Veterans are often targeted by scammers in a range of areas, including predatory lending and financial schemes, but a new movement has started to impact service members who are trying to attend college. Law Yale School reported that for-profit schools have been largely targeting veterans to try and get access to funds distributed through the Higher Education Act. Unfortunately, the loophole involved is massive, as the school pointed out it incentivizes the act of bringing as many veterans into the school as possible, while not necessarily giving them an education.
"Awareness is critical to fight against predatory colleges."
Yale noted that the funds are generated through the G.I. Bill, and then essentially stolen by these schools. Unfortunately, many schools have gotten in on this scam, but the Department of Veterans Affairs has taken action to root out and eradicate the problem. Still, there is much work to be done, and awareness will play an imperative role in the fight against deceptive, fraudulent and predatory entities that target the veteran community.
Call to action
The New York Times recently reported that several groups that represent the veteran community have sent letters to the VA in hopes of it taking greater action against the schools involved in these predatory schemes against service members. According to the news provider, the National Military Family Association and American Legion were included in the more than 20 parties that participated.
The source pointed out that the groups are highly concerned about the treatment of veterans, but that for-profit schools have pushed back on the accusations being made.
"Those that demonize our sector do so because of ideological reasons, not rational arguments," explained Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities Vice President Michael Dakduk, according to The New York Times. "For the veteran holding down a part-time or full-time job in addition to their studies, our sector's institutions and programs are the right fit."
Suffice it to say that this specific battle is not looking like it will wane any time soon, as all sides involved are getting a bit more contentious. However, one thing is for sure, and that is some action must be taken by regulators and the higher education industry as a whole to prevent veterans from being taken advantage of and losing the funds they earned while in service to the nation.
A tricky endeavor
National Public Radio once reported that, even when for-profit schools are not necessarily partaking in predatory schemes, they still might not be the best choice for a veteran. Service members who are looking to get a college degree should always consider using the resources available to them, especially those that involve guidance on finding the right school.
Certain universities have immaculate track records when it comes to veteran education, while others will simply not be well-suited to the needs of a service member. The VA, as well as advocacy groups, provide often complimentary support to veterans who need assistance in these matters.