Skip to Content
Your browser is out of date. To use this website, please update your browser or use a different device.

This site is a work in progress. If you don’t find what you need, visit VA.gov.

Principles of Excellence Program

The Principles of Excellence program requires schools that get federal funding through programs such as the GI Bill to follow certain guidelines. Learn about these guidelines.

Schools that are a part of the program must:
  • Give you a written personal summary of the total cost of your educational program, including:
    • The costs covered by your benefits.
    • The financial aid you may qualify for.
    • Your expected student-loan debt after you graduate.
    • Other information to help you compare aid packages offered by different schools.
  • Give you an educational plan with a timeline showing how and when you can fulfill everything required for you to graduate.
  • Assign you a point of contact who will give you ongoing academic and financial advice (including access to disability counseling).
  • Allow for you to be gone for both long and short periods of time due to service obligations (service you must fulfill) for active-duty Servicemembers and Reservists.
  • Make sure all new programs are accredited (officially approved) before enrolling students.
  • Make sure their refund policies follow Title IV rules, which guide federal student financial aid programs.
  • End fraudulent (deceitful) and aggressive methods of recruiting.

Schools that don’t charge tuition and fees don’t have to follow the Principles of Excellence guidelines. These include:

  • Foreign schools
  • High schools
  • On-the-job training and apprenticeship programs
  • Residency and internship programs

Use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to learn which schools are part of the program. You can also compare benefits offered by different schools. Use the GI Bill Comparison Tool.