The web is a common tool for students to research colleges, which makes it necessary for colleges to use a website. Unfortunately, some for profit colleges operate deceptive websites to recruit students using their GI Bill benefits. Both the design and name of these websites cause viewers to believe operators are affiliated with the government, but instead the websites are operated by for profit colleges. Clearly, these businesses have crossed the line of acceptable recruiting practices.
In his comments at Fort Stewart, GA on April 27, 2012 the President referenced military benefits provided in the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. The President reasoned the fraudulent actions by certain for profit colleges targeting the military made it necessary to use his executive power and intellectual property law. As a result of the deceptive recruiting practices, the President's administration will attempt to trademark the term of "GI Bill" to protect military heroes and their families. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs filed to protect the mark of "GI Bill." It is common for the United States government to file and register marks for its use. The President further ordered the establishment of a centralized complaint system for individuals to report deceptive and fraudulent practices.
In addition to the above safeguards, what can be done by service members and veterans to ensure they use benefits at the right educational institution? Meet with counselors to fully understand the financial aid process and conditions of any scholarships offered by prospective colleges. Research the college's accreditation body and whether the college is fully-accredited. Ask for the overall dropout or graduation rate. Request the faculty to student ratio and qualifications of its professors. Most colleges provide this type of information upfront, so steer clear of any college that will not provide the information in writing.
Disclaimer: This article is meant to provide general legal information and news. If you have a specific legal issue, seek advice from a licensed attorney in your state.