Veterans Education Success works with partner veterans and military service organizations to educate federal and state policymakers to ensure the success of military-connected students using the GI Bill and other federal educational benefits, and to weed out college waste, fraud, and abuse.
VES was formed after a two-year U.S. Senate Committee investigation into for-profit colleges revealed a scam: certain predatory for-profit colleges were targeting veterans and service-members with aggressive, deceptive, and sometimes fraudulent recruiting in order to get access to the lucrative GI Bill and Defense Department Tuition Assistance.
Veterans were coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan and getting misled into signing up for these very low-quality schools, where graduates often cannot get the jobs they were promised. Vets were thereby losing their one shot at the GI Bill and the skills they needed to enter the civilian workforce and provide a better future for themselves and their families. The idea that education companies were seeking to trick veterans out of their hard-earned GI Bill is particularly galling because the GI Bill is the main source of America’s thanks to veterans and servicemembers who have served and sacrificed the most for America.
In 2011, veterans advocates banded together with Senate staff to propose and demand a Presidential Executive Order and legislation to force schools to disclose the true facts about what they offered and to arm federal agencies with the tools necessary to investigate and prevent deception, fraud, and abuse. That effort led to successful enactment of:
- Executive Order 13607, “Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members,” issued April 27, 2012; and
- Public Law 112-249, “An Act to amend Title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop a comprehensive policy to improve outreach and transparency to veterans and members of the Armed Forces through the provision of information on institutions of higher learning, and for other purposes” enacted on January 10, 2013.
In February 2013, shortly after the federal legislation was signed into law, Veterans Education Success was founded – in collaboration with the nation’s major veterans’ leaders – to ensure effective implementation of the Executive Order and legislation, and to find new ways to stop scams and help veterans find the high-quality colleges they deserve.