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3.01.2011

Congress Hears Tuition Assistance Issues

HEARING: Preventing Abuse of the Military's Tuition Assistance Program 
WASHINGTON  Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security, will hold a hearing titled "Preventing Abuse of the Military's Tuition Assistance Program" on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at 2:30 p.m. in room 342 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The hearing will examine the state of the Department of Defense's (DOD) Tuition Assistance Program, which provides tuition assistance benefits to active duty military personnel who wish to take classes while concurrently fulfilling their active duty service requirement. In Fiscal Year 2009, 376,759 service members participated in the program and DOD spent over $517 million on the benefit. Allegations of several schools' abuse of the program  especially concerning recruitment practices  have recently been made public in the media. Consequently, the hearing will assess whether DOD has the proper structure in place to prevent against fraud and abuse of the Tuition Assistance Program by schools.
The hearing will include testimony from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on its assessment of DOD's oversight of the Tuition Assistance Program, including its ability to track complaints about schools and its level of interaction with the Department of Education.

"We want to ensure that our service members are receiving a quality education, and that the taxpayer dollars used to pay for these benefits are not being wasted," said Sen. Carper. "Unfortunately, recent reports indicate that some bad actors have taken advantage of our military personnel and have failed to deliver the quality of education they promise to our men and women in uniform. This is troubling news, and it raises some serious questions about the Department of Defense's ability to prevent against schools' abuse of the Tuition Assistance Program. Through this hearing, I intend to take a closer look at this situation and identify steps to prevent future abuse."

WHAT: 
U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee Hearing "Preventing Abuse of the Military's Tuition Assistance Program"
WHEN: 
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 
2:30 p.m. 
WHERE: 
342 Dirksen Senate Office Building 
WITNESSES: 
Panel I: 
The Honorable Tom Harkin 
U.S. Senator 
State of Iowa 

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