An emerging area of our work is helping state policymakers better understand and address the needs of military-connected students, and to improve college quality and accountability.

If you want to join us, get in touch with us at Help@VetsEdSuccess.Org

Explore the 2020 Toolkit for State Policymakers by Veterans Education Success and The Century Foundation

Check out our new toolkit for state policymakers titled, 2020 Toolkit for State Policymakers: What States Can Do to Protect Students from Predatory For-Profit Colleges. The toolkit provides a blueprint for navigating a tumultuous time in higher education as the economic downturn, combined with the coronavirus pandemic, leads to more school closures and an increase in predatory recruiting practices by for-profit schools. Endorsed by both Republican and Democratic state leaders, the 2020 Toolkit for State Policymakers offers practical, common-sense steps state leaders can undertake to prevent abrupt college closures and protect vulnerable veterans and military-connected students in higher education. Click here to download a PDF of the 2020 Toolkit.

CALIFORNIA

In California, we have been working with state legislators to improve college oversight and student protections. We are also supporting California regulations to improve oversight of GI Bill colleges.  We had a major win in October 2019 when the California Governor signed into law three bills we worked hard on:

  • AB 1340, which requires California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to calculate students’ debt-to-income ratio at for-profit colleges and programs;
  • AB 1344, which increases state oversight of out-of-state institutions that enroll California students in online programs; and
  • AB1346 that helps students recover the true cost of their losses if their school closes while they are enrolled.

And we have more great bills in the works!

MAINE

In Maine, we supported an important bill for two years, finally enacted in May 2019, LD 103, “An Act to Ensure the Integrity of For-Profit Colleges,” which requires annual review by the Commissioner of Education to ensure for-profit colleges are meeting adequate educational standards. For-profit colleges and universities, like their public and non-profit counterparts, will have to report how much money is spent on instruction, graduation rates, loan status of graduates, and employment status of graduates.

MARYLAND

In Maryland we are focusing our efforts on closing the 90-10 loophole and ensuring that for-profit colleges fairly invest in the education they provide their students. In 2019 we narrowly missed passing SB 399, a bill that would’ve required for-profit schools to reduce the amount of government funding on which they currently rely by creating a state-level 85-15 rule. Our goal for 2020 is to finish what we started by passing legislation to close the 90-10 loophole and to ensure that all for-profit institutions are investing a minimum amount of their profit in instructional spending. We believe this legislation will have a huge impact on improving the quality and outcomes of private for-profit schools across the state.

Maryland: Institutional Sector Comparisons

This fact sheet provides statistics comparing Maryland public, for-profit, and nonprofit postsecondary institutions with respect to: Enrollment—total vs. students using the GI Bill and DOD Tuition Assistance, Dollars received for students using the GI Bill [...]

Testimony in Support of Maryland HB 1562

This bill would ban abusive debt collection tactics by preventing creditors from obtaining court orders to garnish wages and seize assets to repay defaulted student loans that creditors cannot prove borrowers owe, and it offers bowers tools to halt abuses when debt collectors and creditors break the law.

Testimony of Our State Policy Manager Ramond Curtis before Maryland State Senate

Testimony regarding predatory practices by VES State Policy Manager Ramond Curtis before Maryland State Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee: "Maryland’s 157 for-profit colleges and career schools offer a variety of career-oriented programs, ranging from courses in medical billing to programs in building trades. We know that these institutions are crossing ethical and legal lines to boost their veteran enrollment across the country." February, 2019

MASSACHUSETTS

In Massachusetts we worked with the Attorney General’s office on regulations to ensure school accountability.

NEW YORK

In New York we are playing a pivotal role in educating the Governor’s office, the Senate, and the Assembly on how they can best rein in predatory and deceptive practices. In 2019, we were invited to testify on three different occasions in front of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, where we highlighted the need for stronger regulation and oversight of predatory schools. For 2020, we hope to pass legislation that will require schools to report important metrics to enable New York State leadership better understand where changes should be made to better serve students in higher education across the state.

New York: Institutional Sector Comparisons

This fact sheet provides statistics comparing New York public, for-profit, and nonprofit postsecondary institutions with respect to: Enrollment—total vs. students using the GI Bill and DOD Tuition Assistance, Dollars received for students using the GI [...]

NYS Senate Public Hearing on Higher Education

Senate Standing Committee on Higher Education Chair: Senator Toby Ann Stavisky Public Hearing: To explore ways to review oversight over for-profit schools in order to better inform students, parents and consumers about for-profit education schools. - April, 2019

Testimony of Our State Policy Manager Ramond Curtis

Testimony in support of Gov. Cuomo's "For-Profit College Accountability Act” before the NY state Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committee by VES State Policy Manager Ramond Curtis: "New York can prevent predatory practices and bad outcomes by implementing strong policies that hold for-profit colleges accountable to the students and taxpayers they have an obligation to serve." March, 2019

NEW JERSEY

In New Jersey we work with state advocates to support stronger regulations to ensure school accountability and transparency.

OREGON

In Oregon, we have been working diligently to pass legislation that would close the 90-10 loophole for the entire state. Our bill in 2019, HB 2976, received strong bipartisan support from the very beginning. After leaving the House Committee on Education with unanimous support, we were held up in Ways and Means. However, with strong support for closing the loophole in both the House and Senate, we hope to pass our loophole closure bill – SB 1544 – during 2020 interim session.

Oregon: Institutional Sector Comparisons

This fact sheet provides statistics comparing Oregon public, for-profit, and nonprofit postsecondary institutions with respect to: • Enrollment—total vs. students using the GI Bill and DOD Tuition Assistance, • Dollars received for students using the [...]

Testimony of Student Veteran Jay Hernandez

Testimony of Jay Hernandez before the Oregon House Committee on Education at the hearing on HB 2976 - Veterans Private Education Protection Act: "I lost a year of education benefits that I could be going towards earning a Masters" March, 2019

Testimony of Student Veteran Ryan Preston

Testimony of Ryan Preston before the Oregon House of Representatives Committee on Education at the hearing on HB 2976 - Veterans Private Education Protection Act: "I received a total of 2 online job leads and then the university reps tried forcing me to sign a release of liability so they would not be obligated to assist me in finding employment" March, 2019

VIRGINIA

In Virginia we worked with the State Council of Higher Education to ensure school accountability.

OTHER STATES

NON-GOVERNMENTAL REPORTS

We collaborate with allied organizations to protect veterans and their hard-earned education benefits. Through these collaborations, we are able to increase our impact and ability to produce meaningful results. Bellow is a list of reports from other organizations that we think provide useful suggestions for state policymakers.

STUDENT VETERANS ZACH HASTIE AND MICHELLE KERNIZAN JOINED OUR STATE POLICY MANAGER RAMOND CURTIS TO ASK NY LEGISLATORS TO PROTECT STUDENT VETERANS (ALBANY, NY, MARCH 2019)

OUR STATE POLICY MANAGER RAMOND CURTIS TESTIFIED IN FAVOR OF MARYLAND LEGISLATION TO PROTECT STUDENT VETERANS (ANNAPOLIS, MD, FEB. 20, 2019)

ASHFORD UNIVERSITY WHISTLEBLOWER ERIC DEAN SPOKE AT A PRESS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCING CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION TO PROTECT STUDENT VETERANS (SACRAMENTO, CA, FEB. 27, 2019)

OUR ADVOCACY

See how we are working to advance higher education success, protecting the integrity and promise of the GI Bill.

Our Advocacy Letters

  • We collaborate with our veteran & military allies to maximize our collective advocacy impact.  We frequently submit formal letters, with policy recommendations, to federal agencies and Congress.

  • We work with Congressional Committees and Members to introduce bills, hold hearings, and urge the executive branch to protect military-connected students.

Our Work with the Executive Branch

  • We work with federal agencies to ensure military-connected students’ hard-earned education benefits are successful and effective.

Our Work with the States

  • An emerging area of our work is helping state policymakers better understand and address the need to improve college quality and accountability.

Congressional Roundtable: From GI Bill Student to U.S. Representative

In 2020 we hosted a roundtable discussion featuring Members of Congress who used federal education benefit programs like the GI Bill to support their journey through higher education. Learn what they said about their experience and more. 

Highlights from the Congressional Roundtable