My bill to protect veterans and taxpayers
Earlier this week, we celebrated the 71st anniversary of the original G.I. Bill being signed into law. The legislation sent nearly 8 million returning WWII veterans to college and vocational schools, and helped build the middle class in this country. Today’s veterans are taking advantage of a similar benefit called the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. It’s a generous benefit that can fully cover the tuition, fees, books, and housing at many of our nation’s colleges and universities, like the University of Delaware and Delaware State University.
Unfortunately, a few bad actors in the for-profit college industry are taking advantage of veterans and taxpayers by exploiting a loophole in the law. It’s called the 90-10 loophole.
The 90-10 Rule is a federal law passed by Congress in the 1990s that requires for-profit schools to derive at least 10 percent of their revenues from sources other than the federal government. However, a loophole exists that allows for-profit schools to count military and veteran education assistance as non-federal revenue. As a result, some for-profit institutions have aggressively—and sometimes deceptively—recruited veterans and their G.I. Bill benefits to receive 100 percent of their revenues from taxpayers.
In the last five years, 40 percent of Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits have gone to for-profit schools, even as questions continue to be raised about these institutions’ graduation, default, and job placement rates. We need to use common sense here. For-profit schools should not receive 100 percent of their funding from taxpayers.
That’s why this week I introduced the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act with 25 of my Senate colleagues. This legislation would close the 90/10 loophole and protect veterans from being targeted by for-profit schools. I don’t believe that all for-profit schools are bad actors, but I do believe that all for-profit schools should demonstrate the quality of their product by obtaining at least some of their revenues from non-federal sources.
I know first-hand just how important and impactful the G.I. Bill can be to a veteran’s life. Thanks to the G.I. Bill, I attended graduate school at the University of Delaware – an opportunity that changed my life for the better. All veterans deserve the same chance, and I want to make sure they are able to invest their benefits wisely. We have a duty to give back to those who served our country, and this legislation is just the first step in making sure no veteran falls victim to bad actors in the for-profit sector.