Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know what Military Friendly® is all about…and what it’s not? Have a specific question about taking one of our Military Friendly® surveys? Find the answers you need right here.

Haven’t requested your survey link yet? Get it below! 

About Military Friendly®

The Military Friendly ratings program was started in 2003 as an advocacy vehicle to encourage civilian organizations to invest in programs to recruit, retain and advance veterans as employees, entrepreneurs and students. By providing a benchmark to aim for, by posting a “score,” this program has encouraged civilian organizations who previously didn’t care about recruiting veterans to do so. We believe that this is the very cornerstone of creating sustainable civilian opportunities for veterans. Because without demand for their talent, veterans are left with nothing more than periodic scraps of interest out of gratitude for their service; out of corporate social responsibility; not based in them providing real value to the organizations they join.

In 2003, fewer than 20 civilian organizations submitted surveys to become Military Friendly(R). Now, nearly 2,000 do. This increased demand for veteran talent has played an integral part in helping veterans achieve unprecedented levels of civilian opportunity. This has also given us access to vast amounts of proprietary data that lets us iteratively improve programs through benchmarking and the sharing of best practices. All of this creates better outcomes for veterans in a sustainable way.

Over the years, as the Military Friendly program has shown progress in growing both the number of civilian organizations interesting in recruiting veterans and in improving the individual performance metrics of those programs. To evolve, we have since added levels of performance to separate the performance of different programs which have been designated. Top 10, Gold, Silver and Bronze, along with sub-categories, are part of that transformation.

Simple designation means that you’ve met the minimum standard. But as an advocacy vehicle, it is important to understand that we have, and will continue to, tighten standards to allow for greater separation between programs that are designated, as the number of organizations and the performance of those organizations, grows.

Many organizations have been disappointed in their ranking or level dropping when their program performance was unchanged since the prior year(s). The answer is that the standards have been raised because other organizations have improved their performance and new organizations have joined. This evolution is essential to providing better civilian outcomes for veterans.

We’re glad you asked, because we believe we have one of the most, if not the most, stringent and comprehensive survey on the market. This is important because it translates into better assessments as to which organizations are truly better for veterans.

First, we use a combination of three data sources to score organizations and to create our lists. We call them the “3 P’s”:

  • Public – Publicly available data from several federal agencies that monitor higher education institutions or federal contractors.
  • Proprietary – Proprietary survey data gathered through the Military Friendly® survey data verification process.
  • Personal – Personal opinion data and feedback from veterans themselves gathered through a short survey administered on our behalf of participating organizations.

Second, our Military Friendly® surveys consist of more than 100 questions and cover key areas determined to be important factors in supporting military talent. This is no small task for an organization to complete; it takes several hours, so these organizations are serious about completing the survey!

Third, each year survey topics and questions are reviewed and developed with the assistance of our independent Military Friendly® Advisory Council. The Military Friendly® Advisory Council is a group of independent subject matter experts and industry partners representing the fields of veteran education and employment. We have representation from employers, schools and outside organizations and nonprofits. Beginning this year, we have also formed a Military Alumni Council comprised of post-9/11 veterans, who represent the military community we serve and provide us valuable feedback about what veterans are looking for from Military Friendly® schools and employers.

Fourth, EY (Ernst & Young), a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, independently tests the validity and consistency of each year’s survey results by testing the scoring methodology developed by Victory Media. Methodology reviews are performed by EY Assurance Services unit.

Finally, it is important to note that our scoring is fully automated. No human hands are involved in the scoring process.

No! The Military Friendly® surveys are free of charge to any employer or school that wishes to take it, which has always been the case in our more than a decade of ratings and benchmarking. Furthermore, advertising in our publications, or purchasing services, is not considered when scoring surveys or earning the Military Friendly® designation. Only employers, schools, companies and programs that have successfully met our minimum thresholds and standard(s), have completed and submitted the current year’s survey, and have been scored as being Military Friendly® can use the designation title. And, those that receive the Military Friendly® designation are provided a free profile page on to make it easy for our audience to learn more about the school or company.

On the school side, for example, 86% of all schools designated Military Friendly® in 2016 did not have a customer relationship with Victory Media (i.e., they spent no money with us). Schools cannot “join” the Military Friendly® Schools list; they must meet the criteria to be designated.

Finally, in the spirit of Better for Veterans, Victory Media has voluntarily chosen not to accept advertising from any school that is not eligible for Military Friendly® School designation. The definition of eligibility for Military Friendly Schools designation can be found here: 

No, and while disclosing or selling of personal information of users is an established business practice used by many non profits and for profits in every industry, including very established college entrance exam companies, it is not one used by Victory Media.
We offer two ways for individuals to connect with education, entrepreneurship or employment opportunities. First, organizations have the option to add a “Request Information” button to their Military Friendly® website profile. This button provides an easy way for an individual who wants to get in contact with or learn more about the employer or school to forward his or her contact information to the organization. Second, Victory Media provides permission-based email services to the veteran community. Subscribers agree to receive our emails, newsletters and those on behalf of organizations, and can unsubscribe at any time. Finally, our email communications containing advertising and sponsorships include clear disclosure, and encourage readers to perform proper due diligence when making important decisions.

Note, too, that in the education market many schools, nonprofit and for-profit alike, use nonprofit lead generators to reach applicants and potential students. College Board, a nonprofit and owner of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), is a key example. College Board and many other standardized test organizations sell students’ contact and subjects of interest data to schools to enable those colleges to recruit them.

Military Friendly® is a benchmarking organization, not a compliance organization. We rely on a number of established federal regulatory agencies or Departments to set regulations; we incorporate those relevant to our benchmarking activities into our surveys and ratings methodology. This allows us to remain flexible and to incorporate changes in our benchmarking as regulations and situations change, as we’ve seen over the years.

Military Friendly® uses a number of public data sources to incorporate regulations and to track complaints or red flags against a particular institution or organization.

We provide one of the most robust lists of higher education institutions, covering ten categories, for veterans to use as a starting point in their search for post-secondary education.

First, it’s important to note that any school is eligible to participate in our survey if they are eligible to receive federal veteran education benefits and meet all of our Military Friendly® threshold criteria. Schools cannot be considered for inclusion in our program if they meet any of the following conditions:

  • They do not have at least three of the following federal programs in operation and good standing.
    • Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill)
    • Official commitment to the Eight Keys to Veterans’ Success
    • VA’s Principles of Excellence
    • Federal Financial Aid Shopping Sheet
    • Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) Funding
    • DoD Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Tuition Assistance
    • Veteran Success on Campus (VSOC) Program
    • Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Network
  • They are not eligible if they meet a combination of these conditions:
    • The number of veteran student complaints reported by the VA is >= to 5% of total enrolled veterans.
    • The School is currently or was under one or more federal precautionary flags within the last 12 months.

Second, we review the latest public data for red flags prior to publishing final results: U.S. Departments of Veteran Affairs, Labor, Defense and Education databases. If we identify any school under scrutiny by these Departments, which rate total aggregate student body data, we will re-examine that school’s Military Friendly® category and scores. Since we are specifically rating a school’s ability to support veterans and military community members, we may ask that college to confirm or provide veteran-specific data, including: Veteran Graduation and Retention Rates, Veteran Job Placement Rate and Veteran Loan Default and Repayment Rates. If this data is not satisfactory, we will remove them from eligibility for the MF designation for that calendar year.

Third, survey methodology and questions are evaluated by an independent advisory council. In 2016, we also incorporated several updates to our survey questions and methodology based on new data and recommendations by a third-party research firm.

Note that all eligible schools, for-profit and not-for-profit alike, answer the same questions about a school’s support specifically for student veterans and the military community. These responses are run through the same scoring methodology, which each year is independently tested by EY. Our list is neutral.

We reserve the right to suspend or remove the Military Friendly® designation, including use of the logo(s) and the title, from any employer or school that we learn has failed to meet the minimum Retention rate (employers or schools), or Graduation, Loan Default, Loan Repayment and/or Job Placement rates (schools) and/or if the institution/company has been flagged by one or more of the regulatory entities. See our criteria for details.
No. We know that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to matching individuals to the right educational opportunity, and that there are lots of great-paying jobs that need to be filled with technical or skilled labor (e.g., welders, programmers, electricians, to name just a few). We permit post-secondary schools of all types to participate in the Military Friendly Schools survey, including: traditional four-year colleges and universities, both public and private; community colleges; online degree programs; graduate schools; and specialized vocational/trade schools.
Our goal at Military Friendly® is to cut through the clutter by offering holistic, unbiased ratings regardless of program type or tax filing status. We are aware that there is a heated debate happening nationally about the merits of not-for-profit schools versus for-profit schools. However, we are not interested in taking a side in this debate or declaring whether a school’s tax status is “good” or “bad.” Instead, we are only interested in and solely focused on providing an objective, data-driven measure to assess whether a school’s programs and policies lead to positive outcomes for their veteran or military spouse students—outcomes like graduation, degree advancement or job placement.
The Department of Defense’s voluntary education programs and Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between educational institutions and the DoD is designed to provide tuition assistance to Active Duty service members seeking to further their education. Veterans are not eligible for DoD tuition assistance. The DoD MOU application process for institutions is strictly voluntary and lengthy. Students serving on Active Duty have very specific needs and requirements given the operational tempo of their day-to-day lives and assignments, and the majority of higher education institutions choose not to recruit these students. Many academic programs, policies or requirements are not well-suited for remote and intermittent students.

The Military Friendly® Schools list includes many options and types of schools by design that may be of interest not only to active military, but also to veterans and military spouses, and the list clearly identifies those institutions with eligible programs for Active Duty personnel.

First and foremost, we are a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business. In other words, we are founded by veterans for veterans and their families! Our co-founders and executive team today all served, so they have our military community’s best interests at heart because they are part of it! They are proud of our employees who represent the veteran and military spouse community, and all who share our strong commitment to doing better for veterans and the military community. A number of our employees are veterans or military spouses themselves.

Here are some other things we’d like you to know:

  • G.I. Jobs® resources, in print and online, are free to service members and veterans.
  • G.I. Jobs® curriculum materials are widely used in transition classes and distributed on military bases worldwide every month because they are trusted, valuable resources to those who are helping our service members prepare for life after the military.
  • Military Spouse is distributed for free through military installations, such as FRG centers. It is also available by paid subscription and on newsstands at market purchase price, such as at The Commissary or Exchange. This point-of-sale and subscription revenue is a tiny portion of the company’s revenue.
  • Buy Veteran memberships for Veteran-Owned Businesses bring networking opportunities, business RFP alerts, and accessibility through, plus other content/resource benefits. We offer free basic memberships, as well as expanded services in higher-level paid membership packages.
  • We promote and help employers and schools promote programs that value and provide discounts to veterans and military spouses – e.g., franchises that offer discounted franchisee fees for veterans, discounts on products and services to military families. Our new Military Friendly® Brands survey is one way veterans and military spouses can voice their opinions and experiences with a company, product, program or service.
  • We recognize the accomplishments of veterans, military spouses and VOBs each year with special editorial features and events, just as we have done throughout our history. We advocate and champion these individuals!
Here are just a few things people say about Military Friendly® and our brands:

Good afternoon, I received a forwarded email regarding G.I. Jobs® today and I was able to use the information immediately to assist a veteran. Can I be included on future emails from the organization you represent?”  Ian E., Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Enjoy your magazine each month and make sure to get it out for distribution.”  Mark B., Harrison Program Support Specialist, National Guard Employment Support Program

G.I. Jobs® magazine is great, it helped me during my transition. I find the Military Friendly® Employer designation extremely helpful. Victory Media & its subsidiary companies do a fantastic job. It’s true, I have a copy of G.I. Jobs on my bedside table. I have one on the desk in my office too.” Jordan M., CW3, National Guard

G.I. Jobs® Magazine has provided transitioning military members and veterans with a wealth of useful and timely information and great job opportunities! Smart companies seeking to hire the best employees – veterans – know the value of G.I. Jobs® magazine brings to their veteran recruitment programs and they all seek to be on G.I. Jobs® honor roll of Military Friendly Employers®!” Charles S. “Chick” Ciccolella, former Assistant Secretary of Veterans’ Employment and Training

I use GI Jobs® magazine in all my TAP classes for one reason. Every Marine and Soldier completing my class has told me the same thing: This magazine gives you everything you need to transition from military life to civilian. It’s the best magazine out there for military transitioners.”   Raymond A., TAP Representative, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, US Army

I am extremely motivated to recommend G.I. Jobs® magazine and it’s online resources to the military community. Every resource you have is great and has helped me tremendously throughout my transition. I believe that the companies and schools designated Military Friendly® are clearly the best. Military Friendly® should be the industry standard.”  Dan M., SFC, 18 Years of Service, US Army

A ‘Military Friendly® Employer’ is one who understands the commitment, potential and loyalty that comes from an individual who has served in the military. They represent the character and values embraced by the military.”  Arturo D., US Army

It is important to us to let our incoming students know that we care enough about how we treat military-connected students to strive for such designations. [Being a Military Friendly® School] is not a claim that we are perfect, but a promise to always strive to be the best we can for them.”  Danny G., Director, Center for Adult Learners and Veterans, University of West Georgia

When potential students are looking at schools, this [Military Friendly® School] designation stands out to those interested in using their VA educational benefits…”  Jeanne R., Director of Institutional Research, University of Tampa

When I initially began my transition from the Marine Corps in 2012, I experienced a great amount of frustration in my job search. Most of the companies that I applied to didn’t appreciate my military experience as a pilot and officer or couldn’t see how it was relevant to their particular job opportunities…However, I then discovered the GI Jobs® “Military Friendly® Employer” rankings during my transition class and altered my job search strategy to focus on those companies identified as “Military Friendly®.” I immediately experienced an increase in employer queries and interviews, which soon led to my employment with the #2 ranked Military Friendly® Employer at that time, ManTech International Corporation. I now recommend to all my transitioning military and veteran colleagues to focus their job search efforts on companies identified as Military Friendly® by GI Jobs® because those companies better understand the value that veterans bring to their companies, understand how our skills and experience translate to their positions, and are actively recruiting for us.”  Charles M., Major, USMC, Ret., Director of Military Programs, ManTech International Corp.

I am extremely motivated to recommend G.I. Jobs®, all of it’s resources were extremely helpful to me in my transition. Your designations should be the industry standard.” Troy E., Lieutenant Colonel, 23 Years, US Army

The time I spent working at Victory Media means a lot to me. It was great to be a part of a small company that was doing big things. I developed a real understanding and appreciation for what our servicemen and women and their families go through during and after their military careers. It’s nice to know that Victory Media is there to help provide resources for all life stages of current and former military personnel and that they’re helping to raise awareness of the sacrifices being made to keep freedom free. Being part of that team, which worked smartly and tirelessly for the benefit of our veterans, left a lasting impression on me…” – Brent K., former employee

I joined the military for the tuition benefits. But the number of benefits, and the many different schools available to use them, is overwhelming. G.I. Jobs® and the Guide to Military Friendly® Schools simplified my decision-making. Thank you for these great resources!” Shawn L.

Continue to serve our Service Members and their Spouses with great information.” Raymond L., Military Transition Office

[I work with only veterans.] I stress the articles in the GI Jobs® magazine and the Employer Magazine as a good reference. The Schools Magazines: I recommend anyone looking at further education to thoroughly review them.” Robert M., East Tucson DES Office/ Davis-Monthal AFB

At Verizon, when we embarked in creating a best-in-class military outreach and recruitment program, we knew we needed to select the best resources on the media market to be seen adn heard by our target audience. G.I. Jobs® has been essential in increasing our quality hiring pipeline as well as our overall brand equity within the veteran/military and military spouse communities nationwide.” Evan G., Head of Military Programs & Veterans Affairs, Global Strategic Talent Acquisition, Verizon

It’s vitally important to benchmark your policies and procedures, and to work with the industry leaders, so that you can continuous improve and raise the benchmarks to benefit all companies. Being a participant in the Military Friendly® process, has helped us both internally and externally.” Keith N., GM Military & Veterans Affairs, General Motors

Earning the Military Friendly® designation has helped with promoting the Penn State Mont Alto campus. Many other Penn State campuses have been listed as being Military Friendly for a long time. It is nice to have Penn State Mont Alto not only be on the Military Friendly® list but to also be in the top 10%! There is a greater sense of pride among the student veterans and our student veteran alumni who always believed we should be a Military Friendly® School.” Kathy S., Veterans Coordinator, Penn State Mont Alto

I will forever be grateful and humbled by the opportunity to work at Victory Media…I ended my military journey by helping others transition. What is cooler than that? I thoroughly enjoyed teaching others about all of the amazing ways that Victory Media helps people.” Ian F., Veteran and former employee

A couple of weeks ago while getting a haircut, the barber happened to mention that he is a Navy veteran, so I told him about our company was founded by Navy vets and shared the news about Mike Stevens joining us. His eyes immediately lit up and he told me that he uses G.I. Jobs® for helpful articles and career searches while he’s looking for new opportunities. He had transitioned out early this year, and was very familiar with G.I. Jobs® and Military Friendly®. He said everyone in the military knows that if you’re looking for education and/or career, GI JOBS is the place to go. Gratified about this chance encounter with a recent veteran who relies on our resources, I gave him my card and the latest copy of GI JOBS, and asked him to call me if I can be of any help. It gave me a sense of pride that simply getting a haircut could turn into an encounter like this. This veteran suddenly saw me as not just another haircut but as someone who works for a company that is beneficial to him.” Current Victory Media employee

Service members need to know we are giving them any and all resources available, and G.I. Jobs® magazine is one of our greatest sought-out resources. I can not replenish [the magazines] fast enough for our service members who grab them as soon as they hit the stand. They are always in high demand and our fleet Support Center gives G.I. Jobs® two thumbs up.” Sherry P., Education Services Facilitator/TAMP Coordinator, Fleet and Family Support Center, Naval Submarine Base, New London, CT

The Military Friendly® School designation means that we stand recognized for our Student Veteran supports we have in place. That if a Veteran should be looking for an education, that this designation should be a reassurance that we recognize and respect our Veteran population. It sets Erie Institute of Technology aside from the other schools in our area. Showing the community we go the extra mile for our Veterans.” Kimberly C., Director of Student Services, Erie Institute of Technology

The Military Friendly® designation places California University of Pennsylvania in the company of top schools that truly value and support military service members, veterans and their families.” Christine K., Associate VP of Communications, California University of Pennsylvania

While we believe that we are making great strides in assisting military-affiliated students with their transitions to student life, being recognized from an industry standard and well-known organization brings another level of credibility to Regent and Victory Media; both are essential to serving those who have served.” Bob H., Senior Director of Traditional Admissons/ Director of Military Admissions, Regent University

G.I. Jobs® magazine really helped me during my transition. I would recommend Military Spouse magazine to a friend.” Justine E., E3, 2 Years, US Navy

We work closely with the Victory Media team to successfully promote our distance degree programs. Our students are adult learners with hectic lifestyles. They need the accommodating, career-enhancing education options that we provide. GI Jobs® enables us to target a perfect demographic of prospective students.” Johnnie B., Marketing Coordinator, The University of Alabama, Academic Outreach College of Continuing Studies

Werner Enterprises views being recognized as a Military Friendly® Gold Award Employer as an honor and a privilege. This acknowledgment is culminated from the dedication and steadfast determination to support and show the highest regard to our military members and veterans throughout the company and our communities. Werner Enterprises is also humbled by being recognized as the #3 overall Military Spouse Friendly® Top 10 Employer for the second year in a row. This distinction has not only has motivated the company to continue to do more for military/veteran spouses, but set a standard that this company wholeheartedly embraces the knowledge and experience that military/veteran spouses bring to the table…The Military Friendly® designation demonstrates to the military/veteran community that your company has proven initiatives and support systems in place to provide meaningful employment to military members, veterans, and their spouses.” Megan C., Military and Specialized Programs Manager, Werner

Military students have many options to choose from and most of them look for schools who not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Once they see that we have gone the extra mile through the designation, it puts their mind at ease when inquiring about our school. It helps us, as a school, to ensure them that they have come to the right place and we will make every effort to help them feel comfortable and be successful. Military transition is difficult enough and the stress of going to school is even harder. It is our hope that having this designation will provide them with peace of mind so they can make that first step to achieving their education goals.”  Susan S., Program Coordinator, Military Education Services, Bossier Parish Community College

We have very positive feedback from our clientele about your information that we have in literature racks in our front office at the Education Center.” Sally I., Guidance Counselor, USAG Ft Knox KY

I find all of your brands and resources to be useful. Continue the advocacy and keep up the good work!” Anika A., E7, 21 Years, US Army

There are two things that make a Military Friendly® Employer stand out from other employers: Their entire approach to recruiting is different, and they understand veterans, reservists and military spouses with have different needs as employees. Representing less than one percent of the population, we’re a unique subset. A Military Friendly® Employer takes that into account at every step of the recruiting process and employee experience…” Grant B., Marine Corps Reserves

…Before I came to work here I had not yet known what it is to be proud of, not only my work, but the work of a company on a much broader and socially significant level. The cause that we represent is great; and the people who represent that cause are even greater. I am proud to be involved in the work we do, but I am even more proud to be able to do it with all of you.” Current Victory Media Employee

In 2009 Victory Media launched the Buy Veteran campaign as a way to bring the success and momentum of the veterans’ entrepreneurship movement to ALL 3 million plus of America’s vetrepreneurs, the majority of whom are every day, Main Street businesses like plumbers, bakeries, barber shops, etc. Buy Veteran lets these folks tap in to America’s desire to thank and support veterans. Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s a great testimonial from one of our NaVOBA members, Lawrence Curell, owner of Better Deal Printing in Prescott Arizona: ‘I joined Buy Veteran when it first started and have also displayed the Buy Veteran decal on our office window since joining. The listing on the website has opened up a few doors that I otherwise would not have known about. We can attribute at least $30,000 in sales to the listing and the decal on our door. If you’re a veteran and own a business, you should be listed on the website as it has nothing but potential to help you grow.'” Current NaVOBA Employee

Military Friendly® is the standard that measures an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community. Now, let’s unpack that. Because every word of that definition was purposefully chosen.

“Military Friendly®”:  First of all, the term “Military” refers to the military community; which we define as the people of the active duty, reserve, guard, veterans and military spouses.  It does NOT refer to the military as an organization.  It’s also a trademarked name.  That’s important because there are lots of copycat military lists and ratings programs, none of who possess the rigor of our’s, often resulting in mistaken identity.  We are the standard-bearer.  When you see the Military Friendly® seal and logo, you can trust what that means.

“is the standard”:  It’s a designation that establishes baseline expectations in key areas to achieve the designation.  Organizations that go above and beyond the baseline expectations can reach higher levels, which we call awards.  This awards system of upward mobility incentivizes organizations to always strive to do more to support veterans.

“that measures”:  Our ratings program is formulaic.  It is objective.  It has an outside Military Friendly® Advisory Council that provides perspective on criteria, methodology and weighting.  It has a third party auditor (EY: Ernst & Young) verify the results.

“an organization’s”:  This is purposefully a broad term because, as we currently rate large companies and post-secondary schools, we believe that every organization in America should be incentivize to be Military Friendly® so we are constantly opening up new ratings.

“commitment”: Commitment is the first of three sequential steps toward building a military program. Commitment refers to an organization setting policy.

“effort”:  Effort is the second of three sequential steps and refers to an organization committing resources; people, time, capital, toward their military progam.  Think of this as them putting their money where their mouth is.

“and success“:  Success is the third of three sequential steps and refers to an organization’s results.  How successful have they been in building their program?

“in creating sustainable”:  Sustainable refers to the duration of the benefit.  In this case, it means that the benefit is virtually infinite in duration.  It is self-perpetuating because it is fueled by providing core long-term value and ROI to the organization. Conversely, programs which are fueled by political or charitable tendencies, face certain demise when those inevitable winds shift direction.

“and meaningful”:  Meaningful refers to the scope and origin of the benefit.  In this case, it means that the benefit lifts the entire community.  This is unlike a charitable donation which often benefits only a disaffected few.  Meaningful also refers to the benefit being not an entitlement, but rather an opportunity.  This is in line with our belief that the military community seeks a hand up, not a hand out.

benefit”:  Benefit means that veterans have earned either “front of line priveleges,” or “back stage passes.”  Benefit is also in keeping with our mission of supporting and empowering the military community.

“for the military community.”:  The military community does not refer to the Department of Defense.  It refers to the people who serve, serve alongside or served:  active duty, guard, reserve, military spouses and veterans.

Hear how our Chief Product Officer, Daniel Nichols, explains it:

National interest in supporting those who have served and preparing our troops and their spouses for second or third careers in the civilian sector is stronger than ever—just take a look at the number of resources and services offered by businesses and nonprofit organizations alike. This increased interest has presented a new challenge, however: Where should servicemembers, veterans and military spouses turn to for information? Who should they trust?

We believe that every organization should strive to be better for veterans, but not all are there yet. Evaluating organizations against a single standard that uses data from Public, Proprietary and Personal sources allows us to compare like organizations without bias. Our Military Friendly® lists and resources cut through the clutter, offering a holistic, unbiased and objective view of education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, regardless of the organization’s industry, program type or tax filing status.  Each year, the bar is raised, as our benchmarks are set by the leading organization, not by a static set of criteria, which ultimately results in continual investment in the military and veteran communities.

Overview of Our Lists and Survey Process

We’re glad you asked, because we believe we have one of the most, if not the most, stringent and comprehensive survey on the market. This is important because it translates into better assessments as to which organizations are truly better for veterans.

First, we use a combination of three data sources to score organizations and to create our lists. We call them the “3 P’s”:

  • Public – Publicly available data from several federal agencies that monitor higher education institutions or federal contractors.
  • Proprietary – Proprietary survey data gathered through the Military Friendly® survey data verification process.
  • Personal – Personal opinion data and feedback from veterans themselves gathered through a short survey administered on our behalf of participating organizations.

Second, our Military Friendly® surveys consist of more than 100 questions and cover key areas determined to be important factors in supporting military talent. This is no small task for an organization to complete; it takes several hours, so these organizations are serious about completing the survey!

Third, each year survey topics and questions are reviewed and developed with the assistance of our independent Military Friendly® Advisory Council. The Military Friendly® Advisory Council is a group of independent subject matter experts and industry partners representing the fields of veteran education and employment. We have representation from employers, schools, nonprofits and outside organizations. We have also formed a Military Alumni Council comprised of post-9/11 veterans, who represent the military community we serve and provide us valuable feedback about what veterans are looking for from Military Friendly® employers and schools.

Fourth, EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, independently tests the validity and consistency of each year’s survey results by testing the scoring methodology developed by Victory Media. Methodology reviews are performed by EY Assurance Services unit.

Finally, it is important to note that our scoring is fully automated. No human hands are involved in the scoring process.

Our Military Friendly® surveys each consist of 100-200 questions and cover key areas determined to be important factors in supporting military talent. These topics and questions were developed with the assistance of a third-party research firm and our independent Military Friendly® Advisory Council.

Key Assessment Areas:

Schools Employers
Academic Policies & Compliance Career Opportunity & Advancement
Admissions & Orientation Culture & Commitment
Culture & Commitment Hiring & Onboarding
Financial Aid & Loan Repayment Military Employee Policies & Compliance
Graduation & Career Outcomes Military Employee Support & Retention
Military Student Support & Retention Recruiting & Sourcing

Our surveys do not ask essay-type questions; therefore, we do not consider or include subjective opinions in our scoring process.

There is no cost to participate in our surveys, or to have the final results published.

Please contact us to let us know what factors and characteristics you feel should be considered for inclusion in future survey assessments.
Military Friendly® surveys typically run on an annual basis. Your company or school can participate in our survey(s) by using a unique link generated specifically for your organization. This link provides you and key personnel you designate with access to our secure, web-based research platform. To get started, request your link by emailing

Our surveys are accessible through all major web browsers. However, if you are experiencing technical difficulties with your survey, please contact us at

It is possible that we can re-open your survey and allow you to make changes up until the scoring deadline. After that point, we can no longer accept any changes. Contact your local representative to discuss this option.
No. There is no fee for participating in our Military Friendly® surveys, nor in the publication of our survey results and ratings.

Advertising in any Victory Media publication is not a part of our assessment process, nor is it a factor in qualifying for the Military Friendly® designation. For more information on how the lists are derived, see the methodology section of our site. Organizations that qualify for the Military Friendly® designation are listed on our website and in our print guides at no cost.

Note: In the spirit of Better for Veterans, Victory Media does not accepting advertising from any school that is not eligible for Military Friendly(R) School designation.  The definition of eligibility for Military Friendly Schools designation can be found here:  Military Friendly Schools methodology.    

We typically announce our Military Friendly® Employers and Military Friendly® Schools around Veterans Day. We will be in touch in early November to let you know whether you were designated Military Friendly®. Award recipients will be announced in December.
We publish our lists both in printed guides and on We will publish online all Military Friendly® Employers and Military Friendly® Schools in early November and award winners will be announced in early December. Our annual print guides will be on the streets in December and will include all designated and awarded employers and schools.
Contact us to request a copy of the Guide to Military Friendly® Schools, G.I. Jobs®/Guide to Military Friendly® Employers or Military Spouse magazine.
Contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss what we look for in Military Friendly® organizations, and how you can improve your standing for next year.
Each year, we review thousands of companies, organizations and higher education institutions. Those not identified on the Military Friendly® list either had incomplete data or did not meet the standard. Contact us to find out how you can be evaluated for the Military Friendly® designation next time!
We rank the Top 10 organizations in each award category, which compares similar types of employers or schools together. Due to the growing interest in our survey and increase in the number of participants, we have found that ranking order between two strong participants in the same category can be determined by fractions of a point. As a result—and like the Olympic Games—we recognize awardees relative to each other using Gold, Silver and Bronze Levels, which are easy to understand and equally or more meaningful to the community than numbers.
As part of our free survey assessment, we offer Military Friendly®-designated organizations and awardees the ability to use the relevant “Military Friendly®” logo(s) for a period of one year. Additionally, Military Friendly® recipients receive basic listings on our website and in our annual print guide. These benefits are available at no cost to all those receiving the designation. 

For award winners, the logo will include your award: Top 10 Gold, Gold, Silver or Bronze and your designation area.  You will receive more than one logo to use in your marketing efforts if you are designated as Military Friendly® in more than one award category. You can access your logos, press release templates, and social media blurbs via your toolkit. We will email you a link.  If you need to request a new link fill out the form below.

Please note: Official plaques authorized by Military Friendly® are available for purchase for all Military Friendly® and award designees. Top 10 award recipients will receive one complimentary plaque. To order your plaque and for pricing information, please contact us.

We want to help! We can provide you with the tools and information you need to better serve members of the military community. We also offer additional, optional services to help you develop your military programs, build a presence with the military community and drive response to your opportunities through digital marketing campaigns. Contact us for more information.
Only those organizations that have taken the survey can be designated Military Friendly®. However, your company or school could still be published as part of our “eligible” list online if, based on public data available to us, your company or school has met our criteria and standards. In other words, the latest data in publicly available federal databases shows that you may meet the Military Friendly® standard.
Our Military Friendly® lists are determined mathematically by a state-of-the-art, web-based research platform. There is no “human in the loop” during the submission and evaluation process, meaning the survey results are submitted by participants and adjudicated by the technology platform without manipulation by Victory Media. Survey results and scoring is fully automated based on data submitted by participants through the survey. See our methodology and criteria under “Governance” on the website.

New for 2017, our Military Friendly® Awards provide a more competitive view of how an organization is performing compared with similar organizations.

An organization can be awarded:

  • Top 10: the best of the best!
  • Gold: within 10% of 10th-ranked organization.
  • Silver: within 20% of the 10th-ranked organization.
  • Bronze: within 30% of the 10th-ranked organization.

Military Friendly® 2017 award seals

Award Categories

We group Military Friendly®-designated organizations into award categories based on revenue (for companies) or enrollment size and type (for colleges). An organization may earn one or several awards, or they may simply meet the standard and be designated Military Friendly® with no award.



Military Friendly® Schools

Military Friendly® Employers


Public Universities with <10,000 students

<$500 Million


Public Universities with >10,000 students

$500 Million – $1 Billion


Private Institutions with <10,000 students

>$1 Billion


Private Institutions with >10,000 students

Government & Nonprofit Entities


Non-Traditional Institutions


Community Colleges


Private Vocational Schools


Online Universities


Graduate Schools


Tier 1 Research Institutions

Scores are private and only shared with you. Category scores are shared with the general public on your free online profile on this website. Organizations that are unable to provide or do not wish to share information with the public are able to identify specific data points during the survey process that they wish to omit from their website profile and print guide listing. Get in touch with your local representative or contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.
We publish a number of lists that recognize the organizations with Military Friendly® programs. Our data-driven lists include:

  • Military Friendly® Companies
    • Military Friendly® Employers
    • Military Spouse Friendly Employers®
    • Military Friendly® Supplier Diversity Programs
    • Military Friendly® Brands
  • Military Friendly® Schools
  • Military Spouse Friendly Schools®

For Employers and Schools, we go further to highlight the top programs by bestowing awards to the best of the best. For each survey, we create top 10 lists by category. Companies are categorized by revenue; schools are categorized by enrollment and/or type of school. Beyond the Top 10, organizations can be awarded Gold, Silver, or Bronze, or they may simply be designated as Military Friendly®.

We encourage you to tell the world how proud your are of your organization being designated Military Friendly®! To help, we’ve created a resource page to house all of the logos, press release templates and social media tips you could need. Request the link to the toolkit here:

Survey Specifics for Post-Secondary Schools

Military Friendly® Schools strive towards and succeed in the areas that matter most in helping veterans make the transition from the military to school and, ultimately, satisfying careers in the civilian world. Earning the designation shows that your school meets the minimum criteria.

This year we will published the results of our eligibility assessment of public data for schools against the Military Friendly® School standard in an effort to provide members of the military community with the latest, most comprehensive information possible as they decide how to use their veteran education benefits.

Eligibility is based upon a core set of outcome data, namely degree transfer, advancement, graduation and/or job placement.

Supplementing public data are responses from colleges that participate in our survey. Responses cover six areas we deem to be critical in helping veterans thrive on campus—and later in the workplace:

  • Academic Policies & Compliance
  • Admissions & Orientation
  • Culture & Commitment
  • Financial Aid & Loan Repayment
  • Graduation & Career Outcomes
  • Military Student Support & Retention

Final Military Friendly® ratings are determined by combining an institution’s Military Friendly® Schools survey score with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet minimum thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement and Loan Repayment rates for all students and specifically for student veterans based on public data.

Also new for 2017 is the Military Friendly® Schools Awards program, showcasing the most powerful and impactful programs supporting veteran and military students. Award categories are by type of institution.

We recommend allotting approximately 10-15 hours to gather information and to complete the survey.
Schools are grouped according to enrollment and school type. We choose the Top 10 Military Friendly® Schools, as well as Gold, Silver and Bronze level award recipients,  in each of the following categories:

  • Public Universities with fewer than 10,000 students
  • Public Universities with more than 10,000 students
  • Private Institutions with fewer than 10,000 students
  • Private Institutions with more than 10,000 students
  • Non-Traditional Institutions
  • Community Colleges
  • Private Vocational Schools
  • Online Universities
  • Graduate Schools
  • Tier 1 Research Institutions
Public data is obtained from the Departments of Education, Veterans Affairs and Defense. Supplementing public data are responses from participating colleges and universities to questions in six categories we deem to be critical in helping student veterans thrive on campus and after graduation. The survey sections are:

  • Academic Policies & Compliance
  • Admissions & Orientation
  • Culture & Commitment
  • Financial Aid & Loan Repayment
  • Graduation & Career Outcomes
  • Military Student Support & Retention
The list of Military Friendly® Schools is published around Veteran’s Day on We also publish those schools considered to be “Eligible” for Military Friendly® status. In other words, all public data points to the school meeting Military Friendly® thresholds and standards, but they didn’t take the survey to verify their data.

The Top 10, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners are published online in early December, and in our annual Guide to Military Friendly® Schools.

As part of our list release, we publish the names of schools we consider to be “Eligible” for Military Friendly® status. What this means is that all public data about the school points to the institution meeting our Military Friendly® thresholds and standards. However, because the school didn’t verify the data through the survey, we could not designate the institution as a Military Friendly® School. 
As an additional measure to better advocate for veterans and provide increased transparency, we have voluntarily chosen not to permit any post-secondary school deemed ineligible for Military Friendly® designation to purchase advertising products in any of its military media brands. Schools that are not eligible to purchase advertising products and services are those for which their accreditation has been suspended; the status of one or more of specified federal education programs has been suspended; and/or an active federal caution flag has been applied against the school and 5% or more of enrolled GI Bill participants at the school have filed complaints with the VA. Victory Media will offer these schools training and development services with the goal of helping all institutions to provide the types of programs and services that mean the most in helping veterans successfully transition to a civilian career. Veterans can be assured that schools advertising in media like G.I. Jobs® and Military Spouse digital and print products are in good federal standing and have met the minimum thresholds to support them.

Survey Specifics for Companies and Employers

Military Friendly® Employers strive towards and succeed in the areas that matter most in helping veterans and other members of the military community make the transition from the military to satisfying employment in the civilian world. Having the designation shows that your organization is better for veterans, with the hiring, retention, advancement and employee development programs in place to help them reach their career goals.
We’re examining companies in a whole new way this year—as a whole entity across different divisions, programs and functions. The Military Friendly® Employers program has evolved into part of the larger Military Friendly® Companies survey.

Another significant change for the 2017 Employers portion of the survey is the consideration of three sources of data in the scoring: publicly available company data; personal opinion data from military employees; and proprietary survey data—all establishing new benchmarks for eligibility based upon a core set of outcome data.

Supplementing public data will be responses from participating companies in six areas deemed critical to helping veterans thrive in the workplace:

  • Career Opportunity & Advancement
  • Culture & Commitment
  • Hiring & Onboarding
  • Military Employee Policies & Compliance
  • Military Employee Support & Retention
  • Recruiting & Sourcing

Also new for 2017 is the Military Friendly® Employers Awards showcasing the most powerful and effective programs supporting veterans and military employees. Organizations can be recognized as part of the Top 10, Gold, Silver, or Bronze in different revenue categories. The categories are:

  • Less than $500MM Revenue
  • $500MM – $1 Billion Revenue
  • More than $1Billion Revenue
  • Government & Non-Profit Entities

Organizations must successfully complete the 2017 survey and qualify as a 2017 Military Friendly® Employer to be considered for the 2017 Awards program. Not all organizations designated as Military Friendly® will receive an award.  Both designations and awards are based on the total score of the lead organization. This “benchmarking” approach ensures that organizations are constantly improving their programs and investments, which ultimately benefits the military and veteran community.

Employers are grouped according to their revenue. We choose the Top 10 Military Friendly® organizations in each of the following revenue brackets:

  • Less than $500 Million
  • $500 Million – $1 Billion
  • $1 Billion and up
  • Government & Nonprofit (GOs and NGOs)

We also announce an overall #1 Military Friendly® Employer across all award categories.

No, we no longer publish the Top 100 Military Friendly®  Employers. Now that we have the ability to apply the Military Friendly® standard to thousands of employers, along with increased competition among participants, we feel it is more accurate to compare organizations with similar resources.
Public data is obtained from the GSA, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Labor’s OFCCP, Wage & Hour and VETS agencies.

See the public data sources we use as part of our process under the “Governance” section of the website.

The Military Friendly® Employers survey is a section of the new Military Friendly® Companies Survey. If you wish to be designated as a Military Friendly® Employer, you can do that by only filling out that section of the survey. Email us at for more information.
The 2017 Military Friendly® Employers survey is now part of a new combined survey format that gives veterans a holistic view of what it takes to be a “Military Friendly® Company”. The new Military Friendly® Companies joint survey provides a single interface for companies to share data and best practices on how they support the military community in the following areas:

  • Recruiting, hiring and training practices of Military Friendly® Employers.
  • Recruiting, hiring and training practices of Military Spouse Friendly Employers®.
  • Partnering with and supporting Veteran-Owned Businesses with Military Friendly® Supplier Diversity Programs.
  • Measuring the commitment to military consumer protections through Military Friendly® Brands.

You can complete as many of the survey sections as you would like; each will be evaluated separately. If you would just like to participate in the Military Friendly® Employers survey, no problem! Note, however, that in order to be considered for the Military Friendly® Companies list next year, organizations must submit and be designated as Military Friendly® in at least three of the sections.

We recommend allotting approximately 15-20 hours for you and your staff to gather responses and to complete all sections of the Military Friendly® Companies survey. It is a time-consuming process. But several questions are repeated in each portion of the survey (MFE, MFSE, MFB, MFSDP) and those are pre-populated for you after you enter your response once. Keep in mind that some of the later questions will not be editable if the question was answered earlier in the survey.
Absolutely! However, we recommend you take as many as possible since several of the questions across the surveys are the same and filled in for you automatically after you take the first survey.
Yes, we will evaluate your company for being Military Friendly® in each section. See “What’s this Military Friendly® Companies Survey?” for more information. If you want the overall Military Friendly® designation, you must be found Military Friendly® in 3 of the 4 sections.