For-profit colleges gouging veterans, U.S. Senate report finds

Source: Jerome R. Stockfisch, Tampa Tribune, August 18, 2014

On the heels of a student veterans group’s warning, a U.S. Senate report reveals the extent to which for-profit universities benefit from the federal G.I. Bill program. For-profit schools received $1.7 billion in veterans’ benefits during the 2012-13 academic year, 41 percent of all G.I. Bill dollars and almost as much as the cost of the entire program just four years earlier, according to the majority report of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee released July 30. While overall enrollment at for-profits has declined nationally, enrollment of veterans in those schools has soared — from 61 percent to as much as 657 percent at the eight top for-profit G.I. Bill beneficiaries. Those eight schools received 23 percent of all G.I. Bill benefits last academic year. …
Is the New G.I. Bill Working?: For-Profit Colleges Increasing Veteran Enrollment and Federal Funds
Source: United States Senate, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Majority Committee Staff Report, July 30, 2014

From the press release:
Two years after a landmark investigation into the for-profit college industry revealed a host of serious problems, including poor student outcomes and high debt burdens, a new report by the majority staff of Chairman Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) Senate HELP Committee shows that for-profit colleges are collecting billions of taxpayer dollars from veterans using their Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits. Although overall student enrollment has decreased at each of the eight top for-profit Post-9/11 G.I. Bill beneficiaries, their enrollment of veterans has dramatically increased—anywhere from 61 to 657 percent—during the same period.

The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which went into effect in 2009, provides veterans with up to $19,200 a year in education benefits for four years. The HELP Committee’s new report raises concerns, given that the previous Committee investigation revealed that many for-profit schools utilize aggressive and often questionable marketing and recruiting tactics, provide programs of questionable value, and often cost far more than comparable programs offered at public schools. These findings have provided the underpinnings of a nationwide series of investigations and lawsuits by dozens of state Attorneys General and federal enforcement agencies….