AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, the Post-9/11 GI Bill has offered benefits enabling more than 700,000 servicemen and women to take college classes while on active duty or honorably discharged from duty since it was passed in 2008; and

WHEREAS, in 2011, for-profit colleges received half of all military Tuition Assistance (TA) dollars—$280 million out of $563 million—spent under this program, even though for-profit schools enroll just 10 percent of the entire college student population; and

WHEREAS, of the 10 for-profit schools receiving the most Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits, eight have dropout rates of more than 50 percent for associate degree seeking students; and

WHEREAS, currently, federal aid dollars for military benefits do not fall under the 90/10 rule, which prohibits colleges and universities from drawing more than 90 percent of their revenue from federal aid, such as Pell grants and federal student loans; and

WHEREAS, for-profit colleges receive, on average, 86 percent of their revenues from federal tax payer dollars, getting as close as they can to the 90 percent allowed by law; and

WHEREAS, for-profit colleges have targeted veterans to increase the amount of benefits counting as part of the 10 percent of "non-federal money"; and

WHEREAS, some educational institutions, notably for-profit colleges, are using deceptive and aggressive marketing and recruiting schemes to target veterans and the federal benefits that they receive for higher education; and

WHEREAS, a leading student veterans' group, Student Veterans of America, recently suspended chapters at 40 for-profit colleges out of concern that they were established as shell organizations to help them attract veteran students who carry lucrative government tuition benefits; and

WHEREAS, President Obama signed an executive order aimed at rooting out fraud and abuse of Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits and other federal education benefits for the military that includes, but is not limited to, the following provisions:

  • Requiring institutions to end fraudulent and unduly aggressive recruiting techniques on and off military installations, as well as misrepresentation and payment of incentive compensation;
  • Requiring institutions to properly inform students of their eligibility for federal financial aid and provide them with educational plans to follow; and
  • Requiring institutions to agree to an institutional refund policy that is aligned with the refund of unearned student aid rules applicable to federal student aid:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will call for further expanding counseling support on topics such as student debt and veteran enrollment, for increased availability to academic advisers, and for better coordinated efforts to curb aggressive marketing so that our former servicemen and women do not fall victim to predatory practices; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will promote the importance of strengthening eligibility requirements for colleges participating in the Tuition Assistance program in order to ensure that service members and their spouses are getting a quality education and taxpayer dollars are not being wasted; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will support legislation that ensures revenue earned from military benefits such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill will be included in the 90/10 rule, in recognition of the reality that military benefits are de facto federal aid.