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Obama Signs Executive Order to Protect Veterans’ G.I. Bill Benefits

Obama Signs Executive Order to Protect Veterans’ G.I. Bill Benefits

Friday at Fort Stewart,  President Obama signed an Executive Order to protect veterans, active-duty service-members and their families from the loss of their G.I. Bill benefits. This order is designed to protect our veterans and servicemembers, to  stop some less than stellar for-profit colleges, who have made a great deal of money by signing up veterans, servicemembers and their families and delivering very little for the money.

There have been instances where severely brain injured wounded warriors were signed up for college courses;  some of the less trustworthy online colleges have been promising wonderful careers in order to sign up veterans or servicemembers in worthless degree programs that are not providing a true education to students.

IAVA  and MOAA applauded this initiative. IAVA (Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America) stated that “right now vets lack clear and consistent information about their education opportunities. Some for-profits are targeting vets through deceptive corroding and marketing practices.” Adm. Ryan, the president of MOAA (Military Officers Association of America) also discussed the  “hundreds of thousands of returning veterans are taking advantage of the post-9/11 G.I. Bill… However, some schools see only dollar signs on the backs of our veterans.”

There are dozens of for-profit schools, some of whom are nothing more than a diploma mill.   Some schools have been accused of shady practices, of very aggressive marketing and out and out falsehoods about their programs, claiming accreditation they do not have, and using counselors who are not counseling the students as to their progress and giving bad advice.

This Executive Order  requires more transparency, not only in financial aid, but also in outcomes, in how many students graduate, are able to find jobs in their fields, and how likely students are to graduate. There is a new form (of course), the “Know Before You Owe”  (currently in draft form) which is designed to help students learn about tuition, fees, financial aid, the estimated student loans debt and graduation rates.

This order also is trying to keep some of the worst offenders, who are aggressively marketing to military members off military installations, as well as preventing the online “improper recruiting practices.” These include using the soon-to-be-trademarked term G.I. Bill in a phony official looking website, steering the veteran, servicemember or family member to a certain group of schools, intimating that these are the only schools to which their benefits can be paid.

A centralized complaint system is also mandated by this EO – because there isn’t one yet!  If a Veteran or servicemember has a complaint, they have to try to get this tracked through the VA or DoD or DoE, none of whom communicate about these cases. Better support, and better information for students is also part of the Executive Order.

When asked why the White House chose to use an Executive Order when there are various bills in Congress, a spokesperson stated that this type of initiative did not require Congressional oversight and that with the current climate on Capitol Hill, this was a faster way of protecting the GI Bill rights of the veterans, servicemembers and their families.

 

Related Stories:

Businesses Fight Obama’s Plan to Increase Disability Hiring

President Obama Proposes Veterans Jobs Corps

Veterans Job Corps Initiative — FDR Would Be Proud

 

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Photo credit: White House Photograph at DoD.mil

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19 comments

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7:38AM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

Another nod for the veterans. Guess that's an enough for the pride..

Huber.



3:18AM PDT on May 2, 2012

Thank you President Obama

3:18AM PDT on May 2, 2012

Thank you President Obama

9:46PM PDT on May 1, 2012

Thank You, Mr. President!

8:43PM PDT on May 1, 2012

Another intelligent caring decision by President Barack Obama. One more reason why we respect him so much.

Thank you President Obama, the intelligence community and the great Seal Team six for killing the murderer Osama bin Laden.

8:41PM PDT on May 1, 2012

Compare this to Bush who started 2 bad wars and simultaneously slashed funding for the VA hospitals.

Republicans are not your friends. Democrats are. And the ignorant still don't understand that. Instead they point to the few bad Dems and say both parties are the same. Not by a long shot, for every corrupt Democrat there are dozens of corrupt Republicans including every single member of congress and every governor. This from a guy who was a Republican from 1952 till 2000.

5:56PM PDT on May 1, 2012

I would think that the best deal Obama could give the military and veterans would be to stop the senseless wars, shut down a bunch of foreign military bases, and bring the troops home - like he promised in his first campaign when he had no "flexibility".

We're fighting for people that don't like us rubber man! They don't want us there. We're only there for the oil and to protect America's capitalist interests - not for "freedom" of either Americans or foreigners.

Quit using our young men and women and our taxpayer dollars to enrich corporations that would like to keep us in perpetual wars for the sake of their profits.

Forget your "executive order" and keep some of your promises for a change!

3:56PM PDT on May 1, 2012

I wonder how the cowardly, draft-dodging bullies know as the majority of Republican politicians are going to find a way to condemn Obama over this? They're already finding fault with him over the killing of Osama bin Laden in a pathetic attempt to attack his strengths just like they did with John Kerry. Only this time they are desperately grasping at straws and it isn't going to work. But when you are as morally bankrupt as today's GOP is, that's all you've got left to work with.

11:46AM PDT on May 1, 2012

YAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!

9:03AM PDT on May 1, 2012

Thank you, Pres. Obama.

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