WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the June 23 anniversary of the GI Bill, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced his cosponsorship of the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act, legislation to help stop for-profit education companies from targeting servicemembers and veterans. Thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, military servicemembers and veterans receive educational benefits they can use to attend college—but because of a loophole in federal law, for-profit education companies have been incentivized to take advantage of men and women in uniform by aggressively targeting them with deceptive and misleading marketing and recruitment pitches.
“Veterans seeking a quality college education and career readiness should not have to navigate aggressive recruitment tactics by institutions who often fail to provide genuine opportunities for advancement,” Brown said. “We must protect our nation’s heroes by closing the loopholes that allow for-profit education companies to exploit those who have served our country.”
Under the 90/10 rule, for-profit education companies can receive no more than 90 percent of their operating revenue from federal student loans and grants. However, U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs educational benefits are exempt from this rule, which has led to predatory marketing and recruitment efforts targeted at servicemembers and veterans.
Brown continues to be a vocal advocate for veterans’ right to quality education. On Monday, Brown and his Senate colleagues called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to include a “risk index” in the GI Bill Comparison Tool, an online application that would highlight bad actors in the for-profit industry and give veterans the resources needed to make informed decisions about their education.
This week, Brown also joined a separate letter to the VA, asking it to investigate ITT Tech and take action to protect veterans attending the school. ITT Tech was the third largest recipient of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits in 2012-13 despite scrutiny by various state and federal agencies for misconduct surrounding marketing and recruiting practices, job placement rates, and other misleading and deceptive practices.