Today, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee approved a legislative package that includes provisions authored by U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) to protect against predatory practices targeting military and veteran students.
The Lautenberg-Rubio provision would establish a tracking system at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for service members and veterans to report problems they encounter at school and provide them with access to critical information on educational institutions. The package also includes language written by Senators Lautenberg and Rubio requiring the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to reach more G.I. Bill beneficiaries with comprehensive educational counseling.
"This legislation takes important steps to help our veterans succeed in school and follow through on the promise of the G.I. Bill," said Lautenberg, an Army veteran and beneficiary of the original G.I. Bill. "Bad actors in the education community are taking advantage of our heroes, leading too many to drop out of school or receive a degree that is substandard. We must take action now to provide our veterans and military members with the resources and information they need for academic success. Today's veterans have made tremendous sacrifices for our country and they deserve a quality education in gratitude for their service."
"Our veterans have earned the benefits of the G.I. Bill, but sadly many of them do not know or do not understand the depth of the benefits. It not only helps with education costs, but also with education counseling that helps pick the best career paths for future success. This bill will not only ensure all of our veterans are given the option of receiving educational counseling, but it also creates an outlet to alert abuse, waste and fraud within the system," said Rubio.
Lautenberg and Rubio are working to address concerns that veterans are being persuaded to enroll at some educational institutions by unscrupulous or deceitful marketing tactics and are not receiving the quality education they are promised. Many veterans are not aware of counseling services offered by the VA to help them navigate the educational process. Last year, fewer than 6,500 beneficiaries of VA educational assistance--out of hundreds of thousands receiving these benefits--requested assistance. Under current law, only those who request help can receive counseling services.