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Opinion: Higher education transparency is vital to veterans

  

As a proud veteran, I truly make every effort to keep in mind our returning servicemen and women and ensure they have opportunities to successfully reenter civilian life after their time in the military — many of whom have been serving on the frontlines in the global war on terror.  

Dave Myers II

A key reentry point for millions of veterans annually is our nation’s postsecondary education system, which calls upon the federal government and state governments for taxpayer assistance. Senator Josh Hawley is a critical voice on the matter of efficiency in government and the proper stewardship of taxpayer investments. 

Annually, billions of dollars flow into our institutions through the student aid system as well as direct grants and other forms of assistance to public and private colleges alike. And yet, we have not seen outcomes improve for veterans and other students in many cases. In Missouri, many schools fail to graduate a majority of their students within six years from the date of enrollment. I know we can do better, especially for veterans using financial assistance granted by the GI Bill. 

An important step is requiring institutions to provide critical postsecondary data that demonstrate their respective track records on criteria such as enrollment, completion of degree programs, performance of students receiving financial aid, and post-graduate outcomes, such as income levels. With this data made public, students, families, and veterans can better understand their choices. The good schools will continue to rise to the top and be rewarded with applicants, and the lower-performing schools will be better equipped to address their shortcomings or risk being ignored by applicants such as veterans.

This is important. Students work incredibly hard to afford college and gain admission. They should know how their institution of choice will not only help them while attending and completing their programs of study but what the degree will mean for them in the job market. 

Hawley has co-sponsored the College Transparency Act. He deserves our thanks on this matter, and please know our state’s veteran’s community is united on this important matter.