Maryland is poised to become the first state to limit the revenue for-profit colleges can receive from enrolling veterans, reported The Washington Post and Inside Higher Ed.
The Maryland House of Delegates unanimously passed legislation to close a loophole in the 90/10 rule, which bars for-profit colleges from getting more than 90 percent of their operating revenue from federal student aid. Under the federal rule, military and veterans' education benefits do not count toward that threshold despite being federal aid, an exception that some veterans groups say invites aggressive recruitment from unscrupulous for-profit schools.
Under the approved measure, all federal funding that for-profit colleges operating in Maryland receive would count toward the 90/10 rule. It would also begin barring for-profits that receive more than 90 percent of their revenue from federal funds, including military benefits, from enrolling Maryland residents.
Additionally, Maryland's regulation would apply to for-profit schools based in other states that enroll residents in online education programs—a restriction that could encounter problems, Inside Higher Ed reported.
The measure passed the Maryland Senate in February and will now go to Republican governor Larry Hogan. A Hogan spokesman said only that the governor will consider signing the bill when it comes to him.
At the federal level, efforts to treat military education benefits the same as federal student aid under the revenue rule have stalled, reported the Post. Some Republican lawmakers have questioned the fairness of the 90/10 rule because it applies only to for-profit colleges. However, bipartisan support appears to be growing.
In November, Senate Education Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) threw his support behind a bipartisan bill—introduced by Sens. Thomas Carper (D-DE), James Lankford (R-OK), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Jon Tester (D-MT)—to close the loophole. The legislation, the Protect VETS Act, would end the exemption and impose penalties for violating the revenue rule. While the bill stalled in committee, higher education experts expect it will make its way into broader legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.
Inside Higher Ed
The Washington Post