Profiting off the GI Bill
The post-World War II GI Bill of 1944 was a hugely successful government program that helped millions of returning veterans get a college education. Under the expanded GI Bill passed in 2008, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have their college tuition paid for, up to $19,000 a year. But instead of giving veterans a launching pad to a civilian career, for-profit schools are making billions in GI Bill money and leaving veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, according to an investigation by Aaron Glantz of The Center for Investigative Reporting.
- CIR found that over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.
- Money from the new GI Bill went to nearly 300 California schools that failed to meet state standards, including 121 with no academic accreditation at all: beauty schools, auto repair programs and dog training academies.
- CIR found that a single campus of the University of Phoenix has received $95 million from the new GI Bill since 2009. That’s more than the entire 10-campus University of California system.
- The University of Phoenix won’t say how many veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent. More than a quarter of students there default on their loans within three years of leaving school.
- In California, nearly 2 of every 3 GI Bill dollars go to for-profit schools.
Listen to our segment and read the full story from CIR here.