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Memo Available on Executive Order on Tuition Assistance, Veterans Benefits

May 14, 2012

 

​Higher education institutions can refer to a memo prepared by the law firm Hogan Lovells US LLP to learn more about President Obama's April 26 executive order directing the departments of Defense (DoD), Veterans Affairs (VA) and Education (ED) to establish "Principles of Excellence to strengthen oversight, enforcement, and accountability" of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and DoD's military tuition assistance program.

The executive order is designed to ensure that service members, veterans and dependents considering higher education have the information they need to make good decisions and are protected from deceptive recruiting practices by institutions only interested in students for the federal funds they bring in.

The memo summarizes the executive order and describes its principles and directives with regard to implementation steps and enforcement mechanisms. The executive order is complex and contains a wide range of provisions, and its potential impact on institutions and students remains unclear.

Here are some of the provisions included in the executive order:

  • Colleges must provide more transparent information about student outcomes such as graduation rates, financial aid options and key documents, institutional performance over time and consumer protection.
  • DoD, VA and ED must develop improved student outcome measures, such as completion rates for veterans, and a plan for collecting this data, which will be made available on ED's College Navigator website.
  • The "Know Before You Owe" financial aid form, developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and ED, must be made available to every college student who participates in DoD's Tuition Assistance program.
  • DoD will be required to set rules for how educational institutions gain access to military installations so service members are not targeted by institutions with a history of poor behavior in recruiting and marketing practices.
  • VA must trademark the term "GI Bill" so external websites and programs cannot use the term to deceptively or fraudulently market educational services to program beneficiaries.
  • VA, DoD and ED, in consultation with the CFPB and Department of Justice, must create a centralized complaint system for students receiving military and veterans' educational benefits.

For more information, see:

FRIDAY BUZZ: Executive Order Targets Deceptive College Recruiting Practices Aimed at Veterans

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