MADISON, Wis. — Another Scott Walker Election Year publicity ploy for veterans is undermined by his record supporting the for-profit “college” industry that preys on veterans inside and outside of Wisconsin, according to One Wisconsin Now Program Director Analiese Eicher.
“Scott Walker has turned Wisconsin into the least helpful state in America for veterans bilked by the for-profit ‘college’ cartel,” said Eicher. “Rolling back state protections from the for-profit ‘colleges’ that prey on armed service veterans shows anything but respect for their service and the sacrifices they and their families have made.”
A 2014 report about the for-profit “college” industry found that “eight of the top 10 recipients of Department of Veterans Affairs post-9/11 GI Bill funds are for-profit education companies.” Another report from Veterans Education Success examined the dependence the for-profit “college” industry has on exploiting veterans and their GI Bill benefits.
Walker first proposed eliminating the Educational Approval Board (EAB), repealing several regulatory provisions and dispersing the agency’s remaining duties between other agencies in 2015. His initial effort to eliminate the EAB, created in 1944 to oversee institutions like for profit “colleges” and protect consumers, was unsuccessful.
However, two years later, as part of his 2017-19 budget, Walker succeeded in eliminating the EAB. Functions of the formerly independent agency were transferred to the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) and experienced staff, including the Executive Director position, were either eliminated or not retained and were instead replaced by staff with no experience with the industry.
Scrutiny of the for-profit “college” industry has increased recently, and what has been uncovered is unsavory. Federal government attention has uncovered how the industry targets veterans, minorities and low income students, encourages them to take on large student debts and oftentimes leaves those who graduate with essentially worthless degrees.
In Wisconsin there have been several high profile closures of for-profit college chains including ITT Tech and Globe University. Such closures have left hundreds of state students in limbo, without a way to continue their education or get credit at other institutions for classes they had already completed and paid for.
“For-profit ‘colleges’ engage in aggressive and deceptive recruiting practices and target military veterans and their families,” said Eicher. “Our veterans protected this nation, while Scott Walker protects the industry that preys on our veterans.”