This bill — the Protect the GI Bill Act — would increase transparency and accountability among educational programs that receive Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) funding and give the federal government and state agencies greater authority to suspend schools from participating in the GI Bill program. It would require state educational agencies or their secretaries to determine whether educational institutions meet certain requirements regarding providing information to students before enrollment, transparency about tuition and financial aid, and more.
Subsequently, this bill would ban schools from GI Bill participation for misrepresenting themselves while marketing to, recruiting, and enrolling students. If an institution is determined to have carried out fraudulent or persistent recruiting tactics or engaged in “substantial misrepresentation” of its educational offerings, graduation rates, or graduates’ employability, it would be ineligible to enroll veterans with GI bill funding. It could also be subject to negative action by its accrediting agency, up to the loss of its accreditation.
This bill would also expand the conditions for full restoration of education benefits for students affected by schools’ closure or disapproval. It would also make schools, rather than students, responsible for repaying overpayments of tuition benefits from the VA under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
This bill would also expand veterans’ ability to use Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits by:
- Allowing military service members to transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to their child wards and children ages 21-25; and
- Authorizing housing allowances under the Post-9/11 GI Bill during short periods of active-duty service.
Students receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits would be required to verify their enrollment status to the VA.
If schools violate this bill’s requirements, State Approving Agencies (SAAs) would be able to flag or suspend new enrollments to them.