Billions of GI Bill funds go to for-profit schools

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Friday, August 1, 2014

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have flocked to for-profit colleges, including a troubled chain that is closing or selling its campuses amid a series of federal and state investigations.

A report to be released Wednesday from the office of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, a critic of the for-profit education industry who chairs the Senate Education Committee, finds that for-profit colleges received $1.7 billion in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits in the 2012-2013 school term. About a quarter of benefits paid under the program went to the for-profit sector.

Among the top 10 recipient schools in terms of GI Bill funds, eight were from the for-profit sector. One of them was Corinthian Colleges, a chain based in Santa Ana, California, that recently reached an agreement with the Education Department to sell or close its more than 90 U.S. campuses. The Education Department has said it has concerns about the chain's operations that included allegations of falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students, and allegations of altered grades and attendance.

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