VA Principles of Excellence Program
Since the Post-9/11 GI Bill became law, there have been reports of aggressive and deceptive targeting of service members, veterans, and their families by some educational institutions. For example, some institutions have recruited veterans with serious brain injuries and emotional vulnerabilities without providing academic support and counseling; encouraged service members and veterans to take out costly institutional loans rather than encouraging them to apply for Federal student loans first; engaged in misleading recruiting practices on military installations; and failed to disclose meaningful information that allows potential students to determine whether the institution has a good record of graduating service members, veterans, and their families and positioning them for success in the workforce.
The Principles of Excellence are guidelines for educational institutions receiving Federal funding. Schools that agree to participate will:
- Provide students with a personalized form covering the total cost of an education program.
- Provide educational plans for all Military and Veteran education beneficiaries.
- End fraudulent and aggressive recruiting techniques and misrepresentation.
- Provide accommodations for Service Members and Reservists absent due to service requirements.
- Designate a Point of Contact for academic and financial advising.
- Ensure accreditation of all new programs prior to enrolling students.
- Align institutional refund policies with those under Title IV.
Foreign Schools, High Schools, On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeship programs, Residency and Internship programs, and those who do not charge tuition and fees were not asked to comply with the Principles of Excellence.
The VA's Comparison tool will let you see if the school you are interested in attending participates in the Principles of Excellence program.