Momentum builds to pass legislation that would close the 90/10 loophole and protect veterans from predatory for-profit schools
WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate education committee and a senior member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, joined Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Jon Tester (D-MT) to reintroduce the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act, legislation that would close a loophole that allows for-profit schools to avoid having to secure at least 10 percent of their revenue from non-taxpayer dollars.
Current law limits how much federal funding for-profit schools may receive from taxpayers. Now called the 90/10 rule, this limit requires for-profit schools to obtain at least 10 percent of their revenues from non-federal sources. However, a loophole in the law excludes Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DOD) education funds, like the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and Tuition Assistance (TA), from being counted as federal funds. Some for-profit schools exploit this 90/10 loophole by using aggressive recruitment practices and deceptive marketing tools to enroll service members, veterans, and other G.I. Bill beneficiaries – even recruiting at VA hospitals, military barracks, and enrolling veterans with brain injuries. The Military and Veterans Education Protection Act would close the 90/10 loophole by counting VA and DOD funds as federal dollars.
“President Trump and Secretary DeVos have proved time and time again that students and veterans cannot count on this Administration to protect them from predatory institutions. But it is our responsibility to ensure the opportunities being presented to them will open doors, not rob them of their education and savings,” said Senator Murray. “So I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act to simply close a loophole and ensure our veterans and our members of the military are not being taken advantage of by predatory for-profit colleges.”
Since 2009, more than 1.7 million servicemembers, veterans, and their families have used the Post-9/11 GI Bill to finance their higher education. However, over the past several years, about 40 percent of Post-9/11 G.I. Bill tuition benefits have gone to for-profit schools, even as questions continue about their graduation, default and job placement rates. Additionally, some of the largest recipients of Post-9/11 G.I. Bill funds have closed down after years of delivering poor outcomes to students and taxpayers. Two now-shuttered for-profit colleges, ITT Technical Institutes and Corinthian Colleges, received over $1 billion in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits before suddenly closing their doors, leaving over 7,000 student veterans and every American taxpayer in the lurch. Far too many veterans and service members have exhausted their hard-earned benefits at now-defunct schools. In response, a broad coalition of Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) and other advocacy groups are rallying behind this commonsense effort to close the 90/10 loophole to protect military and veteran students, as well as taxpayers, from bad actors in the for-profit educational sector.
Organizations supporting the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act include: American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Student Veterans of America, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans Education Success, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Military Officers Association of America, Blue Star Families, Military Child Education Coalition, Veterans for Common Sense, Non Commissioned Officers Association, VetsFirst, VetJobs, High Ground Veterans Advocacy, AMVETS, Wounded Warrior Project, The Retired Enlisted Association, Got Your Six, National Guard Association of the United States, Association of the United States Navy, Naval Enlisted Reserve Association, Non Commissioned Officers Association, National Military Family Association, Swords to Plowshares, and the Air Force Sergeants Association.