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House OKs limits on schools recruiting vets

Sep. 11, 2012 - 07:55PM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 11, 2012 - 07:55PM  |  
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The House voted Tuesday to prevent schools that accept GI Bill benefits from paying bounties for recruiting students.

In a move aimed at aggressive recruiting in the for-profit school industry that could spill over to other schools, the House passed HR 4057, a comprehensive veterans bill that includes a section that would prohibit payment of a commission, bonus or any other tangible benefit for either recruiting a student or providing financial aid to a student.

Schools that provide bonuses or compensation would be barred from receiving GI Bill tuition and fee payments, meaning that veterans attending the schools would have to pay the costs themselves. Most veterans would not enroll in the schools, House aides said.

The bill includes a lengthy section aimed at trying to make veterans education benefits more consumer-friendly, mostly by collecting more information to make it easier for students to compare schools and by creating a formal process for students to file complaints.

Among the information students would get: tuition and fees for each school, median student-loan debt, loan default rate, enrollment and graduation rates, rates of students who pass license or certification tests after training for the tests, career counseling and job placement help, availability of academic and technical support, and whether a school accepts academic credits awarded from a proprietary for-profit institution. Most of this information could be available on the internet, either at the Veterans Affairs Department website or via links on VA's website.

The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee is scheduled to pass similar legislation Wednesday morning.

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