CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING: VA lags in addressing complaints against colleges using GI Bill funds

Career College Central Summary:

  • Thousands of veterans have filed formal complaints against colleges alleging a range of problems including deceptive marketing, fraud and poor education, but the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has completed a review of only 324 of them, according to an internal agency document obtained by The Center for Investigative Reporting.
  • The VA launched an online complaint system in January amid growing concern about the exploitation of veterans by for-profit colleges, which have received billions of taxpayer dollars.
  • Since then, the agency says, it has logged nearly 2,400 complaints but has resolved fewer than 15 percent of them, a track record that veterans advocates called unacceptable. After CIR began asking questions about the data this week, the VA posted it online.
  • “Timeliness is something that veterans deserve,” said Chris Neiweem, a former Army sergeant and legislative associate with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “We need to ensure that feedback from veterans doesn’t just end up on the shelf.”
  • The four schools that have prompted the most investigations are large, publically traded, for-profit college chains. But because so few cases have been closed, it’s impossible to tell whether the schools with the most complaints listed are those with the biggest problems.

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