Order would inform military of pushy ads

April 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 26 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama plans to travel to Georgia to sign an order protecting the military from deceptive educational advertising, the White House said Thursday.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama will visit Fort Stewart Friday, where Obama will sign an executive order to help ensure U.S. service members, veterans, spouses and other family members have the information they need to make informed educational decisions and "are protected from aggressive and deceptive targeting by educational institutions," a White House statement said.

Since the post-Sept. 11, 2001, GI Bill became law, the statement said, aggressive and deceptive ads have been targeting service members, veterans and their families. The ads tout educational institutions, particularly for-profit career colleges.

The White House statement said some institutions "have recruited veterans with serious brain injuries and emotional vulnerabilities without providing academic support and counseling; encouraged service members, veterans, and their families to take out costly institutional loans rather than encouraging them to apply for federal student aid first; engaged in misleading recruiting practices on military installations; and have not disclosed meaningful information that allows potential students to determine whether the institution has a good record of graduating service members, veterans, and their families and positioning them for success in the workforce."

Though there is congressional legislation to fix the problem, the administration is taking steps administratively.

Among other steps, the executive order "will require that colleges provide more transparent information about their outcomes and financial aid options for students, which will help ensure that students are aware of the true cost and likelihood of completion prior to enrolling," the White House said.

The order will require the Defense Department to set forth rules for how educational institutions gain access to military installations.

The order also will direct the VA to initiate a process to register the term "GI Bill" and provide veterans with a complaint system.

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