Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.


A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Veterans Group Assails VA Reversal, Now Greenlighting G.I. Bill Funds for "Predatory" Colleges


Friday, July 10, 2020   

Correction: Title was changed to accurately reflect attribution for the word "Predatory." Original title was "VA Says Predatory Colleges Can Accept GI Bill Students" (7:35 pm MST, 7/13/2020), correct that Bellevue and Temple University are nonprofits, and add response from Bellevue University (12:45 pm MST, 7/15/2020)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A handful of colleges with a history of misleading advertising can continue recruiting GI Bill students, in an apparent reversal of course by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The move comes just a few months after the agency warned the schools they would be cut off from access to GI Bill benefits if they continued to use false data and predatory tactics aimed at luring people to enroll.

Tanya Ang, vice president of the group Veterans Education Success, says there's little evidence the schools -- including the University of Phoenix -- have changed their ways.

"We have just heard recently from whistleblowers that some of the schools have not curbed their actions," says Ang. "But have instead ramped up their marketing and advertising during the current national crisis with COVID."

Other schools that received warnings include American Intercontinental University, Bellevue University, Colorado Tech and Temple University. Bellevue and Temple are nonprofit schools.

When contacted for comment, Cris Hay-Merchant from Bellevue University expressed satisfaction, "Bellevue University is very pleased that the Department of Veterans Affairs has determined that the matter has been satisfactorily resolved. We look forward to continuing to work with the VA and to serving our nation's service members and their families."

Federal law forbids the VA from paying out GI Bill funds to schools that engage in deceptive advertising and enrollment practices.

The VA's warnings were triggered by a slew of legal actions, including a nearly $200 million settlement by the University of Phoenix with the Federal Trade Commission.

Ang says these schools often aggressively pursue students, overstate their job prospects - and in some cases, aren't even certified for the programs they purport to teach.

"When you're a first-generation student, and then all of a sudden the school is massively targeting you," says Ang. "Calling you, calling you 10 to 15 times a day, sending you emails. These students are like, 'Oh my gosh, this school really wants me to attend here.'"

Ang says several Tennessee lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Phil Roe of Johnson City and Sen. Lamar Alexander, both Republicans, have been active in supporting more oversight of for-profit colleges.

"We have worked really hard with both sides of the aisle to find a bipartisan bill that would protect military-connected students from being targeted and preyed upon by these colleges," says Ang.

According to 2018 data from the VA, more than 16,000 veteran students in Tennessee and their family members are using GI Bill benefits to further their education.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.

get more stories like this via email

Black Americans are the most likely to suffer from insufficient sleep. (ChadBridwell/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

March is Sleep Awareness Month and health experts say Americans are not getting enough of it. United Health Foundation data found more than 32% of …


Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …

According to The Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation, 3,514 men and one woman have won the Medal of Honor in service of their country from the Civil War to the present day. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

160 years ago, Civil War soldiers were awarded the first Medals of Honor. Now, a Medal of Honor Monument will soon be built on the National Mall in …

Social Issues

The meat processing industry continues to face scrutiny over labor practices in states like Minnesota. Proposed legislation would update a 2007 law…

A report published in late February says children of mothers who are abused or neglected were more likely to demonstrate symptoms and behaviors linked to depression, along with other health issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

New findings suggest health effects stemming from child maltreatment can be passed on to the next generation. In South Dakota, leaders in early-…

Social Issues

Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle will pay workers at its former location in Augusta, Maine as part of a settlement over labor law violations…


One Arizona mayor is among the more than 2,800 elected city officials in Washington, D.C., this week for The National League of Cities' Congressional …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021