Read time: 2 minutes

For-Profit Colleges Suck Up Half Of All Vet Tuition Dollars, Deliver Few Grads

Watch Educating Sergeant Pantzke Preview on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE. To this day, I am deeply ashamed of the six months I spent as a salesperson -- excuse me, admissions counselor -- at a for-profit college. (I am, however, proud that I

Watch Educating Sergeant Pantzke Preview on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

To this day, I am deeply ashamed of the six months I spent as a salesperson -- excuse me, admissions counselor -- at a for-profit college. (I am, however, proud that I was fired for refusing to sign up anyone with a pulse.) It wasn't until after I left that I finally learned most of their business practices were not only illegal, they'd already been cited for them and were operating under a compliance order at the time they were charged again. (As far as I can tell, those charges went nowhere. I'm sure it's a coincidence that the CEO was a big-time Bush fundraiser.)

Now we're finding out that these for-profit colleges are taking tuition money from many veterans who are not good risks for completing these programs:

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) just released new Defense Department data showing that the troubled for-profit college sector — which has left many American deep in debt — received half of all military Tuition Assistance dollars last year — $280 million out of $563 million for college grants for active duty military.

During their decade of explosive growth, for-profit education companies have sent armies of high-pressure recruiters to military bases and set up makeshift campuses right nearby. More recently, they have sent armies of lobbyists to convince the Obama Administration and Congress that they should not be held accountable.Among Senator Harkin’s conclusions based on the Pentagon data:

  • Six of the largest recipients of Tuition Assistance are for-profits, and they get 41 percent of all TA dollars. A review of four of those schools by Sen. Harkin’s staff revealed that 60 percent of their students drop out within a year.
  • One of the schools, Bridgepoint, employs 1,700 recruiters but just one job placement counselor.
  • For-profit colleges are getting more than 60 percent of the tuition assistance available to military spouses.

Last fall, Senator Harkin’s staff found that eight of the top ten recipients of Post 9/11-G.I. Bill education benefits are for-profit higher education companies.

“In light of the aggressive and misleading recruiting employed by some for-profit colleges,” Harkin said, “DoD should institute protections and quality assurances from schools in order to receive Tuition Assistance funds.”

A press release from Harkin’s office also quotes leaders from a number of veterans and service member advocacy groups calling for reforms, including Michael Dakduk, Executive Director of Student Veterans of America: “It is essential that taxpayer dollars used by DoD and VA to fund education programs for our service members and veterans go to schools that are focused on degree attainment and meaningful employment – not just recruiting numbers. This new data showing so much money going to schools with exceptionally low performance is truly alarming.”

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $21 for 2021? Please consider a one-time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage

Discussion

New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team