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Report Draws Attention to Potential Abuse in Veteran Tuition Assistance

CSU students Alastair Johnson, a British Army veteran, and Joe Beals, veteran of the U.S. Army Airborne, are active in the Adult Learner and Veteran Services community on campus. Colo State.jpg
Colorado State University
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CSU students Alastair Johnson, a British Army veteran, and Joe Beals, veteran of the U.S. Army Airborne.

The Defense Department could be doing more to oversee tuition assistance granted to veterans in Colorado and across the country. That’s according to a recent report released by the nonpartisan research arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office.

Right now the Defense Department has no system to track complaints against colleges that receive government aid for this type of veteran tuition assistance. And there’s no process for reviewing distance education courses, which in 2009 comprised three-fourths of the classes taken.

This makes the estimated $500 million the government gives out every year vulnerable to waste and abuse, according to the report. And one particular area of concern is education provided by for-profit schoolssuch as Denver-based Westwood College. The recruiting tactics by this segment of educators has been scrutinized over the last year. 

In an attempt to push greater accountability, legislators in Washington DC heard testimony about the topic of potential abuse within the tuition assistance program on Wednesday. It’s used by active duty service members and is separate from the GI Bill.