Edmonds Military Wire: Vets getting fleeced at for-profit schools?

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By Michael Schindler

As if the transition from active military service to civilian life doesn’t present enough challenges, it appears some for-profit schools are wooing vets in an effort to capture the big GI Bill money and then leaving the veteran ill-prepared for a civilian career.

According to an investigation by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee,  education costs and drop-out rates are exceptionally higher for veterans and military students enrolled in some for-profit schools compared to public or private colleges.

At a Senate hearing at the end of September, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) said the situation is like that after World War II, when fraudulent “trade schools” sprang up all over the country, but did not adequately prepare returning veterans for the workforce.

Webb recommended strengthening consumer education so vets can make informed decisions and tracking performance measures on cost, transferability of credits, default rates, graduation rates and job placement rates upon graduation to distinguish the quality programs from those with the priority of making money off the government.

Let’s hope these measures will help. No question it is a confusing marketplace – let’s make sure education is a safe marketplace.

In case you missed it, watch Michael Schindler’s Veterans Day interview with KCPQ-TV on efforts to help veterans find jobs.

Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include  “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.”  He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

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