Tuesday, November 30, 2010

High Numbers of Veterans at Online Colleges.

Online universities enroll large numbers of veteran students, who, some argue, are recruited for their GI Bill federal funding, according to Bloomberg Businessweek recently. This year, the federal government plans to double veteran benefits, from $4.2 billion to $9.6 billion, which pays tuition up to the cost of a state’s priciest public school, said the U.S. Veterans Affair Department.

Eight of the top ten veteran enrolled schools are for-profit; the top three are Apollo Group’s U. of Phoenix, American Public Education’s American Public U. System, and Washington Post Company’s Kaplan U.

Kaplan U. received 87.2 percent of its revenue last year from federal funding, but GI Bill benefits count as non-government funding, so with that money added-in, the revenue may be as much as 90 percent. Around 11,000 Kaplan students, or 15 percent, are veterans, active military members or military spouses, an increase from 8,500 students last year.

“These schools are after the monetary gain of a healthy benefits package, not necessarily what’s in the best interest of students,” Donald Overton, executive director of Veterans of Modern Warfare, told Businessweek. 

But Kaplan U. spokesperson, Melissa Mack, said, “Kaplan has received significant interest from veterans because of our military-friendly practices.”

For more info or to read the entire article see, http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_46/b4203026910225.htm .