Schools approved by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs are institutions of higher learning or trade schools complying with rate requirements and thereby eligible for tuition coverage under GI Bill benefits programs. Schools charging veterans higher rates than in-state students lose that approval as of July 2015.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill covers a minimum of 40 percent up to 100 percent of tuition, books, fees and housing for qualified veterans. Section 702 of the Veterans Choice Act of 2014 ensures schools do not overcharge veterans and their families. The Department of Veterans Affairs approves schools by state or by individual school, if the state delegates that authority.
The government offers additional school approvals beneficial to veterans. The Yellow Ribbon program provides benefits over the GI Bill maximum for veterans attending private or out-of-state institutions. Participating schools sign an agreement with Veterans Affairs to write off expenses equal to those paid by the government. The President's Principles of Excellence program also maximizes veteran benefits by focusing on the quality of their educational experience. Schools under this umbrella agree to follow guidelines related to planning, support and accreditation.
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers a school comparison tool on its website identifying benefit eligibility compliance and Yellow Ribbon or Principles of Excellence involvement, among other criteria.