Holly Petraeus, the Assistant Director for Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, recently spoke at the DoD Worldwide Education Symposium in Las Vegas. Mrs. Petraeus, who has been at the CFPB for a year and a half, spoke about the administration’s efforts to protect servicemembers and veterans from the predatory marketing practices and poor quality of education at some for-profit schools.
Mrs. Petraeus told the symposium participants about her offices work with state officials to “tackle deceptive college lead-generation websites, like GIBill.com.” As a result of the CFPB and state’s Attorneys General efforts, the owners of the GIBill.com website were ordered to hand the domain name over to the VA (read the full article). She also spoke about President Obama’s Executive Order which will establish “principles of excellence for educational institutions serving military personnel, veterans, and their families.”
Participants also learned about the CFPB’s work to create the “Know Before You Owe” tool, which is designed to help prospective students make cost comparisons of college degree programs and compare financial-aid (database includes military benefit information) offers from various institutions before they enroll. Petraeus referred to it as a “financial aid shopping sheet.” A beta version can be found on the ConsumerFinance.gov website.
In addition to speaking about the current efforts of the CFPB, Mrs. Petraus shared some tips for education service officers and Navy college office counselors. “First of all, keep informed on the new tools and complaint portal that are being addressed through the Executive Order and encourage servicemembers to use them once they are available,” she said.
ESO Tips for dealing with schools:
ESO Tips for dealing with prospective students:
Mrs. Petraeus closed by reminding her audience to “be outspoken if you feel like something is wrong.” Adding, “file a complaint with us at ConsumerFinance.gov and/or reach out to your state Attorney General. Push complaints up your chain of command.”