Congressional investigators are urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to step up efforts to help veterans choose among colleges, saying some veterans feel pressured by institutions to enroll.
In a report issued on Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office acknowledged the department’s recent efforts to inform and protect student veterans, but said it needed to do more to help them make good educational choices.
As part of its investigation, the GAO interviewed officials at nine colleges and reviewed the websites of 30 others. Most of the nine contacted veterans directly by phone or email. All but one of the websites the office reviewed included a section geared to veterans, and some of the veterans material was featured prominently on the sites’ home pages.
The GAO also interviewed a sampling of student veterans. Almost a quarter reported excessive contacts from colleges, and roughly 10 percent said they had felt pressured to enroll. Nearly a quarter felt they had received inaccurate information from a college, and half hadn’t heard of the VA’s counseling services.
The report recommends that the agency better promote its educational-counseling services and set realistic timetables for putting in place programs for student veterans.