The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation that will require the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to develop a policy to improve outreach and transparency to veterans and active duty members of the military regarding institutions of higher learning. The bill, H.R. 4057, also bars schools that accept the GI Bill benefits from paying bonuses for recruiting students.
One of the largest sections of the bill deals with expanding pre-enrollment counseling options for veterans and active duty military personnel and creating a formal student complaint process at the Department of Veteran Affairs. The increased transparency is designed to help students compare schools and will provide them with information like tuition and fees for each school, the Air Force Times reported.
The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Gus Bilirakis(R-Fla.), also closes a loophole by requiring schools that receive the GI Bill to provide students with the same information required to students who are attending college on other forms of federal education assistance, such as: median amount of loans taken out by students, loan default rates, and the average time it takes students to graduate.
Both H.R. 4057 and companion legislation in the U.S. Senate—S. 2241, also known as the GI Bill Consumer Awareness Act—have received support from for-profit education powerhouses the University of Phoenix and the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the largest for-profit education trade association in the U.S.
Follow Alex Wukman on Twitter: @AlexWukmanCMN