(Hartford, CT) – Today, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) praised President Obama’s executive order requiring colleges to provide more transparent information about their drop-out rates and financial aid options for students. This order will help ensure that service members and veterans have the information they need to make informed educational decisions and are protected from misleading and dishonest marketing by educational institutions.
"Deceiving service members and veterans who are pursuing an education is reprehensible. Many for-profit colleges employ dishonest and distorted advertising strategies, bringing financial harm to brave men and women seeking to better themselves. The action taken by the President is a meaningful step toward ending these disgraceful practices. I will continue the legislative fight to end exploitation of service members and veterans by educators."
Since the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill became law, there have been reports of aggressive and deceptive targeting of service members, veterans, and their families by educational institutions, particularly for-profit career colleges.
Blumenthal is a cosponsor of the Military and Veterans Educational Reform Act of 2012, Know Before You Owe Private Student Loan Act of 2012, GI Education Freedom Act of 2012, and the GI Bill Consumer Awareness Act of 2012 - bills that crack down on deceptive marketing and dishonest student loan practices targeting service members and veterans. On March 12, 2012, Blumenthal sent a letter with 13 colleagues urging Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to file a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the phrase “G.I. Bill” to help protect veterans from deceptive marketing. This would give the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) control over how the term is used. Additionally, on December 19, 2011, Blumenthal sent a letter with 10 colleagues to Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Leon Panetta expressing concern and demanding the DoD take action to prevent deceptive and aggressive sales tactics aimed at enrolling veterans at for-profit educational institutions.