September 14, 2018

For Immediate Release:                                            

Contact: Carrie Wofford, (202) 838-5050


Veterans and Military Service Organizations Urge Education Department Not to Rollback Student Protections and Quality Controls in Program Integrity Rules

 Veterans also Travel to Education Department Hearings to Share Their Experiences

 WASHINGTON, DC – Today, 28 leading national veterans and military service organizations filed a public comment urging the US Education Department not to rollback student protections and quality controls in its proposed upcoming negotiated rulemaking on Title IV regulations governing education quality.

The organizations urged the Education Department to “strengthen, not discard, common-sense protections against waste, fraud, and abuse by bad actor colleges.” “Weakening or discarding these regulations would allow low-quality colleges to defraud servicemembers, veterans, their families and survivors – as well as taxpayers,” the organizations wrote.

“For too long, veterans and servicemembers have been targets of fraud and abuse by bad actor colleges,” said Veterans Education Success President Carrie Wofford. “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos should be stepping up to protect students and taxpayers, not helping bad actor colleges rip off students and taxpayers.”

 The organizations noted that:

  • The “credit hour” requirement for colleges was implemented to ensure bad actor colleges were not misrepresenting the amount of actual instruction given to 1
  • The requirement that colleges have “regular and substantive interaction” between instructors and students was enacted to ensure bad actor colleges do not skirt their educational duties and charge exorbitant tuition for what amounts to an online textbook or YouTube
  • Narrowing states’ abilities to oversee the quality of higher education (“state authorization”) would not only allow more predatory schools to enter the marketplace, but also would strip individual states of their long-held ability to protect their citizens’ right to receive quality
  • The requirement that higher education institutions demonstrate a reasonable relationship between the length of a program and entry-level requirements for the recognized occupation for which the student is preparing to enter is a common-sense regulation that was put in place to combat fraud from unscrupulous schools.
  • Repealing the current cap on how much Title IV eligible colleges can outsource instruction would likely result in both students and taxpayers being confused and misled over who is actually providing the education for which they are paying and whether it is worth their
  • Competency-based education is important and helpful to servicemembers, veterans, and military families who gain valuable competencies during military service, and also must relocate frequently as part of their service, and should be

Veterans and veteran representatives also testified at the Department’s public hearings on this rulemaking, including:

  • September 6, 2018, hearing in Washington DC:
    • Testimony of Army veteran Jarrod Thoma (click here) (video and tweets here)
    • Testimony of military spouse Mindy Thoma (click here) (video and tweets here)
    • Testimony of VES Vice President Tanya Ang (click here) (photo here) (video here)
  • September 11, 2018, hearing in New Orleans, LA:
  • Testimony of Army Sgt Renee Seruntine (click here) (video and tweets here)
  • Testimony of VES Legal Advocacy Director Mike Saunders (click here) (photo and tweet here; video tweet here)
  • September 13, 2018, hearing in Sturtevant, WI:

o  Testimony of VES Veteran Engagement Director Tyson Manker (click here) (video and tweets here)


About Veterans Education Success

Veterans Education Success is a veteran advocacy organization whose mission is 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. The organization offers free legal services, advice, and college and career counseling to servicemembers, veterans, their survivors, and families using federal education benefits – and helps them participate in their democracy by engaging with policymakers. Veterans Education Success also provides policy expertise to federal and state policymakers, and conducts non-partisan research on issues of concern to student veterans, including student outcomes and debt levels. Additional information is available at