WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- U.S. veterans need protection from schools that exploit them, siphoning off educational benefits and luring them into debt, President Barack Obama says.
The president, accompanied by his wife, Michelle, plans to travel to Fort Stewart, Ga., Friday to sign an executive order requiring more transparency. The White House said the order will help veterans while legislation makes its way through Congress.
The order will require schools to provide information about dropout rates and financial aid possibilities. The White House said eight of the 10 institutions that receive the most in tuition payments under the Post 9/11 GI Bill are for-profit -- and more than half the students seeking bachelor's degrees leave without one at six of the schools.
Other provisions in the executive order are intended to crack down on misleading online recruitment and on schools that use aggressive and misleading tactics in visits to military bases, and to give veterans a complaint system.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, suggested in a statement that the executive order is unnecessary.
"Veterans should be given every opportunity to make an informed choice about their education, but choice is not dictated by imperial fiat," Miller said. "Accusing the for-profit school system of profiteering, a move designed to put fully accredited and GI Bill-approved colleges and universities -- employing thousands of educators -- out of business, is not the answer. The president could, instead, use the bully pulpit to encourage states to grant veterans in-state tuition, accept military training credit, and allow credits to transfer from accredited institutions. Each of these would lower the cost of education for veterans, and taxpayers."