On June 20, 2014, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2015 passed in the House. It has since worked its way through the Senate’s Committee on Appropriations. The committee passed a version of the bill on July 17th, and now the bill is facing the Senate floor, just in time to try to beat Congress’s August break.
Included in the bill is language that could put an end to the targeting of service members, Veterans, and their families by for-profit colleges and universities. The bill could place new restrictions on some of the service-earned education benefits currently used toward for-profit education.
If the provision reaches the final passed version, it could mean changes in the language of the “90/10 rule,” which is used to cap federal funding to for-profit colleges. Under the current 90/10 rule, there is a provision in the law that prohibits for-profit colleges and universities from deriving more than 90% of their revenue from the U.S. Department of Education’s federal student aid programs. The other 10% needs to come from sources other than the federal government.
Department of Defense programs like Tuition Assistance for active-duty service members and MyCAA for military spouses are currently not included in the 90/10 calculation. The new legislation would count these DOD programs against the schools’ 10%.
If passed, the legislation could require the Department of Defense to better track how the Tuition Assistance and MyCAA funding is being spent by for-profit colleges. It could also prevent DOD funds funds from being used for advertising and marketing purposes by the schools.
While many for-profit schools are highly utilized by military students, and often lead to sustainable post-military professions, unfortunately there are some schools who take advantage of the system.
Whether the provisions are included in the bill when it passes *****or***** not, military and Veteran students and their dependents should research their prospective school’s track record before enrolling. There are plenty of ways to check to see if a school is military friendly. You can start by checking the school’s info on the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool from Military Connection’s Education page.
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Military Connection: Bill Could Affect Ed. Benefits: By Debbie Gregory