In 2012, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13607: Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses and Other Family Members into law. Since the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, there have been reported cases of servicemembers, veterans and their families being aggressively targeted by some educational institutions, in some cases being given misleading information. Executive Order 13607 is designed to tighten oversight of educational programs and make sure that servicemembers, veterans and their families have accurate information so that they can make accurate, informed decisions about their military education benefits.
Executive Order 13607 requires educational institutions receiving funding based on federal military and veterans’ educational benefits to provide prospective students with specific information prior to enrollment so that they have the facts they need to make decisions that meet their personal and educational goals. Educational institutions must give prospective students information about the institution itself and the particular program that the student is considering, including information about student outcomes. In addition, there are several requirements regarding divulging program cost and financial aid options.
Institutions must now provide information that will help prospective students understand the total cost of the program, including tuition and all fees. They must also detail how much of those costs will be covered by federal educational benefits. In addition, they must also inform the prospective student of the type and amount of financial aid they may qualify for in a way that helps the student compare financial aid packages from different educational institutions. Institutions must also disclose students’ estimated student loan debt upon graduation.
Executive Order 13607 prohibits educational institutions from engaging in misrepresentation and from fraudulent and unduly aggressive recruiting techniques on and off military installations. Further, for students in good academic standing, institutions must readmit servicemembers and reservists to a program if service obligations require the student to suspend their studies or cause them to temporarily be unable to attend class. They must also assign each student an academic and financial adviser to help servicemember and veteran students and their families successfully complete their studies and search for a suitable job position.