Overview of The Protect the GI Bill Act
Gives Student Veterans the Same Rights as Other Students
Contained within the larger Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 that passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 16, 2020 and unanimously by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 9, 2020 and was signed into law Jan. 5, 2021, this bipartisan law:
- Requires common-sense oversight of schools under the Education Department’s “Heightened Cash Monitoring” or Title IV provisional status; federal or state government punitive action; or punitive action by an accreditor. Also requires three years of additional oversight for any school that converts from for-profit tax status.
- Stops Deceptive Recruiting: The law strengthens the existing ban on deceptive college recruiting – by imposing a strict timeline for VA to act and requiring VA to assess whether potential violators have repudiated deceptive practices, taken steps to remove pressure on recruiters, secured a third-party auditor, and whether VA’s action is strong enough to send a deterrent message; empowering SAAs to investigate and make preliminary findings of violations; and automatically suspending repeat offenders and disapproving third-time offenders.
- Restores Education Benefits for Military-Connected Students at Closed Schools: Gives military-connected students parity with Title IV students by reinstating all VA education benefits for students whose school has closed or been disapproved as long as they were enrolled 120 days before closure and didn’t transfer more than 12 credits to a comparable program.
- Gives Military-Connected Students the Same Rights as Title IV Students on Overpayments: Requires schools (not students) to repay VA any tuition overpayments. It also helps prevent overpayments by requiring schools to re-certify after the add/drop period and by requiring monthly verification by the students.
- Protects Military-Connected Students from Failing Schools: If a school is terminated by the Education Department or at risk of losing accreditation, VA must act. Also requires law schools to be properly accredited.
- Ensures Informed School Choice: Requires schools to honor deployments and provide military-connected students a point of contact and clear information about key facts about the program, including cost, graduation and job placement rates, etc. Also stops same-day recruiting and more than 3 unsolicited recruiting attempts.
- Sunsets the Montgomery GI Bill and delays by 6 months the date at which servicemembers have to choose whether to pay into it.
- Extends in-state tuition at public colleges to veterans, regardless of their residency and date of separation from the military
Joint Military & Veteran Service Organizations Letter to the U.S. Senate Expressing Support for the Protect the GI Bill Act (December 2, 2019)
Read the full letter here.