With for-profit shutdowns, veterans pay a heavy price
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the source of the report as the Senate Education Committee.
- A new Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee report found a high number of military veterans may be in jeopardy of losing college tuition benefits offered by the military, thanks to the closure and bankruptcy of for-profit schools like ITT and Corinthians.
- Military advocates say that a legislative amendment to terms of the post-9/11 GI Bill are necessary to save the academic careers of nearly 16,000 veterans who have nearly exhausted their 36-month tuition benefits. “It is unfathomable to me that these brave men and women, who volunteered to serve their country in a time of war, are now being left in the lurch by some of the largest recipients of Post-9/11 GI Bill taxpayer dollars,” Sen. Thomas Carper told The Washington Post.
- Veterans accounted for 25% of the total amount of money paid out to for-profit schools in financial aid awards in 2012-13, about $1.7 billion in tuition payments.
More for-profit colleges will close in the next few years, along with several smaller institutions with focused niche missions or geographic challenges. And all of these will be in the name of fiscal austerity and taxpayer protection, but with stories like these, have taxpayers really benefited in a real way?
Many college executives may see these mass displacements as an opportunity for military students to transfer or to be placed in a credentialing program, but the real work is in lobbying federal legislative partners to enact remedies for servicemen and women adversely impacted by the closures.