House cracks down on for-profit recruiters targeting GI Bill benefits

The legislation passed last week also will provide veterans with a raft of information before they decide on how they’ll use their GI Bill benefits. Veterans will now have easy access to a school’s credit transfer policies, enrollment and graduation rates, student loan debt, loan default rate, licensure and certification pass rates, career counseling and job placement assistance, and availability of academic and technical support, according to the bill.

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) last spring lent its support to Obama’s executive action, which would trademark the term “GI Bill” so it’s not used in deceiving online and TV ads.

Along with electronic advertisements bombarding soldiers’ inboxes and social media accounts, the veterans advocacy group cited for-profit college recruiters signing up Marines with brain injuries and sailors who are not told that their for-profit college credits aren’t transferable to many traditional schools.

“This is not political, it is not about free enterprise, it is about right and wrong,” PVA said in a statement. “Some of these institutions aggressively solicit veterans with combat stress-related impairments, severe traumatic brain injuries or other physical disabilities.”

Eight of the top 10 recipients of veterans’ GI Bill educational benefits are for-profit colleges, according to federal statistics. Most of that federal GI Bill money is used for marketing and advertising, according to a report from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The federal government spends about twice as much for veterans who attend for-profit schools when compared to veterans who take classes at public nonprofit colleges.