Below is the official policy one pager. If you support this bill let people know.
Senator Webb’s “Military and Veterans Educational Reform Act of 2012” makes a number of critical reforms to protect the integrity of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Nearly 700,000 people have now received Post-9/11 GI educational benefits. However, there are growing concerns that some institutions may be abusing the program, which, in addition to being costly, could put the program itself at risk.
Importantly, Senator Webb’s legislation requires schools participating in educational assistance programs through both the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense to meet the same educational standards currently required for other federal funding. Veterans and servicemembers who have earned federal educational benefits deserve the same quality assurances that Pell Grant recipients already receive.
The Military and Veterans Educational Reform Act of 2012:
• Requires that all programs receiving funding from Tuition Assistance and Post-9/11 GI Bill be “Title IV” eligible, which is already a requirement for schools receiving other types of federal funding. Title IV eligibility requires, among other things, accreditation by a Department of Education-approved accrediting agency, new schools to have an undergraduate withdrawal rate for all students of no more than 33%, and mandated reviews by the Department of Education if a school has high dropout or default rates, which could lead to sanctions or other penalties.
• Expands the training responsibilities of the State Approving Agencies by requiring them to conduct outreach activities to veterans and members of the Armed Forces, to conduct audits of schools, and to report those findings to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
• Requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense to develop a centralized complaints process to report instances of misrepresentation, fraud, waste, and abuse, and other complaints against educational institutions.
• Requires that all schools with 20 or more students enrolled in VA and/or DOD educational assistance programs provide support services to veteran and military students.
• Requires the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, to the extent practicable, to provide one-on-one, in person educational counseling to veterans and members of the Armed Forces participating in programs of educational assistance at or before the individual enrolls.
• Requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Defense to conduct a compliance review of an educational institution whenever certain quality measures are triggered.
• Increases the transparency of educational institutions by requiring them to disclose graduation rates, default rates, and other critical information to potential students to ensure that they can choose the best academic program for their needs.
• Increases interagency coordination by requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Education to improve information sharing.