Obama targets deceptive marketing of college programs to veterans

President Obama will sign an executive order Friday that will offer protections to veterans against colleges engaging in deceptive marketing practices.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama are traveling to Fort Stewart in Georgia Friday to sign the order, which is attempting to stop colleges, in particular for-profit colleges, from taking advantage of veterans who receive military education benefits.

The order would instruct Veterans Affairs to register the term “GI Bill” so that external websites are not fraudulently marketing educational services and benefits. 

The order would also require the Pentagon to set rules for how schools are granted access to military bases to recruit students.

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Schools that participate in the Defense Department’s tuition assistance program will be required to provide a “Know Before You Owe” form to students, which was developed by the Education Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency established in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

The order also will create a centralized complaint system for the government to track problems veterans have with colleges, and will provide more data to students about institutions, such as a complete rate specific to veterans.

Obama will be introduced at Fort Stewart by Sgt. Johnnie Marshall, who had issues transferring credits after he enrolled at a for-profit college and left the school.

Holly Petraeus, assistant director of the CFPB, is also attending the signing, along with a half-dozen veterans and military spouses.