This week the U.S. House of Representatives approved
a bill that would, among other things, ban schools from paying bonuses or commissions for recruiting
military or veteran students.
A school could not receive payment for GI Bill tuition
and fees if it “provides any commission, bonus, or other incentive payment
based directly or indirectly on success in securing enrollments or financial
aid ….” Although it would apply to all post-secondary schools, the bill takes
aim at for-profit schools, some of which have come under fire for fraudulent recruiting practices.
“As we commemorate September 11 today,
it is appropriate that members of Congress help this generation of post-9/11
veterans make informed choices about the educational benefits they have earned
in service to our country,” said Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., vice chairman of the
House Veterans Affairs Committee. “We are committed to putting forth ideas that
help veterans remain competitive in today’s job market. Appropriate and
effective education and training are key elements to getting veterans back to
The bill is supported by the Association
of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), which represents
"Since the enactment of the
Post-9/11 GI Bill, 152,000 veterans, spouses and dependents have chosen to
attend career colleges and universities,” said Steve Gunderson, a former
Congressman who today serves as the president and chief executive officer
for APSCU. “We are proud of the education these veterans receive at our schools
and look forward to continuing to provide them with training and instruction
resulting in success in civilian life and in the 21st Century workforce.”
The bill, H.R.
4057, also would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop a “comprehensive
policy on providing education information to veterans.”
The bill also addresses veteran hiring. It would require states to provide the criteria it requires for certification
or a license for non-emergency medical professionals, emergency medical
professionals or a commercial driver’s license. The information is meant to
help the Defense Department “improve training for military occupational
specialties so that individuals who receive such training are able to receive a
certification or license” from a state.
A similar bill cleared a Senate
committee this week but is awaiting a full Senate vote. If the Senate approves
its version of the bill, a combined House and Senate committee then would have to
address differences between the plans.