A recent audit by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General found that hundreds of college programs that enroll military service members and veterans have not had proper oversight to determine if they are delivering quality education, reports Inside Higher Ed.
Due to the lack oversight, $1.54 million in federal tuition and fee payments have gone to "ineligible or potentially ineligible" colleges participating in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Program.
The audit estimated that the risk of improper payments was particularly high at for-profit schools. According to the audit, for-profits received $1.5 million of the improper payments, Inside Higher Ed reported.
The audit found internal disagreements and a weak partnership between the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and the state approving agencies, which led to the improper payments.
The VBA challenged the audit's methodology and findings in a letter to the inspector general. "This report does not accurately characterize this strong and effective partnership that has been in place for decades, not does it accurately reflect the high quality of work performed by most [State Approving Agencies] and VBA employees in the realm of compliance and oversight," the VBA's response stated.
The inspector general's report called the VBA's response "unconvincing," reported Inside Higher Ed.
The audit estimated that 17,000 students who enroll in a GI Bill program within the next five years will attend more than 5,400 "ineligible or potentially ineligible programs" due to poor oversight.
Inside Higher Ed