Institutions warned about using deceptive recruitment and enrollment practices against veterans
March 17, 2022
Allegations of misleading information about veterans’ benefits programs has prompted the Department of Education to remind postsecondary institutions about the requirements that prohibit deceptive recruitment and enrollment practices.
In a March 16 Electronic Announcement, the Department reminded institutions that it enforces the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), which is intended to curb deceptive recruitment and enrollment practices. In the announcement, the Department said it “may engage in enforcement action if it determines that an eligible institution has engaged in substantial misrepresentation.” The enforcement measures may include limitation or termination of an institution’s participation in the Title IV programs.
The Department said it is monitoring complaints and borrower defense to repayment (borrower defense) applications from veterans, servicemembers, or their family members (i.e., military-connected students). According to information provided in the announcement, veterans and family members report that school personnel or representatives suggested that GI Bill® benefits would cover all of the costs of a degree, with the students being told later that they would have to take out student loans to finish the program and some of these students reported that student loans were taken out in their name without their knowledge.
Knowledgeable sources with information about these issues, or any potential violations of the HEA or its implementing regulations, may report it through the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Hotline. The OIG Hotline may be reached confidentially at oighotline.ed.gov, by fax at 202-245-7047, or by mail at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Inspector General Hotline, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, 8th Floor-PCP, Washington, D.C. 20202-1500. Students and borrowers may also submit complaints to the Department of Education at StudentAid.gov/feedback-center.