November 17, 2021

Chairman Tester, Ranking Member Moran, and Members of the Committee:

We appreciate the opportunity to share with the Committee our perspective on the Student Veterans Transparency and Protection Act of 2021 (S.1607).

Veterans Education Success is a non-profit organization that works on a bipartisan basis to advance higher education success for veterans, service members, and military families, and to protect the integrity and promise of the GI Bill and other federal education programs.

Veterans Education Success strongly supports the Student Veterans Transparency and Protection Act of 2021, which would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to report student outcome metrics for GI Bill beneficiaries, thereby providing GI Bill beneficiaries and policymakers with information that is key to the informed use of benefits and the oversight of the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

In 2008, policymakers designed the Post-9/11 GI Bill without any student outcomes reporting requirements. Today, this is a program with an average annual cost of over $10 billion intended to support eligible beneficiaries in their pursuit of a postsecondary education. Both policymakers and GI Bill beneficiaries need clear information about student outcomes under the GI Bill: Policymakers need this information for effective oversight, and student veterans need it in order to make an informed choice when picking a college.

The Student Veterans Transparency and Protection Act of 2021 would solve this problem by mandating the collection and publication of student outcome data for GI Bill beneficiaries on the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool, an online tool mandated by Executive Order 13607 (April 2012) and by the Comprehensive Veterans Education Information Policy Act (P.L. 112-249) (January 2013). Presently, and under the 2013 Act, the outcome data reported on the GI Bill Comparison Tool is limited to information that colleges submit to the Department of Education on all students; that is, none of the data applies specifically to GI Bill students.

The legislation before you today would improve the GI Bill Comparison Tool by publishing outcome metrics on GI Bill students (veterans, servicemembers, and eligible family members). In addition, the bill would require VA to maintain and publicly report student veterans’ complaints about schools for the entire duration that they are approved to enroll GI Bill beneficiaries, and would clarify GI Bill restoration to students whose school faced a Federal or State civil enforcement action.

Veterans Education Success sincerely appreciates the opportunity to express our views before the Committee today.

VES SFR November 17th Hearing