Magazine article VFW Magazine

Protect Your GI Bill Benefits

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Protect Your GI Bill Benefits

Article excerpt

The plight of two large for-profit colleges provides a cautionary tale for veterans using their GI Bill benefits. In May, Corinthian Colleges, Inc., went bankrupt. That same month, ITT Educational Services, Inc., was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Together the colleges had collected more than $1 billion in GI Bill payments. They weren't alone. Since the Post-9/11 GI Bill program went into effect in 2008, for-profit colleges have collected about 25%, or $8.2 billion, of total GI Bill payments. Some $1.7 billion went to for-profits in the 2012-13 school ye a r a 1 o n e.

Critics charge that these and other forprofit schools target college-bound vets and their govern-ment-backed tuition payments. As such, VFW wants GI Bill recipients to make informed decisions based on thorough research to protect themselves and their benefits.

"We decided early on that we needed to go after schools that preyed upon vets, regardless of whether they were for-profit or non-profit," said Ryan Gallucci, deputy director of VFW's National Veterans Service.

Gallucci says VFW was one of the first veterans service organizations to address the problem. In early 2012, VFW staffers worked with the White House as it drafted an executive order to protect veterans from "aggressive and deceptive targeting" from unscrupulous educational institutions.

Later that year, VFW worked with Congress to pass the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-249). …

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