Military Advantage

Does Effort to Protect GI Bill Miss the Mark?

A few months ago Senator Webb (D-VA) introduced legislation (Military and Veterans Educational Reform Act of 2012 (S. 2179) to help protect veterans and tax payers from certain schools which may be unfairly taking advantage of student veterans by charging high tuitions for an education that falls short of current academic standards.

According to Webb’s recent press release, his bill would “provide adequate oversight so that we have standardization among the institutions who are receiving federal monies in order to educate our veterans.” Most of the big veteran’s service organizations have publicly supported Sen. Webb’s legislation.

At the heart of Webb’s bill is a requirement that all education institutions that receive funding from DoD Tuition Assistance and Post-9/11 GI Bill be “Title IV” eligible – this is already required for all other forms of federal education funding, so it seems to make perfect sense.

Ironically, most of the schools that are currently being accused of abusing the GI Bill and student veterans are currently eligible for Title IV funding, so this rule will not have an impact on them. In fact, many of the schools that are not Title IV eligible are small “trade schools.” These schools focus on vocational training programs like welding, truck driving, plumbing, gunsmithing, cabinet making, flight training, etc.

Are the smaller Vo-Tech schools really abusing the GI Bill and veterans?

Does this mean that veterans will no longer be able to use the GI Bill for vocational training unless it is provided by a community college?

Nearly everyone agrees that cleaning up the education industry is way overdue. But doesn’t this bill effectively throw the baby out with the bath water while leaving the dirt in the tub?

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