The Trump administration has backed away from a plan to dam for-profit universities accused of misleading practices from accessing G.I. Invoice advantages.
The G.I. Invoice gives veterans with funding, together with entry to federal grants and pupil loans, to entry larger schooling and enroll in diploma packages. The G.I. Invoice has traditionally been a vital useful resource for veterans to return to civil society following deployment and acquire gainful employment. However lately, veterans’s teams have accused for-profit colleges of concentrating on veterans for recruitment — typically with misleading ads — due to quick access to federal funding by way of the G.I. Invoice.
Earlier this yr, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs had threatened to dam sure for-profit colleges from accessing G.I. Invoice advantages, following widespread accusations of unfair and misleading practices directed in the direction of veterans and their households. Federal regulation — 38 U.S.C. 3696 — forbids the V.A. from permitting G.I. Invoice funding to go to varsities that make the most of misleading or deceptive promoting, gross sales, or enrollment practices.
For-profit faculty chains together with the College of Phoenix, Colorado Technical College, and American InterContinental College had been notified earlier this yr that following investigations by federal and state regulation enforcement authorities, they would want to deal with issues with allegedly misleading recruitment and commercial practices.
The College of Phoenix is among the largest beneficiaries of G.I. Invoice advantages, however was issued a $50 million high quality by the Federal Commerce Fee and agreed to cancel $141 million in pupil loan debt. Investigators accused the varsity of operating an promoting marketing campaign concentrating on veterans that falsely implied that the college labored with main tech corporations equivalent to Microsoft, Adobe, and Twitter to present college students instructional and employment alternatives. “In reality,” in line with the FTC, “These companies did not partner with [the university] to provide special job opportunities for students or develop curriculum. Instead, [the university] selected these companies for their advertisements as part of a marketing strategy to drive prospective student interest.”
Final week, the V.A. retreated from its plan to dam G.I. Invoice advantages for these for-profit colleges, together with the College of Phoenix, concluding that the colleges had taken adequate corrective motion to warrant continued entry to G.I. funding. This clears the way in which for these colleges to proceed to recruit veterans and obtain G.I. Invoice advantages.
A College of Phoenix spokesperson disputed that the varsity had engaged in misleading promoting and stated, “The University has always respected that student veterans have earned the right to choose the institutions that best fit their needs, and this news vindicates that principle.”
Veterans’ teams instantly slammed the choice. “The only winners today are the schools that used their money and political influence to evade the law and harm veterans,” stated Carrie Wofford, President of Veterans Schooling Success, a veteran advocacy group. “The GI Bill statute specifically requires the VA to protect student veterans, but the Trump Administration has chosen to defy that law,” Wofford stated.
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