracuse University and Texas A&M University – College Station rounded out the top five. 

Aside from best national universities, the index also ranked the top liberal arts colleges for veterans, with Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Penn., coming in at No. 1.