Vets Face Roadblocks Getting Education Benefits NCPA Study: Too Many Vets Ignored and Give Up

Share Article

The Veterans Administration’s education program is failing American veterans, who face too many obstacles in the form of inadequate call centers, a poorly-structured payout program, and recruitment by expensive institutions that offer comparatively little educational benefit, according to a new study from the National Center for Policy Analysis.

The Veterans Administration’s education program is failing American veterans, who face too many obstacles in the form of inadequate call centers, a poorly-structured payout program, and recruitment by expensive institutions that offer comparatively little educational benefit, according to a new study from the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Simply getting information from VA-administered Education Call Centers has proven to be a roadblock for veterans looking to enroll in school. According to the study, 38 percent of veterans calling for education information received a busy signal, and 22 percent of calls were abandoned entirely. For calls that do make it through, processing times for claims have increased between 34 percent and 42 percent between 2011 and 2012.

Records indicate that many eligible veterans are not taking advantage of benefits purely due to a lack of information from the VA.

Unable to access information through the call centers, many veterans register on websites that sell their information to for-profit institutions. Not only are there reports of unscrupulous recruiting tactics by these for-profit schools, but the schools are motivated to recruit veterans for revenue purposes.

The Department of Education says that no more than 90 percent of revenue of for-profit colleges can come from federal student aid. GI education benefits, however, do not count toward these caps, so these schools have incentives to enroll veterans.

The cost of these colleges compared with their academic performance makes clear that veterans would be better-off enrolling in non-profit public universities.

  •     Eight of the top 10 recipients of GI Bill benefits are for-profit colleges, charging 78 percent more than ineligible online or community colleges.
  •     Billions of federal taxpayer dollars are being funneled towards for-profit educational institutions. However, these schools cost up to 400 percent more than their non-profit counterparts, while being 80 percent less likely to result in a degree.
  •     Overall, degree completion rates at public universities are 50 percent higher than for-profit institutions, and less than one third of all students at for-profit schools graduate with a degree, compared to twice as many who graduate from both private non-profits and public colleges.

The GI Bill is intended to provide meaningful educational benefits for our men and women in uniform. Under the current structure, many veterans struggle even to receive basic information from the VA. Because GI benefits provide a work-around to federal aid caps, many veterans find themselves the target of recruiting schemes by schools whose high costs and low degree completion rates do little to provide the educational benefits that our veterans deserve.

Source: Kyle Buckley and Lloyd M. Bentsen IV, "Veterans and Higher Education", National Center for Policy Analysis, September 2013.

Full study: http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ib130.

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983. We bring together the best and brightest minds to tackle the country's most difficult public policy problems — in health care, taxes, retirement, education, energy and the environment. Visit our website today for more information.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Catherine Daniell
Visit website