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Wed June 27, 2012
Conway Announces Settlement with Website Over G.I. Benefit Abuse
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway was in Washington today announcing a settlement with a company he says was preying on military veterans.
In the past few years, with wars raging overseas, Congress ramped up educational benefits for veterans. That caught the eye of for-profit colleges, according to Attorney General Conway,
“And we found that some for-profit colleges are more interested in getting their hands on these G.I. Bill benefits than they are in educating our soldiers. You may wonder why the for-profit colleges have such an incentive to go after military men and women: Well it boils down to simple math and money.”
Conway announced that his office has reached a settlement with the website GIBill.com for $2.5 million. The website is owned by California-based QuinStreet Incorporated. Conway alleges the group knowingly misleads veterans. He says,
“It was masquerading as a website for veterans. Perhaps more troubling than that was the content on the site. If you looked up “G.I. Bill schools,” what you got were the for-profit schools, giving the impression that the only place you could use those G.I. Bill benefits was at those schools.”
Currently a loophole in federal law allows for-profit colleges to skirt what is known as the 90/10 rule. That rule requires for-profit schools to get ten percent of their funding from sources other than the federal government. Military benefits are excluded from that equation, which Conway wants Congress to change. Conway says,
“Students at for-profit colleges in this country right now are about 13% of all of our college students. Yet they are receiving 50% - 50 – of all Department of Defense tuition assistance funds and 38% of all the post 9-11 G.I. Bill funds.”
QuinStreet Incorporated hasn’t agreed to any wrongdoing. The company says it reached the deal in order to provide more clarity to its customers. As a part of the settlement the US Department of Veterans Affairs will now take over the website GIBill.com. The money from the settlement will get spread between twenty states, including the commonwealth.