It and other companies have seen substantial drops in new enrollment as they accept fewer academically risky students, and insist they’re providing good value to taxpayers.

Indeed, Harkin and Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said some for-profits were providing good service to veterans. But they also highlighted the higher dropout rates at many for-profits that leave taxpayers and students on the hook for unfinished degrees.

At the eight for-profit schools collecting the most G.I. Bill funding, more than 400,000 students — around 60 percent — withdrew within one year of enrolling. The figures refer to all students; veteran-specific dropout rates are not available.

“Some of these schools are doing a good job,” Harkin said. “But there are some of these, they just want the money.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs issued a statement saying it “understands the demand, especially among Veterans, for non-traditional forms of education” but also wants to protect their right to the best education possible.

It said changing the 90-10 rule could help with those goals but could also cause some schools to lose their eligibility to participate in federal financial aid, so any change should be implemented carefully.


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