military / veterans background

Information and background on the issue of veterans and military education benefits and career education programs

On March 23, 2013, Senators Harkin and Hagan re-introduced the Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act which “aims to maximize the value of federal student aid and taxpayer dollars by prohibiting the use of Pell Grants, federal student loans, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, and other federal education funds for advertising, marketing and recruitment, similar to a current law that bans the use of federal higher education dollars for lobbying.”

News Release

Supporters

Background


On a visit to Fort Stewart in Georgia on April 27, the President signed an Executive Order designed to protect veterans and servicemembers and their families from colleges that seek to mislead them. In his speech, the president said:

“I’m not talking about all schools.  Many of them — for-profit and non-profit — provide quality education to our servicemembers and our veterans and their families.  But there are some bad actors out there.  They’ll say you don’t have to pay a dime for your degree but once you register, they’ll suddenly make you sign up for a high interest student loan.  They’ll say that if you transfer schools, you can transfer credits.  But when you try to actually do that, you suddenly find out that you can’t.  They’ll say they’ve got a job placement program when, in fact, they don’t.  It’s not right.  They’re trying to swindle and hoodwink you.  And today, here at Fort Stewart, we’re going to put an end to it.”

 

The goal of the Executive Order is to:

•   Create a centralized complaint system for students receiving Federal military and veterans educational benefits to register complaints that can be tracked and  responded to by the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Justice, and Education, the CFPB, and other relevant agencies.
•   Provide students with educational and financial information to make informed decisions.
•   End fraudulent and aggressive recruiting techniques on and off military installations.
•   Ensure support services for service-members and veterans.
•   Develop and collect service member- and veteran-specific student outcome data.
•   Begin the process to trademark the term “GI Bill.”

The full text of the Executive Order is here; the White House news release is here; background on the visit and event is here; the text of the President’s Fort Stewart speech is here, and President’s weekly radio address, which was also on this topic, is here. Veterans organizations that have been working on this issue came out in strong support of the Executive Order. Statements were issued by many groups, including the American LegionMilitary Officers Association of AmericaStudent Veterans of AmericaIraq and Afghanistan Veterans of AmericaVeterans of Foreign Wars, and Vietnam Veterans of America.

On April 18, 2012, Senators Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced legislation to “ensure that taxpayers’ investment in federal assistance for college students is not being wasted on advertising, marketing and recruitment rather than being used to educate and support students.  The Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act will maximize federal student aid by prohibiting the use of Pell Grants, federal student loans, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, and other federal education funds for such practices, similar to a current law that bans the use of federal higher education dollars for lobbying.”

Senate Legislation S.2296: Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act

News Release

Text of bill and bill information

In a news release issued February 23, 2012, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced the release of “new Department of Defense (DoD) data showing that for-profit colleges received half of all military Tuition Assistance (TA) dollars – $280 million out of $563 million spent last year on the program that gives service men and women the opportunity to take college classes while on active duty.  This new information underscores the impact of for-profit colleges’ aggressive recruiting on bases and military-related websites.  It also emphasizes the importance of strengthening eligibility requirements for colleges participating in the TA program in order to ensure that service members and their spouses are getting a quality education and taxpayer dollars are not being wasted.”

News Release: New Data Reveals For-Profit Colleges Take in Bulk of Active Duty Military Education Benefits

U.S. Senate HELP Committee analysis: Department of Defense Data Reveals For-Profit Colleges Are Taking in the Bulk of Military Tuition Benefits

Charts produced by HELP Committee majority staff: For‐Profit Colleges Collect Half of All Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Benefits

The 90-10 Rule is a federal law barring for-profit colleges from receiving more than 90% of their revenues from Department of Education federal student aid. It is modeled on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ long-standing 85-15 Rule, which prohibits more than 85% of a program’s students from receiving VA funding.

Bills have been introduced in the Senate and House that would close the loophole that allows schools to count GI Bill funds and Department of Defense Tuition Assistance as private rather than federal dollars. One bill would also reinstate the stronger 85-15 ratio.

Senate Legislation S.2116:  Military and Veterans Education Protection Act

- News Release

- Text of bill and bill information

House Legislation HR.4055: Military and Veterans Education Protection Act

News Release

Text of bill and bill information

Senate Legislation S.2032: Protecting our Students and Taxpayers (POST) Act

News Release

Text of bill and bill information

Q&A on the 90-10 Rule (November, 2012)

Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Tom Carper (D-DE)  held a press conference on September 22, 2011 to unveil new data on which colleges are taking in the most Post-9/11 G.I. Bill education benefits. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill is providing those who have served our nation since 9/11 the most comprehensive educational benefits since World War II. The Senators, who are all military veterans themselves, are seeking to ensure that those who use the benefits get a quality education.

New Data on Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Benefits and For Profit Colleges (pdf), data updated November 3, 2011

Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs: Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security

Hearing: Improving Educational Outcomes for our Military and Veterans, September 22, 2011.

Includes witness list, testimony, a link to the hearing webcast and letters from veterans organizations calling for stronger oversight of the GI Bill.

Letter from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to Senator Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, expressing concern over “reported rampant exploitation of our veterans and military members eligible for robust education benefits . . . “, August 24, 2011

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions

Full Committee Hearing: Improving For-Profit Higher Education: A Roundtable Discussion of Policy Solutions, July 21, 2011

Includes testimony of Holly Petraeus, Director, Office of Servicemember Affairs, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Washington, DC. Ms. Petraeus’ testimony begins at minute 54 in the webcast.

Senator Tom Harkin floor speech on deceptive marketing to veterans including video and related documents, May 19, 2011

Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs: Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security

Hearing: Preventing Abuse of the Military’s Tuition Assistance Program, March 2, 2011

Member Statements, Witness Testimony, and hearing webcast  

Government Accountability Office (GAO) report: DOD Education Benefits: Increased Oversight of Tuition Assistance Program is Needed, March 2011

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions report Benefitting Whom? For-Profit Education Companies and the Growth of Military Education Benefits, December 8, 2010.

House Armed Services Committee:  Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee

Letter summarizing the findings from its review of Department of Defense Tuition Assistance programs, November 5, 2010

House Armed Services Committee: Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee

Hearing: A Question of Quality and Value: Department of Defense Oversight of Tuition Assistance Used for Distance Learning and For-Profit Colleges, September 22, 2010

Coalition letters signed by veterans organizations calling for strong regulation of career education programs:

Media coverage:

Air Force Times — Irregularities cited in student vet study – For-profits under-represented
March 28, 2014

East County Today (CA) — Assemblyman Frazier Wants Safeguard for Veteran Students at For-Profit Colleges
March 6, 2014

The Navy Times — For-profit schools hit with lawsuits, subpoenas
March 5, 2014

Stars and Stripes — New GI Bill tool helps calculate benefits, compares schools
February 5, 2014

Inside Higher Ed — Complaint System for Student Veterans
January 31, 2014

KSDK (MO) — Protecting veterans from for-profit colleges
January 30, 2014

The Washington Post — New federal Web site allows veterans to report abuses by colleges
January 30, 2014

AP — Feds Establish Complaint System for Student Vets
January 30, 2014

Stars and Stripes — Online complaints system will police colleges over GI Bill benefits
January 30, 2014

Huffington Post blog — Feds Launch Online Complaint Portal for Vets Abused By For-Profit Colleges
January 30, 2014

Huffington Post blog — Protecting Our Veterans From Domestic Enemies
January 27, 2014

Marine Corps Times — Proposed MOU would require TA schools to be eligible for civilian financial aid program
January 16, 2014

The Chronicle of Higher Education — 2 Senators Seek Overhaul of Program for Military Members Leaving for College
January 14, 2014

CantonRep — Editorial – Simple rule change could help eliminate financial-aid fraud
December 27, 2013

WFMY (NC) — Senators Question Where GI Bill Money Is Spent
December 5, 2013

Inside Higher Ed — FTC Joins For-Profit Fight
November 14, 2013

Frontline — Bill Tries, Again, to Curb For-Profit Colleges’ Share of GI Cash
November 14, 2013

CNBC — Are for-profit colleges unfairly ‘targeting’ vets?
November 11, 2013

The Chronicle of Higher Education — Federal Trade Commission Warns Veterans About For-Profit Colleges
November 1, 2013

Huffington Post blog — FTC Warns Vets That For-Profit Colleges ‘Lie About How Well Their Graduates Fare’
October 31, 2013

Moyers & Company — For-Profit Colleges Thrive, Veterans Suffer
September 19, 2013

Inside Higher Ed — Senate Panel Votes to Include Military Tuition in 90/10 Rule
August 6, 2013

Washington Monthly — How For-Profit Colleges Target Veterans
August 2, 2013

The Chronicle of Higher Education — Defense-Spending Bill in Senate Takes Aim at For-Profit Colleges
August 2, 2013

Diverse Issues in Higher Education — For-Profits Come Under Criticism for Treatment of Military Veterans
August 1, 2013

Marine Corps Times — TA school under fire for its name
August 1, 2013

Inside Higher Ed — Follow the Money
July 26, 2013

Frontline — For-Profit Colleges Under Scrutiny, Again
July 25, 2013

The Chronicle of Higher Education — Senators Renew Scrutiny of For-Profit Colleges’ Recruitment of Veterans
July 23, 2013

Roll Call — Commentary – On 5th Anniversary of GI Bill, Benefits Need Protections From Unscrupulous For-Profit Colleges
July 10, 2013

Inside Higher Ed — Effort Ends to Set Standards for For-Profit Colleges in Wisconsin
Mar 25, 2013

Stars and Stripes — For-profits offer new guidelines for student veterans
Feb 26, 2013

The Chronicle of Higher Education — For-Profit Group Suggests Best Practices for Serving Military and Veteran Students
Feb 27, 2013

Inside Higher Ed — For-Profit Group’s Report on Veteran Education
Feb 27, 2013

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal — State probes for-profit colleges over aggressive recruiting of military vets
Feb 18, 2013

Star Tribune (Minn) — Minn. investigates for-profit colleges’ recruitment of vets with GI benefits
Feb 17, 2013

CBS SF Bay Area — Many Calif. Vets End Up With Huge Debts From For-Profit Colleges
Feb 16, 2013

Stockton Record — Editorial – No shortcuts to good education
Jan 10, 2013

The Chronicle of Higher Education — Veterans Affairs Dept. Trademarks ‘GI Bill’
Dec 6, 2012

Inside Higher Ed — Senate Passes Bill to Protect Veterans
Dec 21, 2012

Army Times — Senate OKs bill aimed at protecting GI benefits
Dec 6, 2012

Marine Corps Times — DoD unveils new agreement for colleges
Dec 6, 2012

McClatchy News Service — VA trademarks term ‘GI Bill’ to shield vets from deception
Dec 4, 2012

The Chronicle of Higher Education — New Scholarship Helps Student-Veterans Who Say For-Profit Colleges Victimized Them
Nov 30, 2012

Air Force Times — For-profit schools group to explore improvements
Nov 23, 2012

Los Angeles Times — Op-Ed – Dollar signs in uniforms
Nov 12, 2012

Pittsburgh Post Gazette — Op Ed – Veterans Fight Back: Unscrupulous for-profit colleges are bilking them of their GE benefits
Nov 12, 2012

Charleston Daily Mail — Editorial – On Veterans Day 2012, look out for new vets
Nov 12, 2012

Star-Telegram (Ft. Worth) — For-profit schools taking in millions from GI Bill
Sep 2, 2012

The Rachel Maddow Show — “Video- For-profit colleges target veterans, federal loans for huge profits”
Aug 9, 2012

The American Legion — Concern about for-profit schools justified
Jul 31, 2012

Navy Times — Senate report slams major for-profit schools
Jul 30, 2012

Los Angeles Times — Backlash builds as for-profit schools rake in GI Bill funds
July 16, 2012

Lexington Herald Leader — “Editorial: Vets deserve education, not scams”
July 1, 2012

Inside Higher Ed — $2.5M Settlement over ‘GIBill.com’
June 28, 2012

Marine Corps Times — GIBill.com handed over to VA in agreement
June 27, 2012

Stars and Stripes — GIBill.com shut down in settlement over defrauding veterans
June 27, 2012

Bloomberg BusinessWeek — ‘GI Bill’ Site Called Misleading Closed in Settlement
June 27, 2012

Sacramento Bee — Editorial – G.I. Bill abuses show why California vets want service to count
June 27, 2012

The Chronicle of Higher Education — For-Profit-College Marketer Settles Allegations of Preying on Veterans
June 26, 2012

Las Vegas Sun — Attorneys general target for-profit colleges looking to make a buck — especially off veterans
June 5, 2012

Army Times — States urge change in tuition benefits rules
May 31, 2012

USA Today — “After service, veterans go on to college”
May 30, 3012

The Chronicle of Higher Education — Attorneys General Urge Congress to Close Military ‘Loophole’ at For-Profit Colleges
May 29, 2012

Army Times — Vague education order may not help troops
May 24, 2012

USA Today — Editorial: Veterans are not ‘dollar signs in uniform’
May 13, 2012

DesMoines Register — Editorial – Heed Obama’s warning about for-profit schools
May 3, 2012

Los Angeles Times — Obama signs order to stop colleges that prey on veterans
April 27, 2012

ABC News — U.S. Veterans Targeted By Marketers in College Selection Process
April 30, 2012

New York Times — Obama Signs Order to Limit Aggressive College Recruiting of Veterans
April 27, 2012

Washington Post — Obama signs executive order to protect troops from for-profit college deceptive practices
April 27, 2012

USA Today — Obama: Protect servicemembers from deceptive practices
April 27, 2012

Bloomberg — Obama Moves to End Deceptive Recruiting of Veterans by Schools
April 27, 2012

Associated Press — Obama: For-profit colleges “swindle” veterans
April 27, 2012

Slate — White House Cracks Down on Diploma Mills That Target Vets
April 27, 2012

Salon — Obama’s GI Bill fight
April 27, 2012

Huffington Post — Obama Targets Colleges Preying On Veterans’ GI Bill Benefits
April 26, 2012

Air Force Times — Obama cracks down on schools targeting troops
April 26, 2012

Navy Times — SVA names schools where it shut down chapters
April 26, 2012

USA Today — Military career skills program for spouses under scrutiny
April 9, 2012

NPR — For-Profit Schools Under Fire For Targeting Veterans
April 9, 2012

Stars and Stripes — Student vets group shuts down sham chapters at for-profit colleges
April 5, 2012

The Chronicle of Higher Education — National Group for Student Veterans Kicks Out 40 Chapters at For-Profit Colleges
April 5, 2012

Associated Press — Vets group suspends campus chapters at for-profits
April 5, 2012

New York Times — Editorial – A Good Education With the G.I. Bill
April 5, 2012

Associated Press — For-Profit Colleges Raise Concerns By Calling Themselves ‘Military Friendly’
March 30, 2012

Navy Times — Sens.: Grade schools that take GI Bill benefits
March 27, 2012

Fox News — Senators propose new rules to prevent colleges from exploiting veterans for benefits
March 20, 2012

Inside Higher Ed — Unregulated for-profits receive big chunk of military spouse tuition aid
March 7, 2012

Air Force Times — Trademark ‘GI Bill,’ lawmakers urge VA
March 3, 3012

The Chronicle of Higher Education — Senators Want ‘GI Bill’ Trademarked to Curb Abusive Marketing to Veterans
March 2, 2012

Bloomberg/Businessweek — For-Profit Colleges Receive Half of Military Education Benefits
February 29, 2012

Military Times — Half of TA money goes to for-profit schools
February 23, 2012

The Chronicle of Higher Education — Senate Committee’s Report Focuses on For-Profit Colleges’ Share of Military Education Benefits
February 23, 2012

Washington Monthly — Cracking Down on Military Money and For-Profit Colleges
February 21, 2012

News Journal (Delaware) — Editorial – End this for-profit dupe of our military members
February 18, 2012

News Journal (Delaware) — Lawmakers target for-profit school loophole
February 17, 2012

New York Times — Bill Addresses Loophole in Financing of Veterans’ Education
February 16, 2012

Bloomberg — For-Profit Colleges Lose Incentive to Target Vets Under Bills
February 17, 2012

Navy Times — Bill seeks limits on for-profit schools funding
February 16, 2012

Stars and Stripes — Legislation looks to limit funds for schools that target veterans for GI Bill benefits
February 16, 2012

The Chronicle of Higher Education — Senators Introduce Second Bill Aimed at For-Profit Colleges’ Military Revenue
February 16, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek — For-Profit Colleges Face Curbs on U.S. Aid in New Vets Bill
January 26, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek — For-Profit Colleges Targeted for Law Protecting Veterans
January 24, 2012

Huffington Post — Senate Legislation Targets Aggressive Recruiting Of Veterans By For-Profit Colleges
January 24, 2012

Inside Higher Ed — Senator Plans Bill to Limit Federal Funds at For-Profit Colleges
January 23, 2012

Chicago Tribune — For-profit colleges under attack for treatment of veterans
January 22, 2012

The Chronicle of Higher Education — Senator Targets For-Profit Colleges’ Reliance on Federal Money and Aggressive Recruiting of Veterans
January 22, 2012

NPR Morning Edition — Military Tuition Assistance Rules May Limit Options
December 15, 2011

Marine Corps Times — Senators to DoD: Back off rules for TA schools
December 12, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education — Senate Committee Reported Incorrect Data on For-Profit Veterans’ Education Benefits
November 3, 2011

Virginia Pilot, Editorial — Ensuring GI Bill money is well spent
October 11, 2011

The New York Times Editorial — A Broader G.I. Bill
October 3, 2011

NPR Morning Edition — Holly Petraeus: For-Profit Colleges Misleading Soldiers
September 28, 2011

Inside Higher Ed — Serving Soldiers?
September 23, 2011

VFW On the Hill — VFW to Senate: Stop Predatory Schools From Stealing G.I. Bill Benefits
September 23, 2011

Federal News Radio — VA needs to tighten oversight of G.I. Bill
September 23, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education — 8 For-Profit Colleges Collect More Than $1-Billion in Veterans’ Education Benefits
September 22, 2011

Stars and Stripes — Senators blast rise in GI Bill funds going to for-profit colleges
September 22, 2011

Omaha World Herald — For-profit colleges under fire
September 23, 2011

Military.com — Critics Slam ‘Predatory’ For-Profit Schools
September 23, 2011

Time blog — Back to School
September 23, 2011

New York Times Op-Ed by Holly Petraeus: For-Profit Colleges, Vulnerable G.I.’s
September 22, 2011

Bloomberg — For-Profit Colleges Got $1 Billion in Veterans Benefits
September 22, 2011

AP — For-profit colleges getting more GI Bill dollars
September 22, 2011

NPR — Too Much GI Bill Money Going To For-Profit Schools?
September 22, 2011

Chronicle of Higher Education — Highlighting Flow of Military Benefits to For-Profits, Senators Seek Changes in Key Rule
September 22, 2011

Huffington Post — For-Profit Colleges Reaping Benefits From Veterans
September 22, 2011

Army Times — Senator: High veteran dropout rate disturbing
September 22, 2011

WFAA (Dallas/Fort Worth) — Federal investigation into for-profit schools
September 22, 2011

Radio Iowa — Colleges allegedly taking advantage of soldiers and GI Bill
September 22, 2011

Mother Jones – Let’s Enroll
September/October 2011

Military Times via VFW Facebook page
September 8, 2011

VFW seeks tighter rules on for-profit schools
September 8, 2011

Stars and Stripes via Center for New American Security

Op Ed – Count GI Bill Benefits As Federal Financial Aid
August 25, 2011

VFW – VFW Looks for Accountability in G.I. Bill Funds – Share Your Stories
August 24, 2011

Military Advantage blog — Why All the Fuss Over For-Profit Schools?
August 11, 2011

Student Veterans of America blog — The Need to Constrain For-Profit Institutions
August 5, 2011

The American Legion — Legion attends for-profit schools roundtable
July 26, 2011

Forbes blog — Must-View Frontline Video on Mistreatment of Vets by For-profit Colleges
July 21, 2011

The American Legion — Legion outraged by many for-profit schools
July 1, 2011

Stars and Stripes — For-profit colleges promise veterans a high-quality degree … but do they deliver?
June 29, 2011

Frontline – Educating Sergeant Pantzke
June 2011

Marine Corps Times: Editorial — “Congress, Pentagon must keep eye on for-profit schools targeting troops”
March 11, 2011

NBC4 – Are For-Profit Colleges Squeezing Veterans?
February 17, 2011

The New York Times: Editorial – “Preying on Veterans”
December 12, 2010

The Associated Press: Report: “For-Profit colleges cashing in on veterans”
December 9, 2010

Bloomberg: “For-Profit Colleges Scam Military for $521 Million, Report Says”
December 9, 2010

Youth Today: “Harkin Questions Whether For-Profits Deliver for Vets”
December 9, 2010

The New York Times: “Profits and Scrutiny for Colleges Courting Veterans”
December 8, 2010

Bloomberg: “Veterans Failing Shows Hazards of For-Profit Schools in GI Bill”
September 23, 2010

Bloomberg News: “Marine Can’t Recall His Course Lessons at For-Profit College”
December 15, 2009

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