Included in congressional Democrats’ massive pandemic relief plan are rules that could upend for-profit colleges’ ability to recruit and enroll veterans in degree programs by limiting how administrators count GI Bill dollars in their finances.
Advocates have long pushed for the move as a way to ensure that veterans aren’t taken advantage of by schools with questionable credentials and poor employment results. But industry officials say the move will unfairly limit veterans choices in favor of traditional, inflexible collegiate courses.
At issue is the so-called 90/10 rule, which requires colleges and universities to have at least 10 percent of their revenues derived from non-federal sources. The idea behind the regulation is to ensure that for-profit institutions aren’t funded solely by federal monies, but instead also include significant investment by students interested in furthering their education.
However, under a loophole in existing rules, GI Bill benefits and Defense Department Tuition Assistance programs are not counted as federal dollars, despite being taxpayer-funded benefits. Advocates have said that incentivizes schools to recruit veterans to plus-up the amount of steady, government dollars they can receive.