As a service member, you want to find a veteran or military friendly school to go to. You want to make sure they have your best interests as a service member in mind when you are going to their school. How do you determine this? How do you know if your school is veteran and military friendly? One way is the DoD MOU.
What is the DoD MOU?
The DoD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is between the DoD Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and educational institutions. If a school wants to receive DoD military Tuition Assistance, they must agree to the Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding.
How many schools and institutions are on the participant’s list?
There are 2,772 main institutions and 11,149 total additional locations. You can see what these are on this list on the DoD MOU website.
Another way to find out information about educational institutions is using TA Decide. This is an information and comparison tool to help TA participants make informed choices on schools and educational programs.
The TA Decide program is fueled by more than ten recognized and trusted data sources from across the departments of Defense, Education, and Veterans Affairs. It is also uniquely tailored to each TA participant.
Within TA Decide you can search your school directly, or search by state/territory, accreditation type, school type, learning method, programs, or degree level. You can also compare different schools that are in the database.
DoD Voluntary Education Partnership MOU Eligibility
To be eligible, an educational institution must:
Be accredited by a national or regional accrediting body that is recognized by the Department of Education (ED.) They need to conduct programs that are only from among those offered or authorized by the main administrative and academic office in accordance with standard procedures for authorization of degree programs by the educational institution.
Be state-approved for the use of veterans education benefits, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Be certified to participate in the federal student aid programs through the Department of Education under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. This certification can be provisional if the educational institution maintains eligibility to participate in the Federal Direct Loan Program.
Must comply with state authorization requirements that are consistent with regulations issued by ED, which includes, 34 C.F.R. 600.9. The educational institutions must meet all of the state laws as they relate to distance education.
Must comply with 34 C.F.R.600.9 (a) and (b). The DoD also recognizes any additional rules ED provides for delayed implementation.
Title IV participants must obtain an Office of Post-secondary Education Identification (OPE ID) number that is issued by the Department of Education. This is to help identify schools that have PPA (Program Participation Agreements) so that students are eligible to participate in the Federal Student Financial Assistance programs under the Title IV regulations.
What information does the TA Decide tool show us?
You can gain a lot of good and in-depth information when you are using the TA Decide tool. Here is some information about what’s in the tool:
There will be school information such as the school’s address, website, source of accreditation, accreditation type, school type, DoD MOU point of contact, and number of DoD TA participants.
Federal Beneficiaries and Funds
Here you will find the number of those using TA and the costs, the number using the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the costs, as well as information about those getting Federal Student Aid.
Programs and Offerings
This section will have the learning methods available, information on Service members Opportunity Colleges, types of degrees, and subjects you can receive the degrees in.
Cost of Attendance
Here you will find information on tuition rates, fees, books and supplies, and room and board.
DoD Tuition Assistance (TA) Information
In this section, you will find more information about Tuition Assistance including how many courses are funded by TA and the school’s TA course completion rate.
Department of Education Information
Here you will find Department of Education information such as ED composite scores and information from College Navigator Institution Data such as enrollment numbers.
This area will have any complaints that have been filed by service members and their families about their educational experience at that school.
Under this category, you will see if the school has signed the DoD Memorandum of Understanding (MOU,) if they have agreed on the Principles of Excellence, if they have the Yellow Ribbon program and if they have agreed with the 8 Keys to Veterans Success.
The Comparison Tool
When you compare more than one school, you can get a sense of how similar or different they are. You can find out how much TA pays per course, compared to the DoD average. You can also see what your chances are of passing your course, also compared to the DoD average. There is also information about the percentage of military graduates, and how long it takes to graduate.
As a service member, you will want to find a school that has what you are looking for, has signed the DoD MOU, and that will be friendly to veterans and members of the military. Using TA Decide and checking to see if your school is on the participant’s list is a great way to find that school or to know that the school you are attending qualifies.