In honor of Veteran’s day, the White House announced yesterday new measures to ensure the quality of education programs that recruit and market heavily to veterans.
With the announcement, the Obama administration also released an updated GI Bill Comparison Tool, which allows veterans to compare colleges based on veteran-specific graduation and retention rates. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Federal Trade Commission will also be signing an agreement to strengthen oversight and enforcement to protect against programs that engage in deceptive or misleading advertising, sales, or enrollment practices aimed at veterans.
In yet another push for veterans, the White House announced that public colleges in all 50 states are now allowing recent veterans and their dependents to attend at lower, in-state tuition rates, regardless of their state of residency. Signed into law by President Barack Obama last summer, this legislation — called the Veterans’ Access to Care Through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 — was supposed to take effect July 1; however, the deadline has been extended to Jan. 1 to give colleges more time to comply. According to the VA’s website, 23 states are currently in compliance.
Additional measures the president is calling on Congress to pass include legislation that would require colleges that receive money through the GI Bill to meet state-specific criteria for accreditation, certification, and licensure; give the administration the authority to reinstate GI benefits for students whose colleges close in the middle of a term; and replace the 90-10 rule with an 85-15 rule, meaning for-profit colleges would have to receive at least 15 percent of their revenue from non-federal sources to qualify for federal student aid. Under this rule, military-based tuition benefits could no longer be counted as non-federal money.
Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said in a statement that this shift would “ramp up accountability to schools that are marketing to veterans” and ensure that veterans are receiving an education that they would be willing to pay for with their own money.