Mississippi Center for Justice cheers launch of online postsecondary complaint system for veterans

Mississippi Center for Justice
Contact: Whitney Barkley, wbarkley@mscenterforjustice.org, (769) 230-2837

New Department of Defense Website an Important Tool in the Fight Against Predatory Schools

On Veterans Day of 2013, the Mississippi Center for Justice released a white paper analyzing the use of the GI Bill by Mississippi’s colleges and universities. The paper showed that veterans who attend for-profit schools spend two to three times more than those who attend traditional colleges and universities.

The federal government shares the Center ‘s concerns about our veterans paying exorbitant tuition rates for unmarketable degrees. In April 2012, the President announced Executive Order 13607 to, among other things, limit the access recruiters for proprietary schools have to military installations and ensure that veterans are advised of their ability to access free federal aid via the GI Bill before they are signed up for expensive, in-house student loans.

Today, the effort to strengthen protections for the GI Bill takes another step forward. The US Department of Defense, in partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs, unveiled a complaint intake website for veterans who believe they have been harmed by their postsecondary institution. Veterans and their families can visit www.militaryonesource.mil/voluntary-education/complaint to submit their complaints.

Under the new rules, the Department of Veterans Affairs is required to review each complaint. Verified complaints will be submitted to the Federal Trade Commission, appropriate state agencies and, if necessary, the United States Department of Justice.

“For too long, schools that take advantage of returning veterans have been allowed to operate with impunity. Now, our veterans and their families have a way to make their voices heard. We applaud the launch of the Postsecondary Education Complaint System and the hard work of the Department of Defense, ” said Whitney Barkley, Mississippi Center for Justice staff attorney.

Our veterans deserve a quality education when they return to the home front. The Mississippi Center for Justice is proud to stand with the White House, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and our Mississippi veterans in supporting the roll out of the Postsecondary Education Complaint System.