Veterans’ organizations see negotiations over the Higher Education Act as an opportunity to tighten a federal exemption they say makes service members target of aggressive marketing by for-profit colleges.
Veterans’ groups played a key role last year in blocking a Republican proposal to update the landmark higher education law. A campaign against the legislation, known as the PROSPER Act, zeroed in on a proposal to kill Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Now with Democrats in control of the U.S. House of Representatives and a bipartisan effort to reauthorize the Higher Education Act on the horizon, those veteran groups have turned their focus to another long-held priority: addressing for-profit colleges’ recruitment of student veterans.
A federal rule known as 90-10 caps the share of revenue for-profits can take in from federal student aid at 90 percent. But the cap exempts federal tuition benefits for veterans and active members of the U.S. military. Several veterans’ groups want to those benefits to count toward the federal cap, which could spell trouble for some for-profits.
“Absolutely, 90-10 is our top priority,” said Lauren Augustine, vice president for government affairs at Student Veterans of America. “It will continue to be so until we see closure of the loophole.”
The abrupt shutdown of several for-profit college chains in recent years has added to the sense of urgency for veterans’ organizations. Veterans groups say an overreliance on federal aid makes colleges less stable when they face potential sanctions. (continue reading…)