As many of you know, VetsFirst is positioned to address the issues where the disabled and veterans communities overlap. One matter that might not at first glance seem to be an area of focus is education. However, the G.I. Bill and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Programs are essential tools that help veterans re-integrate into society and complement efforts for independence.

Many veterans have used their benefits to enroll in for profit colleges that have used predatory practices or have gone out of business. We, along with Veterans Education Success and several other Veteran Service Organizations, are working with the Executive and Legislative branches to fight for reimbursement of G.I. Bill benefits that have been used in pursuit of education at such schools. However, for profit colleges typically include a requirement to settle any disputes through arbitration rather than lawsuits. As you might guess, these schools hire the arbitration and, as a recent NYT series pointed out, the cards are stacked against the student.

VetsFirst is supporting Veterans Educations Success’s efforts in negotiating rule making over regulations to establish standards and procedures for borrower loan forgiveness at schools that close or engage in misrepresentation, a process set in motion by the collapse of Corinthian last year. Through September 2014, for profit schools enrolled 30 percent of veterans and received 40 percent of the tuition paid through the Post-9/11 benefit. ITT, as well as other for profits, requires all students to agree to arbitration and uses arbitration as a warning to veterans to resolve complaints with ITT and not the VA complaint system. We believe that this is unconscionable. We at VetsFirst are fighting against this.

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