Schools will always welcome your dollars, whether you pay them through loans, scholarships or GI Bill tuition. Unfortunately, some schools use aggressive and questionable practices to enroll students and deliberately exaggerate the earning potential of degrees earned. Resources like Payscale can help determine earning power right out of school, and break down how much you stand to make depending on the type of college you attend: public, private, and for-profit. If an enrollment adviser says you will make big money after graduating, think back to the used car lots that litter the roads outside of military bases. They might be selling the equivalent of a car with 200,000 miles for a low interest rate of 18 percent.
What sorts of schools might Mr. Horton be talking about, you ask? How about:
It’s been well-documented that for-profit universities receive millions of dollars in GI Bill money each year by aggressively advertising to unsuspecting veterans. But what isn’t as well-documented is that the University of Phoenix–one of the première for-profit universities–actually advertises on the American Forces Network. Not only does this violate AFN’s “no advertisements” policy (the network usually runs public service announcements), but it tacitly endorses these institutions. Though a spokesman for AFN-Europe claimed such ads were “beneficial to the community”, I’m sure the Veterans Administration would disagree.
So, want to maximize your GI Bill benefits? Tell AFN to stop airing University of Phoenix commercials.
(And could they bring back Squeakers the Operational Security Hamster while they’re at it?)