Discussions about the permissibility of students using enhancements in education are often framed by the question, “Is a student who uses cognitive-enhancing drugs cheating?” While the question of cheating is interesting, it is but only one question concerning the permissibility of enhancement in education. Another interesting question is, “What kinds of students do we want in our academic institutions?” I suggest that one plausible answer to this question concerns the ideals of human excellence or virtues. The students we want in our academic institutions are virtuous or, at least minimally, possess certain virtues. I argue that a virtuous student may choose to use cognitive-enhancing drugs for reasons of self-improvement. That a virtuous student may choose to use cognitive-enhancing drugs for reasons of self-improvement illustrates that under certain conditions motivation can determine the permissibility of using enhancements. Building upon this I suggest a virtues-based institutional rule for governing and guiding student-use of cognitive enhancers in an academic institution to be for the right reasons. This ideals of human excellence or virtues approach offers interesting and unique insights for issues of enhancement in education, as it might turn out, that uneasiness many people have about students using cognitive-enhancing drugs has less to do with issues of enhancement and more to do with the motivations and character of students.