A new Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding is designed to make it easier for veterans and students serving in the military to use real-life experiences towards degree credits while protecting them from over-aggressive and, in some cases, deceptive recruiting practices.
Colleges and universities participating in the Department of Defense’s Tuition Assistance Program – commonly called the GI Bill – have until March 1, 2013 to sign the new agreement. It is the latest revision of the memo which some schools had refused to sign earlier in the year, saying it took too much authority away from the colleges and universities.
“The new version ensures schools are providing the education they said they would provide,” said Andy Weaver, director of financial aid programs and grants at University of Alabama in Huntsville. “It was really precipitated by some for-profit institutions with marketing aimed directly at veterans.”
Cooperating schools agree to not participate in high-pressure recruiting tactics aimed at service members or offering bonuses to employees for enrolling students who receive tuition assistance from the military.
The latest version leaves it up to the school to decide how much credit will be applied for military service. However, it does require the schools to disclose its credit system, as well as all tuition and fees, transfer policies, academic residency requirements and rules concerning dropping classes because of military service.
Even as schools sign the new agreement, another one is in the works. DOD is working on another memo based on President Obama’s April executive order calling for even greater protections for veterans returning to school. That memo is expected later in 2013.