Veterans should be free to use the educational benefits they’ve earned “to select the postsecondary program that best meets their educational needs and interests,” APSCU, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, said in a statement.

Veterans are particularly attractive to college recruiters because of the benefits they carry but also because of a loophole in the so-called “90-10 rule.”

That law requires colleges to receive at least 10 percent of their revenue from non-government sources, and is intended to make them prove their value by attracting private dollars. But dollars from military programs like the G.I. Bill don’t count as government support under the 90-10 rule, even though they come from taxpayers.

“It’s possible that 100 percent of a college’s or university’s revenue can come from the taxpayers,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the committee. “No skin in the game. That’s not a good situation for the taxpayers.”

Harkin’s committee has held multiple hearings over the past year on the for-profits, and a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs met Sept. 22 for a hearing on improving educational outcomes for the military and veterans.

In June, the Obama administration unveiled new “gainful employment” rules that could cut more programs off from government aid if students aren’t able to acquire decent-paying jobs.

The for-profit sector says it is taking substantial steps to improve student success rates. Phoenix, for instance, requires some new students to pass a free, three-week orientation program in order to continue.


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