Schools held more accountable for veteran treatment

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Veterans, service members and their families will have a new way to file complaints with educational institutions receiving money through military educational benefits programs.

The departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Education, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and the Federal Trade Commission announced Jan. 30 a new online complaint system for the military and veterans.

The online reporting system gives the government information needed to identify and address unfair or misleading practices used by schools receiving funding through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, DOD’s Military Tuition Program and other benefits.

“The online complaint system empowers veterans and their dependents and provides them a direct line to VA and our partner agencies,” Allison A. Hickey, undersecretary for benefits at VA, said in a statement.

When an agency receives a complaint, it will contact the school on behalf of the student and work toward a solution.

Veterans and service members should report schools if they do not follow the Principles of Excellence, a set of guidelines that ensure accreditation, provide for the cost of a program and provide other benefits.

Complaints and resolutions will also be forwarded to the FTC Consumer Sentinel Network, which is accessible by more than 650 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, to help with the coordination of investigations.

“The feedback we receive from veterans, service members and their families will help us strengthen enforcement of the ‘Principles of Excellence’ for institutions of higher learning serving veterans and their families to ensure students are receiving the education benefits they have earned and deserve,” Hickey said.

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Allison A. Hickey, Department of Education, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Departments, Government IT News, veterans, workforce
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