<p>Exploiting Veterans for Profit</p>

Exploiting Veterans for Profit


Credit Celia Jacobs

Despite efforts by Congress, the Obama administration and state attorneys general to halt the predatory practices of for-profit schools, veterans and support members who rely on financing from the G.I. charge and the Defense Department to attend college continue to be targeted by an industry infamous for saddling people with debt and useless degrees.

Even a Senate committee report sounded a warning about this issue three years ago, when it raised questions regarding fraudulent practices in the business. State attorneys general and federal agencies in the time were exploring seven for-profit businesses with significant revenue streams in the G.I. charge. Some of those schools have since been forced to shut down.

Regardless of this, a new analysis of federal data by Veterans Education Success, a nonprofit which provides free legal services to pupil veterans, also finds that the for-profit business is still setting its sights on veterans and service members as its nonmilitary enrollment has declined.

The issue lies in what is called the 90/10 principle. The principle allows colleges to raise 90 percent of their revenue from federal student support and requires them to raise the remaining 10 percent. The point was supposed to prevent the authorities from providing all of the revenue for schools that are low-quality that citizens thought unworthy of their dollars.

But due to an oversight in how the law has been worded, schools have been allowed to count some federal cash — from G.I. education benefits and Department of Defense tuition aid — as independently raised. It has made veterans and service members a particular target for willful and high-pressure recruiting strategies fraud.

The new report also demonstrates that the universities which rely almost entirely on revenue — when Defense Department cash and seasoned is counted — are currently leaning more and more about veterans and support members. The amount of colleges which get more than 90 percent of revenue from the authorities grew to 192 from 133 between 2011 and 2013, the latest year with available statistics — and these colleges experienced a 60 percent jump from the revenue they received by registering veterans and service members.

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