Stabenow, Peters Join in Introduction of Bill to Protect Veterans & Military Education BenefitsFriday, June 26, 2015
U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today joined their colleagues in introducing the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act of 2015 to close a loophole that allows for-profit schools to exploit veteran educational benefits and tuition assistance. Under current law, for-profit schools must follow the "90-10 rule" which requires them to obtain at least 10 percent of their revenues from sources other than taxpayers. However, current law leaves open a loophole that allows for-profit institutions to count military and veteran educational assistance, including tuition assistance and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits, as non-federal revenues. As a result, some bad actors in the for-profit industry are exploiting the 90-10 rule loophole by aggressively recruiting servicemembers and veterans eligible for these educational benefits.
"America's veterans and servicemembers make countless sacrifices to keep us safe," said Senator Stabenow. "This bill will help protect taxpayers as well as the education benefits that these brave men and women have earned."
"Countless veterans have used the G.I. Bill to pay for higher education after serving our nation in uniform, and it is very disturbing that certain bad actors are taking advantage of our servicemembers and veterans to obtain taxpayer money," said Senator Peters. "I'm glad to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation that better safeguards taxpayers in Michigan and across the country while protecting the benefits veterans and servicemembers have earned through their service."
Since 2009, more than one million servicemembers, veterans, and their families have financed their higher education using the G.I. Bill, and millions more will take advantage of this benefit in the years to come. However, in the past five years, 40 percent of Post-9/11 G.I. Bill tuition benefits have gone to the for-profit sector, even as questions continue to be raised about these institutions' graduation, default, and job placement rates.
The recent collapse of the for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges - which received $186 million in Post-9/11 G.I. Bill dollars - due to financial problems is another glaring reminder that Congress must remain diligent to protect active-duty military, veterans, and taxpayers. This legislation would require G.I. Bill benefits that come from the Department of Veterans Affairs and military education benefits offered through the Department of Defense to count toward the 90-percent limit on the federal share of a school's revenue.
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