Blumenthal, Colleagues Move to Strip Defense Bill of Provision That Would Allow Predatory and Exploitative For-Profit Colleges Unfettered Access to Recruit on Military Bases

[WASHINGTON, DC] – After a provision was added to the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would allow exploitative for-profit colleges unfettered access to recruit on military bases, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), joined by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), today introduced an amendment that would strip that provision from the bill – protecting our servicemembers from for-profit colleges’ predatory practices. The amendment is also cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Al Franken (D-MN), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Ed Markey (D-MA).

“This strong step is necessary to stop predatory for-profit schools from preying on our servicemembers where they live and work,” said Blumenthal. “We must close legal loopholes that reward bad actor profiteers from targeting troops on their bases. ‎Just as they bravely protect our nation from military hostility, they deserve this protection from financial harm.”

Thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, military servicemembers and veterans receive educational benefits they can use to attend college—but because of a loophole in federal law that the Senators have cosponsored legislation to address, for-profit education companies have been incentivized to take advantage of men and women in uniform by aggressively targeting them with deceptive and misleading marketing and recruitment pitches. The Senators also wrote to U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Ash Carter in October 2015, calling for continued enforcement of action taken against for-profit college University of Phoenix for sponsoring social events on military bases to recruit servicemembers, paying to have its staff serve as the exclusive resume advisors in Hiring Our Heroes job fairs and workshops, and other offenses. 

Under the 90/10 rule, for-profit education companies can receive no more than 90 percent of their operating revenue from federal student loans and grants. However, U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs educational benefits are exempt from this rule, which has led to predatory marketing and recruitment efforts targeted at servicemembers and veterans.

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