Assemblymember Frazier Introduces Legislation to Provide Safeguard for Veteran Students at For-Profit Colleges

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D - Oakley) has introduced legislation to help ensure veteran student success at for-profit colleges.

Assembly Bill 2099 will require for-profit colleges to meet a minimum graduation rate of 30 percent and default rate of less than 15.5 percent before they can admit veteran students who receive GI Bill financial aid. This bill establishes the same graduation rate and default rate that the Legislature recently enacted as a requirement for these for-profit colleges to receive Cal Grant dollars. 

“Every year the GI Bill helps thousands of veterans subsidize their college education and has been credited with the transformation of the middle class after World War II,” said Assemblymember Frazier. “While for-profit colleges can be a good choice for many nontraditional students, a number of companies have capitalized on the financial assistance that veterans receive.”

In 2012, a report released by the United State Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee examined the taxpayer investment of billions of dollars into companies that operate for-profit colleges. The report found that these institutions can play an essential role in providing access to higher education, but have failed to make the necessary investment in services to help students succeed in school, such as tutors, counselors, academic advisors, and job placement staff. The report also revealed that the observed for-profit colleges employed nearly three recruiters for each support service employee and in some cases spent less on instructional cost than they spent on marketing and recruiting or made in profit.

Most for-profit colleges set tuition above available financial aid and generally cost significantly more than comparable community colleges and state universities causing nearly 96 percent of students starting at a for-profit college to take on student loans. From the companies examined, 54 percent of students from 2008 to 2010 left the school, often times with high debt and without a certificate or a degree.

“Many veteran students have left these colleges with outrageous debt and few marketable skills to obtain a job that pays a living wage. We have the opportunity to set reasonable standards that will produce a well-educated and well trained veteran workforce,” said Assemblymember Frazier. “Our veterans deserve to be treated with respect and provided a high quality education from the college they attend.”

To contact Assemblymember Jim Frazier please visit his website at http://www.asmdc.org/members/a11/ or call his District Offices at 707-399-3011 or 925-778-5790.

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