President Obama Executive Order Regarding Veterans Education

MilitaryConnection.com understands the many sacrifices made by those who have served. Veterans have earned generous veteran education benefits provided in the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The Post 9/11 GI Bill has become a revenue generator for many veteran colleges, veteran universities, vocational schools and certificate programs for Veterans especially in these challenging economic times.

We don’t want our Veterans who have written a blank check for everything up to and including their lives to waste their education benefits with schools that do not deliver *or* deceive them. MilitaryConnection.com makes every effort to make sure that the schools on our website are the best. We also take additional steps and encourage veteran schools to partner with groups that serve this community. We encourage colleges and universities to open Veteran Student Clubs so that there is a place to meet and learn from other student veterans. We also encourage veteran schools to support and use groups such as our friends at Give An Hour that provides free and private mental health counseling to Veterans and their loved ones. School and education is also a transition with its own set of challenges.

If you are a Veteran Student, please share with us your experiences, both the positive and negative with the school you attend. Email us at: [email protected]

President Obama signed an Executive Order to aid veteran’s education goals. This Executive Order, signed April 27, sets out “Principles of Excellence” that schools must meet to receive military and veterans education funding. They include ending “unduly aggressive” recruiting techniques, giving prospective students information on federal financial aid options and expected tuition costs, and receiving accreditation for programs before opening them for enrollment.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill offers financial support for veterans” education, leading some marketers to target vets with deceptive advertising about college opportunities. The President signed this Executive Order to curb these abuses. But the order provides only vague guidance on how those principles will be enforced, particularly when it comes to Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. For a law to be effective it must be enforced.

The Executive Order states that the VA “shall also notify all institutions participating in the Post-9/11 GI Bill program that they are strongly encouraged to comply with the Principles and shall post on the Department”s website those that do.” Where will we find the names of the institutions that do not comply?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill, which became effective in August 2009 mainly for military members with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 20, 2001, provided “unprecedented access to virtually any university in our country and overseas,” said Michael Dakduk. He added that “The Post 9/11 GI Bill drives some schools into targeting veterans and their federal tuition assistance”. Michael Dakduk, who served in the Marine Corps and is now Executive Director of Student Veterans of America, an organization whose mission is to provide vets in higher education and following graduation with resources and support.

Reports of aggressive and deceptive targeting by educational institutions toward service members and veterans, particularly by for-profit career colleges, moved President Obama to sign the Executive Order, which requires colleges to provide more information to veterans such as the likelihood of military members completing a school”s programs prior to them enrolling.

The transition from a military to civilian lifestyle could create culture shock for many veterans, especially life on an academic campus. That”s why speaking to a fellow veteran before enrolling in a school is also very important.

Under the Executive Order, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Education Department”s “Know Before You Owe” financial aid form will also be required to be made available to every college student participating in the Defense Department”s tuition assistance program that includes nearly 2,000 schools. This form provides information about tuition and fees, estimated student loan debt upon graduation, graduation rates, among other information.

Dakduk advises veterans to visit the Post-9/11 GI Bill”s website from the Veteran Affairs Department, GIBill.VA.gov, to find out how much tuition assistance may be available to them and which schools offer supplementary assistance that may support a specific career.