President Obama signed Executive Order 13607 on April 27 directing the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Education to establish a set of principles to enhance consumer protection for service members, veterans, and other military personnel and their families regarding the use of veteran and military education benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs sent a letter to postsecondary institutions on May 31, requesting written intention by June 30 to comply with the principles outlined in the order.
The letter has raised concerns about the method of implementation and the clarity of VA’s expectations. At least two higher education associations—the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)—have recommended that their members wait for more details before submitting written agreement.
The following statement on NACUBO’s website explains: “NACUBO believes that this request is premature. The Executive Order directs the relevant federal agencies to develop principles of excellence and was not written in sufficient detail to serve as compliance requirements. NACUBO recommends that colleges and universities hold off on responding until clarification is provided.”
NASFAA concurs with this recommendation, and advises members to be on the lookout for the VA letter. NASFAA will continue to stay engaged in this issue through upcoming Congressional visits and meetings with federal officials and the other higher education associations.
The three departments, with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, will present two webinars to discuss the Executive Order, but registration is limited.
Publication Date: 6/6/2012