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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THE CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING