February 10, 2023
Mr. Jean-Didier Gaina
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., SW, Room 2C172
Washington, DC 20202
Re: Docket ID ED—2022—OUS—0140
Dear Mr. Gaina,
The undersigned military and veteran organizations write to provide comments on the above-referenced Request for Information (RFI). We agree with the Department that low-financial-value programs “may cause particularly acute harm for student loan borrowers who may struggle to repay their debts after discovering too late that their postsecondary programs did not adequately prepare them for the workforce” and that “taxpayers also shoulder the costs.”
We write specifically regarding the impact on student veterans and military-connected students.
First, we urge the Department to ensure that any warnings to prospective students about low-value programs are also disseminated through the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to prospective military-connected students. As you are aware, veterans’ educational benefits, once spent at such venues, cannot be restored and no remedy is offered to veterans whose programs fail to provide the financial benefits the nation assumed they would derive from the GI Bill.
Second, we encourage the Department to require accreditors to review any low-value programs, similar to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ risk-based reviews of education programs. Such a review should include whether students’ tuition at low-value programs is diverted away from instruction and career placement services, as documented by research.
Finally, we encourage the Department to improve its oversight and enforcement efforts to protect students and taxpayers from subpar programs.
Blue Star Families
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Jewish War Veterans
Military Child Education Coalition
National Military Family Association
U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association & Enlisted Association
Veterans Education Success
Veterans for Common Sense