Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about one of our Military Friendly® surveys?

Find the answers you need, from general ratings information to specific answers relevant to a school or employer.

About Military Friendly® Ratings

Military Friendly® is the leading, time-tested, trademarked standard that measures an organization’s level of commitment and success in creating opportunities and positive outcomes for members of the military community. Military Friendly®-designated organizations are in good federal standing and have met or exceeded benchmarks for recruitment, retention, advancement, support and job placement of veterans.

We believe veterans are better off for having served our nation. Military Friendly® takes this belief one step further by asking colleges and companies: “Are veterans better off with you?”

Our data-driven lists are published online and in our print magazines and they include Military Friendly® Companies, Military Friendly® Brands, Military Friendly® Supplier Diversity Programs, and Military Friendly® Schools.

National interest in supporting those who have served and preparing our troops 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 non-profit 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 federal agency/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, 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.

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

  1. Publicly available data from several federal agencies that monitor higher education institutions or federal contractors.
  2. Proprietary survey data gathered through the Military Friendly® survey data verification process.
  3. Personal opinion data from veterans themselves gathered through a short survey administered on our behalf by participating organizations.

Second, our Military Friendly® surveys consist of around 100 questions and cover key areas determined to be important factors in supporting military talent. Each year survey topics and questions are reviewed and developed with the assistance of a third-party research firm, as well as 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. 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.

Third, 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 Business Services unit.

Finally, it is important to note that our benchmarks are set by the leading institutions and our scoring is fully automated. No human hands are involved in the scoring process.

You want members from the military community to be a part of your organization. Servicemembers, veterans, and their families want to know which companies, schools, government entities and nonprofits provide the support and programs they need to be successful. Military Friendly® provides an unbiased view of education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities that are better for veterans. Being designated Military Friendly® means your organization will be able to attract more veterans and their spouses to your programs, jobs and opportunities.
Our Military Friendly® surveys each consist of around 100 questions and cover six 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 here.

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

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 to the institution.

Note: In an effort to truly be better for veterans, Victory Media is not accepting advertising revenue from any school under investigation by one or more federal agencies and has had a formal complaint filed against it by veterans with one or more federal agencies.

We’re getting ready to announce our Military Friendly® Schools and Military Friendly® Employers starting in November! We will be in touch the first week of November to let you know whether you were designated Military Friendly®. We will announce award recipients online in early December.
We publish our lists both in printed guides and on Militaryfriendly.com. We will publish online all Military Friendly® Schools and Military Friendly® Employers on November 3. We’ll announce award winners 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® 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 more than 36,000 programs and 32,000 organizations. 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 companies or colleges together. (See below for details.) Due to the growing interest in our survey and increase in the number of participating organizations, we have found that ranking order between two strong organizations 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 militaryfriendly.com 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, Silver or Bronze. It will include the area you are designated in, and you’ll receive more than one logo to use in your marketing efforts if you are designated as Military Friendly® in more than one award category.

Plaques

Marketing Support

We’ll be sending out a press release template and social media posts you can use via email. Need to request the link to the toolkit? Fill out this form:

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 organization could still be published as part of our “eligible” list online if, based on public data available to us, your company or college has met our criteria and standards. In other words, the data in publicly available federal databases shows that you may meet the Military Friendly® standards.

Why just be eligible when you’re almost there? Request a survey link and during our next survey cycle on your path to being Military Friendly®!

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.

Read more about our methodology and criteria for higher education institutions and employers.

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 20% of 10th-ranked organization.
  • Silver: within 30% of the 10th-ranked organization.
  • Bronze: within 40% 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

1

Public Universities with <10,000 students

<$500 Million

2

Public Universities with >10,000 students

$500 Million – $1 Billion

3

Private Institutions with <10,000 students

>$1 Billion

4

Private Institutions with >10,000 students

Government & Nonprofit Entities

5

Non-Traditional Institutions

6

Community Colleges

7

Private Vocational Schools

8

Online Universities

9

Graduate Schools

10

Tier 1 Research Institutions

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

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

For Employers and Schools, we go further to highlight the top programs by bestowing awards on 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®.

Get in touch with your local sales representative or contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.
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:

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. Having the designation shows that your school is better for veterans with the admissions, student support and career services in place to prepare them for graduation and gainful employment.

See our methodology for more.

This year we will be publishing 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.

While we initially assess a universe in excess of 30,000 programs, we will publish the results of our public data assessment for more than 4,000 institutions that we are designating as eligible. 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. See below for award details.

We recommend allotting approximately 10-15 hours for you and your staff 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 will be published on November 3 on militaryfriendly.com. We will 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 but didn’t take the survey to verify their data.

The Top 10, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners will be 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 your school points to you meeting our Military Friendly® thresholds and standards. However, because you didn’t verify your data through the survey, we could not designate you as a 2017 Military Friendly® School.

Why just be eligible when you’re almost there? Request a survey link and get started during our next survey cycle on your path to being Military Friendly®!

As an additional measure to better advocate for veterans and provide increased transparency, Victory Media has 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.

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. Read below for more information on this new 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 will be 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. Learn more about the lists we will be publishing starting this year.
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.

This year, 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. Request your survey link here.
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.