Tanya Ang, vice president at Veterans Education Success, an advocacy group, said that the economic devastation created by COVID risks a repetition of that history. Others have worried that the proliferation of online schooling during the pandemic could attract students to these schools, which often have online offerings. 

“If ever there was a time to close the loophole now is it,” she said. 

Once veterans and service members use their education benefits, there’s no opportunity for them to recoup them. Amid a wave of for-profit college closures that began in 2015 and has continued over the past several years, many military-affiliated students only discovered they had used the benefits on shoddy schools after they shut down

“The schools shutter and they’re left with nothing to show for it and all of their GI Bill gone and wasted,” Ang said. “We don’t want that to happen again. We want to make sure that those benefits are going to give them a strong return on investment for their hard earned time and for their service.” 

Ang said the hope is that closing the loophole will push the institutions to provide an education that’s of high enough quality that students and even employers will be willing to spend their own money on it instead of government funds. 

“In essence they’re a corporate entity that is now federalized,” Ang said of schools that draw the bulk of their funding from government sources. “Typically the good quality schools are going to be able to have a minimum of 10% of their money coming from outside entities.” 

Read the full article at MarketWatch here.