June 22, 2023

Congressman Morgan McGarvey Introduces Bill to Protect Veterans’ Education Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 22, 2023) – Earlier this month, Congressman Morgan McGarvey (KY-03) and Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49) introduced H.R. 3981, The Veterans Education Oversight Expansion Act, which strengthens the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) oversight capacity and restores education benefits to defrauded veterans.

“We all succeed when our veterans can access the education benefits they have earned,” said Rep. Morgan McGarvey. “Those who have served our country should be able to return home to high-quality educational and vocational programs that guarantee their success as they transition to civilian life. No veteran should worry that the program they’re enrolled in is fraudulent, subpar, or otherwise inadequate. I’m proud to join my colleague, Rep. Mike Levin, to ensure our hardworking veterans can receive their hard-earned benefits.” 

Through their service, many veterans earn federal support to help pay for college, graduate school, and training programs through their GI Bill education benefits. However, some veterans have been exploited by predatory, fraudulent, or falsified educational and vocational programs. The Veterans Education Oversight Expansion Act builds on the successes of the comprehensive Isakson and Roe Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 to boost oversight, foster accountability, and most of all, help veterans access the quality education they deserve.

“Any educational institution that seeks to defraud veterans, instead of putting them front and center, should be scrutinized and held accountable. Veterans should never have to worry that their education is being jeopardized or that they will be harmed by a predatory institution,” said Rep. Mike Levin. “Our bill expands VA’s capacity to rein in unscrupulous education practices and ensure that veterans are treated fairly. Protecting student veterans from predatory schools is an issue I am passionate about, and I am proud to co-lead this bill with Rep. McGarvey. We were glad to hold a productive hearing and look forward to moving this bill through the legislative process.”

The Veterans Education Oversight Expansion Act strengthens the reporting requirements of educational entities that are recipients of GI Bill education benefits. This bill would require educational entities to preemptively report any non-compliance within 30 days, and allows a veteran’s GI Bill education benefits to be restored if an educational entity is found to have acted maliciously (e.g., scams by for-profit predatory colleges) or is otherwise found to be inadequate or ineligible under the discretion of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Finally, the bill requires the VA to create a previously mandated database of risk-based surveys within 180 days to ensure programs receiving federal funds are legitimate and properly serving their veteran populations.

“Too many of our nation's veterans have been exploited and deceived by unscrupulous educational organizations, finding their well-earned G.I. Bill education benefits squandered,” said Chanin Nunvatong, Executive Director of the American Legion. “Predatory practices and inadequate reporting have stained the spirit of this valuable program. The Veterans Education Oversight Expansion Act is a crucial step toward restoring justice, demanding proactive reporting and transparency from educational entities, and ensuring benefits are returned to veterans when wronged. It empowers our veterans to achieve the education they deserve and strengthens the integrity of our G.I. Bill. The American Legion stands in full support of this pivotal legislation and express our gratitude to Congressman McGarvey for his unwavering dedication to our nation's veterans."

"Implementing this legislation would provide crucial technical corrections to overcome obstacles faced by State approving agencies (SAA) in implementing the Isakson-Roe law," said Will Hubbard from Veterans Education Success. "By increasing transparency through better disclosures of adverse actions by colleges, improving flexibility for program disapprovals, and establishing a deadline for VA's monitoring database, this bill will ensure effective oversight of the GI Bill."

The Veterans Education Oversight Expansion Act has the endorsements of the American Legion, Black Veterans Empowerment Council, Black Veterans Project, Blinded Veterans Association, Blue Star Families, Combined Arms, Common Defense, Disabled American Veterans, Military Family Advisory Network, Military-Veterans Advocacy, Modern Military Association of America, National Guard Association of the United States, Paralyzed Veterans of America,  Service to School, Student Veterans of America, National Military Families Association, Veterans Education Success, Veterans for Common Sense, Veterans for Peace, and Vietnam Veterans of America.

You can find the full bill text here.

You can find a one-page summary of the bill here.


Congressman Morgan McGarvey represents Kentucky’s Third Congressional District, including Louisville and Jefferson County. He serves on the House Veterans Affairs and House Small Business Committees.