Earlier this year we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the original G.I. Bill and reflected on this landmark legislation that sent millions of veterans to our nation’s colleges and universities. But even as we honored its history, we recognized some of the challenges facing the current generation of veterans returning to the classroom.
In the past five years, 40 percent of Post-9/11 G.I. Bill tuition benefits have gone to for-profit colleges, even as questions continue to be raised about for-profit institutions’ graduation, default, and job placement rates. While not every for-profit school is a bad actor, I believe that one veteran mistreated at a for-profit school is one veteran too many.
To give you an example, the for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges—which received $186 million in Post-9/11 G.I. Bill dollars—just announced it is selling or closing 107 campuses nationwide due to financial problems, leaving many veteran graduates wondering what value their degree will hold. It’s another glaring reminder that Congress must remain diligent to protect military and veteran students, as well as taxpayers.
As it turns out, there’s a loophole in the law that allows for-profit schools to receive 100 percent of their funding from the federal government. Some bad actors are exploiting this loophole by aggressively recruiting veterans and G.I Bill tuition dollars, rather than obtaining 10 percent of their revenue from non-federal sources. It’s called the 90/10 loophole.
I’m a big proponent of using common sense to address problems. That’s why this week I introduced a piece of legislation called the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act that would close the 90/10 loophole and encourage for-profit schools to better serve veterans and taxpayers. Closing the 90/10 loophole is a common sense approach that demonstrates we’re serious about improving education outcomes for our veterans.
I know the impact that education can have for veterans. I attended graduate school at the University of Delaware thanks to the G.I. Bill and it fundamentally changed my life. I want other veterans to be able to do the same with the confidence that they’re investing their time and benefits wisely. That’s why I introduced this bill and why I’ll continue to look for ways to protect the military, veterans, and taxpayers from bad actors in the for-profit sector.