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Education and Training

About This Tool

GI Bill® Comparison Tool: About This Tool

VA is making it easier to research colleges and employers approved for the GI Bill. Answer just a few questions about yourself and the school/employer you are considering. You’ll receive an estimate of your GI Bill benefits and some information about the facility’s value and affordability.

Subjects

School/Employer - Programs and Accreditation Explained

Veteran Indicators - Principles of Excellence Guidelines, Yellow Ribbon Program and Number of Beneficiaries

School Indicators - Student statistics including the presence of a Student Veterans Group and VetSuccess on Campus.

Caution Flags - Indication VA or other federal agencies applied increased regulatory or legal scrutiny to a program of education.


SCHOOL/EMPLOYER

Post 9/11 GI Bill Approved Programs

You can use the Post-9/11 GI Bill at colleges, universities, trade schools, and for on-the-job training, apprenticeship, and flight schools. To see what programs are currently approved for VA benefits, go to our website. You can use the Post 9/11 GI Bill for tutorial assistance, licensing/certification tests (attorney license, cosmetology license, etc.) and national exams (SAT, LSAT, etc.).

The Post 9/11 GI Bill Comparison Tool uses a list of schools offering approved programs from VA’s database. The GI Bill Comparison Tool will update its list of approved programs quarterly. However, new information is added to the VA database every day. Click here to access a list of approved schools by state. 

Online Courses

Students training solely by distance learning may receive a monthly housing allowance equal to one-half the national average military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). 

Is your school accredited

Accreditation matters if you plan to start school at one institution and transfer to another to complete your degree. Be sure to ask any potential school about their credit transfer policy. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) maintains a database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs. Accreditation is a recognized credential for schools and some programs. As stated by the ED, the goal of accreditation is to ensure that the education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.

Accreditation types (Regional vs. National vs Hybrid)

Is the school regionally or nationally accredited at the institution level?

Schools are accredited by private educational associations of regional or national scope. While the Department of Education does not say whether regional or national accreditation is better, a recent ED study revealed that, “Nearly 90 percent of all student credit transfer opportunities occurred between institutions that were regionally, rather than nationally, accredited.” http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2014/2014163.pdf

The GI Bill Comparison Tool utilizes ED’s database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs which is updated every three months. The tool checks to see if the school is accredited at the institutional level by either regional, national or hybrid accreditors. If the school has both regional and national accreditation the tool lists the school as regionally accredited. Hybrid agencies are recognized for the accreditation of both specialized programs at larger institutions and for the accreditation of freestanding institutions.

The GI Bill Comparison Tool matches VA approved schools with ED’s database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs using a data crosswalk that matches VA facility codes to ED’s IPEDS codes and ED’s OPE IDs.

Accrediting status

Is the school’s accreditation on probation for any reason?  To see more information about the school accreditation status, please visit ED’s database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs.


VETERAN INDICATORS

Principles of Excellence

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.

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, prospective students should only use this as a planning tool. The Principles of Excellence schools will be updated quarterly. 

Yellow Ribbon

The Post-9/11 GI Bill can cover all in-state tuition and fees at public degree granting schools, but may not cover all private degree granting schools and out-of-state tuition. The Yellow Ribbon Program provides additional support in those situations. Institutions voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund uncovered charges. VA matches each dollar of unmet charges the institution agrees to contribute, up to the total cost of the tuition and fees. Click here for FAQs about the Yellow Ribbon Program

Only Veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) or their designated transferees may receive this funding. Active duty Servicemembers and their spouses are not eligible for this program (child transferees of active duty Servicemembers may be eligible if the servicemember is qualified at the 100% rate). This information will be updated quarterly. 

GI Bill Beneficiaries

The number of Veterans, Servicemembers and family members utilizing their GI Bill benefits attending this institution the previous calendar year. This number includes all the different chapters of the GI Bill (e.g., Post-9/11, Montgomery GI Bill: MGIB, Reserve Education Assistance Program-REAP, and Vocational Rehabilitation). Please keep in mind that we include this number for informational purposes only and that high or low numbers of VA beneficiaries attending a particular school is not an indication one school is more military friendly than another. This information will be updated annually.


SCHOOL INDICATORS (non-Veteran specific)

Schools disclose key institutional performance metrics, including graduation and loan default rates as well as the median amount of Federal loans borrowed by students at the institution and the corresponding estimated monthly payment over a 10 year period.

Schools that only offer graduate programs are not required to report these rates and will be shown as “Not Reported.” School indicators are then evaluated against other schools. Users interested in further school-specific information may wish to visit the Department of Education’s College Navigator website for a more complete set of indicators.

The GI Bill Comparison Tool uses data from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs list of approved programs and employers and the Department of Education’s lists of schools. If the school indicators for a particular institution are not correctly labeled, please let us know by emailing EDUAPPMGMT.VBACO@va.gov with “Comparison Tool” in the subject line. with “Comparison Tool” in the subject line.

Graduation rate

The graduation rate displayed is for first-time, full-time degree or certificate-seeking undergraduate students who began at the institution. For primarily bachelor’s degree-granting institutions, the graduation rate displayed is for students beginning in Fall 2005 and seeking a bachelor’s degree. For primarily associate’s degree-granting institutions and primarily certificate-granting institutions, the graduation rate displayed is for students beginning in Fall 2008.

The institution’s graduation rate is displayed with an indication of how it compares with graduation rates among institutions that primarily grant the same level of award. For example, the comparison group for an institution that primarily awards bachelor’s degrees is all institutions that primarily award bachelor’s degrees.

Data used to calculate an institution’s graduation rate and transfer-out rate, if applicable, come from an institution’s annual submission to the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). For more information about IPEDS, please visit http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/ 

Loan default rate

Loan default rate refers to the institution’s three-year Federal student loan cohort default rate. This is the percentage of an institution’s borrowers who entered repayment on certain Federal student loans in federal fiscal year 2009 (between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009) and defaulted before September 30, 2011. The national cohort default rate is also displayed.

Data used to calculate an institution’s cohort default rate comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). For more information about the cohort default rate, please visit http://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/defaultmanagement/cdr.html

Median borrowing

The median amount of Federal student loans borrowed for students' undergraduate study at the institution is displayed. The estimated monthly repayment amount is also displayed.

The monthly repayment amount is displayed with an indication of how it compares with monthly repayment amounts among institutions that primarily grant the same level of award. For example, the comparison group for an institution that primarily awards bachelor’s degrees is all institutions that primarily award bachelor’s degrees.

Data used to calculate the median amount of Federal student loans borrowed by students for their undergraduate study is from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Data represent all undergraduate borrowers who graduated or withdrew from the institution between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011. All Federal loans for undergraduate study, including Parent PLUS loans, are included for this cohort of borrowers. Only the debt associated with the students’ attendance at the institution is included in the calculation. The estimated monthly repayment amount has been calculated using the Department’s standard graduated repayment calculator based on an interest rate of 6.8%. For more information about repayment calculators and interest rates, please visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans.

Note that a student’s actual borrowing, interest rate, and monthly repayment amount may be different. 

Student Veterans Group

Does this college/university have a student led student veterans group on campus?

If a school has a student veterans group that is not represented on the comparison tool, please let us know by emailing us at EDUAPPMGMT.VBACO@va.gov. Based on your feedback, we will be making quarterly updates to the GI Bill Comparison Tool.

Please note this email address is only for website related issues, all questions regarding GI Bill benefits should be directed to the “Ask a Question” section of our website. 

Veteran Success on Campus (VSOC)

The VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) program aims to help Veterans, Servicemembers, and their qualified dependents succeed and thrive through a coordinated delivery of on-campus benefits assistance and counseling, leading to completion of their education and preparing them to enter the labor market in viable careers. Read the VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) fact sheet.

For more information visit: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/vsoc  

In-state student?

If you are attending a public school, are you considered an in-state student?

Generally, in-state residents are charged a discounted rate of tuition and fees. Click here for more information 

Tuition / Fees (/year)

Enter the total tuition/fees, you will be charged for the academic year.

When you select some schools, we import the average tuition/fees for an undergraduate student as reported by the school to the Department of Education through IPEDS. This is the same information that is published on College Navigator.

From IPEDS: “The amount of tuition and required fees covering a full academic year most frequently charged to students. These values represent what a typical student would be charged and may not be the same for all students at an institution. If tuition is charged on a per-credit-hour basis, the average full-time credit hour load for an entire academic year is used to estimate average tuition. Required fees include all fixed sum charges that are required of such a large proportion of all students that the student who does not pay the charges is an exception.”

If the school you selected does not display any tuition /fees, please keep in mind that some schools are not required to report tuition/fees to the Department of Education. 

In-state tuition/fees (/year)

Enter amount of tuition/fees your school charges in-state students.

When you select some schools, we import the average in-state tuition/fees for an undergraduate student as reported by the school to the Department of Education through IPEDS. This is the same information that is published on College Navigator.

Generally, in-state residents are charged a discounted rate of tuition and fees.VA pays the in-state tuition & fee rate at public schools. Click here for more information 

Receiving Yellow Ribbon?

Does your school participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill can cover all in-state tuition and fees at public degree granting schools, but may not cover all private degree granting schools and out-of-state tuition. The Yellow Ribbon Program provides additional support in those situations. Institutions voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund uncovered charges. VA matches each dollar of unmet charges the institution agrees to contribute, up to the total cost of the tuition and fees. Click here for FAQs about the Yellow Ribbon Program

Only Veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) or their designated transferees may receive this funding. Active duty Servicemembers and their spouses are not eligible for this program (child transferees of active duty Servicemembers may be eligible if the Servicemember is qualified at the 100% rate). This information will be updated quarterly. 

Yellow Ribbon amount from school (/year)

How much will you be receiving in Yellow Ribbon support from your school? VA matches each dollar of unmet charges the institution agrees to contribute up to the total cost of tuition and fees.

Click here for FAQs about the Yellow Ribbon Program 

Scholarships (not Pell)

Are you receiving any scholarships and grants this year? If so, how much? Please only include scholarships and grants that go directly to pay tuition/fees. 

Military tuition assistance

Are you receiving any military tuition assistance this year? If so, how much?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill pays the net-cost of your education after scholarships or financial aid amounts are applied. This includes amounts already paid by military tuition assistance. 

Enrolled

Are you considered a full-time or part-time student by your school?

Students attending school less than full-time receive a pro-rated monthly housing allowance. Students attending school exactly ½ time or less do not receive a monthly housing allowance.

For more information about MHA increases or decreases click here 

School calendar

Is your school on a semester, quarter or non-traditional calendar system? 

Will be working

How many hours per week will you be working on your OJT / Apprenticeship? Beneficiaries working less than 120 hours/month (or approximately 30 hours/week) receive a prorated monthly housing allowance. 

Eligible for Kicker

Are you eligible to receive a kicker bonus?

A kicker bonus is an additional incentive, paid for by the Department of Defense, to extend a tour of duty or retain highly skilled military personnel. The money is a bonus on top of any GI Bill payments paid directly to the Veteran.

Number of Dependents

A dependent is defined as a child, stepchild, spouse, or the un-remarried widow(er) of the Veteran. 

Benefit Calculator Results

The Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits calculator is a useful tool to estimate how much your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits will cover at a particular institution. The results of the GI Bill benefits calculator are not an official determination of benefits.

To make the calculator user friendly, we made the following assumptions:

  • Semesters are 4.5 months and quarters are 3 months;
  • Students maintain their enrollment status the full year (not full-time one term and part-time the next);
  • VA considers the following when calculating Rate of Pursuit (ROP) in the benefit estimation:
    • Full time students are taking 12 credits per term
    • 3/4 time students are taking 9 credits per term; the calculator uses .8 to determine the amount due
    • More than 1/2 time students are taking 7-8 credits per term; the calculator uses .6 to determine the amount due
    • Less than 1/2 time students are taking 1-6 credits per term; the calculator uses .5 to determine the amount due
    • Students are not enrolling in the summer term, and
  • Rates are rounded to the nearest dollar when calculating the monthly housing allowance

VA Complaints: The number of closed, Principles of Excellence-related, complaints submitted to VA through the GI Bill Feedback system. To learn more please visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/Feedback.asp.

VA Complaints (all campuses):

The number of closed, Principles of Excellence-related, complaints for schools with the same six-digit OPEID code. To learn more please visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/Feedback.asp. 


CAUTION FLAG

These are indicators VA has determined potential students should pay attention to and consider before enrolling in a program of education. A caution flag means VA or other federal agencies like the Department of Education or Department of Defense have applied increased regulatory or legal scrutiny to a program of education. VA will display other categories of caution flags in future releases of the GI Bill Comparison Tool.

Suspension of VA Benefits to Five Schools for Deceptive Practices

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has concluded there is sufficient evidence to support a finding that the school has utilized advertising, sales, or enrollment practices which are erroneous, deceptive, or misleading either by actual statement, omission, or intimation in violation of 38 U.S.C. § 3696. Therefore, on March 9, 2020, VA notified the school of the agency’s intent to suspend approvals of new enrollments for the education and training of new Veterans and other eligible persons.

VA intends to suspend benefits for the enrollment of new students in all programs (both in residence and online) on May 9, 2020, unless the school takes corrective action. The proposed suspension will not impact GI Bill beneficiaries who maintain continuous enrollment. However, the school may be prohibited from submitting enrollment certifications for students returning from a break in attendance during the suspension.

Closure of Argosy University and Select The Art Institute

On March 6, 2019, the Receiver for Argosy University and The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, The Art Institute of Las Vegas, and The Art Institute of Seattle, filed a motion with the court requesting permission for an emergency closure of the 22 campuses of Argosy and the DCEH-owned Art Institute campuses by Friday, March 8, 2019. Additionally, ED has become aware that the administration at various individual Argosy and Art Institute locations sent emails regarding this possibility to students and staff. Although the court has not yet granted the Receiver’s motion to close the campuses, ED recognizes that an imminent closure is a distinct possibility and is providing additional information for students. If you have questions about this process, or if you are experiencing difficulty attempting to enroll at another institution and your eligibility for federal student aid is being impacted by the funds disbursed at Argosy and Art Institute, you are encouraged to contact Federal Student Aid online at StudentAid.gov/feedback or by calling 1-844-651-0077 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Eastern time.

Heightened Cash Monitoring

Heightened Cash Monitoring (HCM) is a checks-and-balances process that allows the Department of Education to provide additional oversight over institutions for a number of financial or federal compliance issues, some of which may be serious and others that may be less troublesome.

The Department of Education has the authority to place an institution on Heightened Cash Monitoring (HCM). Their website further explains HCM and contains a list of institutions on HCM as of June 2015.

The two levels of HCM are as follows:

  • HCM1: After a school makes disbursements to eligible students from institutional funds and submits disbursement records to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System, it draws down Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds to cover those disbursements in the same way as a school on the Advance Payment Method.
  • HCM2: A school placed on HCM2 no longer receives funds under the Advance Payment Method. After a school on HCM2 makes disbursements to students from its own institutional funds, a Reimbursement Payment Request must be submitted for those funds to the Department.

Some schools are flagged due to preliminary findings made during a program review that is still open. Those findings could change when the program review is completed.

Schools may be placed on HCM1 or HCM2 as a result of compliance issues including but not limited to:

Reason

Description

Accreditation Problems Includes accreditation actions such as the school's accreditation has been revoked and is under appeal, or the school has been placed on probation.

Administrative Capability

Concerns about the institution's ability to manage the Title IV programs including student file maintenance, record retention, and verification.
Audit Late/Missing School did not submit their audit by the due date and is considered not financially responsible.
Audit - Severe Problems School has severe audit findings which could include financial statements, internal controls, and compliance with laws, regulations, and provisions of contract or grant agreements.
Default Rate A school's cohort default rate for Perkins loans made to students for attendance at the school exceeds 15% or the cohort default rate for Federal Stafford loans or for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans made to students for attendance at the school equals or exceeds 30% for the three most recent fiscal years or if the most recent cohort default rate is greater than 40%.
Denied Recertification - PPA Not Expired School's recertification was denied but its Program Participation Agreement has not yet expired.
F/S Late/Missing Financial statements were not submitted to FSA by a specific due date, depending on the institution's type (public, private non-profit, proprietary).
Financial Responsibility School has a failing or a zone composite score or other concerns such as unreconciled accounts.
OIG Under investigation by the Office of the Inspector General.
Other (Common Ownership) The common ownership of certain institutions that had issues identified at some of their schools.
Other-CIO Problems (Eligibility) Issues identified with information needed on a Change in Ownership application such as missing/incorrect same-day balance sheet or other needed documentation; or an unreported CIO is discovered.
Outstanding Liability/Offset School has outstanding liabilities that resulted from an audit or program review.
Payment Method Changed Used in various other scenarios not otherwise identified where funds control is needed, such as a foreign school has lost eligibility but provisions allow for additional disbursements to students for an extended period of time.
Program Review School is being reviewed by the Department as part of its normal oversight and monitoring responsibilities or as a result of concerns regarding the school’s administrative capability and financial responsibility.
Program Review - Severe Findings School has potential of severe program review findings such as failure to make refunds or return of Title IV funds.
Provisional Certification School is participating in Title IV programs under a provisional certification which imposes certain restrictions.

Post 9/11 GI Bill (CH33) Not Approved at this Institution

The institution can't or won't accept VA Post 9/11 GI Bill (CH33) processes for issuing tuition and fee benefit payments.

A Settlement Agreement Has Been Reached with the United States Government

The institution or employer was involved in a financial settlement to resolve a dispute between itself and the Federal government. This is intended to settle the disagreement prior to going to trial.

Lawsuit Filed By Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against the institution listed. The indicator will describe the practice for which the lawsuit was filed. Further action may be ongoing. More information may be found on the FTC’s Press Release website.

Settlement Reached With Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reached a settlement with the institution listed. More information may be found on the FTC’s Press Release website.

Notice of Intent Issued by Department of Education (ED)

ED has issued a notice of intent to the institution. The notice of intent details requirements ED is imposing on the institution. Information about the specific issues can be found by visiting ED’s Latest Announcements website.

Denial of Recertification Application to Participate in the Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs Issued by Department of Education

The Secretary of Education has determined that an institution is no longer eligible to participate in Title IV, Higher Education Act programs such as Federal Financial Aid or Pell Grants.

Suspended for 85/15 violation – Flight Program

Eighty-five percent of the students enrolled have all or part of their tuition, fees or other charges paid for them by VA or students who -- although not receiving any money from VA -- are receiving institutional aid that is restricted to only non-veterans.

DoD Military Tuition Assistance Voluntary Education Partnership MOU Status

Title IV Non-Compliant: Status reflects an educational institution that has a signed the Voluntary Education Partnership MOU with DoD. The institution is not currently certified to participate in federal student aid programs but have been provided 18 months to successfully meet the Title IV requirement by DoD (Deadline: 11:59 p.m. EST on January 05, 2016) While in a Title IV Non-Compliant status, the educational institution is NOT authorized to sign up new students using military tuition assistance. However, they may continue to support their existing military TA students. Unless the Title IV requirement has been met, the Title IV Non-Compliant status will be removed and the DoD Voluntary Education Partnership MOU will terminate upon the deadline of 11:59 p.m. EST on January 05, 2016. Institutions are not removed from the Participating Institutions list while in this status.

Probation: Status indicates an educational institution that has a signed Voluntary Education Partnership MOU with DoD. However, the institution received official notification disclosing the terms of probation. Probation may be based on potential non-compliance (i.e., loss of accreditation, Title IV/VA disapproval, complaint receipt, or interagency referral) with the DoD Voluntary Education Partnership MOU. While in a Probation status, the educational institution is NOT authorized to sign up new students using military tuition assistance. However, they may continue to support their existing military TA students. Institutions are not removed from the Participating Institutions list while in this status.

Suspended: Status reflects an educational institution that does not have a signed Voluntary Education Partnership MOU with DoD. In addition, the institution received official notification of Suspension. Suspension may be based on founded non-compliance (i.e., loss of accreditation, Title IV/VA disapproval, complaint adjudication, or interagency referral) with the DoD Voluntary Education Partnership MOU. While in a Suspended status, the educational institution is not eligible to participate in military tuition assistance. Educational institutions must request removal of the Suspended status from DoD to initiate a new MOU Verification Application. Institutions are removed from the Participating Institutions list while in this status.

Terminated: Status indicates an educational institution that does not have a signed Voluntary Education Partnership MOU with DoD. While in a Terminated status, the educational institution is not eligible to participate in military tuition assistance. Institutions are removed from the Participating Institutions list while in this status. Terminated status is based on the educational institution’s desire to terminate or expiration of the Voluntary Education Partnership MOU term (typically 5 years) without renewal. Educational institution may initiate a new DoD MOU Verification Application from their dashboard while in a Terminated status.

To learn more please visit DoD’s FAQs about the Voluntary Education Partnership MOU.