New Complaint Lines for Military Education Benefits

Two big efforts to combat deceptive practices against veterans and military family members who are seeking to complete their education are underway. A complaint line for problems in using the GI Bill was recently introduced. It is run by the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA), Defense (DOD), Education (DOE) and Justice (DOJ), as well as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). Another complaint line targets issues with Tuition Assistance (TA) and the My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA). It is run by DoD with some assistance from the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

These complaint lines have developed as service members, veterans, and their family members have been targeted as prospective students by programs with aggressive tactics, deceptive information about program flexibility, or low graduation rates and job placement assistance. Some of the programs are at for-profit schools, which have different limits for how much money they can receive through federally subsidized school loans. These limits force them to look for students with income from other resources like the GI Bill, TA, and MyCAA.

In 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members. The order establishes guidelines and protections such as requiring a school to inform prospective students of: 

  • their total costs for admission, tuition and fees 
  • the amount covered by their Federal benefits 
  • the types and amounts of financial aid they qualify for 
  • their estimated total debt upon graduation 
  • information about outcomes 
  • other information that facilitates comparisons of aid packages in a standardized format

Other protections are also included in the Executive Order and service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members should become educated on their rights and protections when using these special earned benefits.

To submit a complaint regarding TA or MyCAA go to Military OneSource.

To submit a complaint regarding the GI Bill, go to the VA website.

To submit a complaint regarding Federal financial aid (ex: Pell grants, federally subsidized loans), email Compliancecomplaints@ed.gov.

To submit a complaint regarding private student loans, visit the CFPB.

 

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