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114th Congress   }                                      {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                      {      114-336

======================================================================



 
                   CAREER-READY STUDENT VETERANS ACT

                                _______
                                

 November 16, 2015.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Miller of Florida, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2360]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2360) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
improve the approval of certain programs of education for 
purposes of educational assistance provided by the Department 
of Veterans Affairs, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     5
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     6
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     6
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     6
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     6
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     7
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     7
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     7
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     7
Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs.....................     7
Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking................................     8
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     8
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     9

                               Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Career-Ready Student Veterans Act''.

SEC. 2. APPROVAL OF COURSES FOR PURPOSES OF EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE 
                    PROGRAMS ADMINISTERED BY SECRETARY OF VETERANS 
                    AFFAIRS.

  (a) Approval of Non-Accredited Courses.--Subsection (c) of section 
3676 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--
          (1) by redesignating paragraph (14) as paragraph (16); and
          (2) by inserting after paragraph (13) the following new 
        paragraphs:
          ``(14) In the case of a program designed to prepare an 
        individual for licensure or certification in a State, the 
        program meets any instructional curriculum licensure or 
        certification requirements of such State.
          ``(15) In the case of a program designed to prepare an 
        individual for employment pursuant to standards developed by a 
        board or agency of a State in an occupation that requires 
        approval or licensure, the program is approved or licensed by 
        such board or agency of the State.''.
  (b) Exceptions.--Such section is further amended by adding at the end 
the following new subsection:
  ``(f)(1) The Secretary may waive the requirements of paragraph (14) 
or (15) of subsection (c) in the case of a program of education offered 
by an educational institution if the Secretary determines all of the 
following:
          ``(A) The educational institution is not accredited by an 
        agency or association recognized by the Secretary of Education.
          ``(B) The program did not meet the requirements of such 
        paragraph at any time during the two-year period preceding the 
        date of the waiver.
          ``(C) The waiver furthers the purposes of the educational 
        assistance programs administered by the Secretary or would 
        further the education interests of individuals eligible for 
        assistance under such programs.
          ``(D) The educational institution does not provide any 
        commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based directly or 
        indirectly on success in securing enrollments or financial aid 
        to any persons or entities engaged in any student recruiting or 
        admission activities or in making decisions regarding the award 
        of student financial assistance, except for the recruitment of 
        foreign students residing in foreign countries who are not 
        eligible to receive Federal student assistance.
  ``(2) Not later than 30 days after the Secretary issues a waiver 
under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit to Congress notice of 
the waiver and the justification of the Secretary for issuing the 
waiver.''.
  (c) Approval of Accredited Programs.--Section 3675(b)(3) of such 
title is amended--
          (1) by striking ``and (3)'' and inserting ``(3), (14), and 
        (15)''; and
          (2) by inserting before the period at the end the following: 
        ``(or, with respect to such paragraphs (14) and (15), the 
        requirements under such paragraphs are waived pursuant to 
        subsection (f) of section 3676)''.
  (d) Disapproval of Courses.--Section 3679 of such title is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the 
Secretary shall disapprove a course of education described in section 
3676(c)(14) or (15) unless the educational institution providing the 
course of education publicly discloses any conditions or additional 
requirements, including training, experience, or exams, required to 
obtain the license, certification, or approval for which the course of 
education is designed to provide preparation.''.
  (e) Conforming Amendment.--Section 3672(b)(2)(A)(i) of such title is 
amended by striking ``An accredited'' and inserting ``Except as 
provided in paragraphs (14) and (15) of section 3676(c) of this title, 
an accredited''.
  (f) Applicability.--If after enrollment in a course of education that 
is subject to disapproval by reason of an amendment made by this Act, 
an individual pursues one or more courses of education at the same 
educational institution while remaining continuously enrolled (other 
than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters or 
terms) at that institution, any course so pursued by the individual at 
that institution while so continuously enrolled shall not be subject to 
disapproval by reason of such amendment.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 2360, ``Career-Ready Student Veterans Act,'' was 
introduced by Representative Mark Takano of California on May 
15, 2015. H.R. 2360, as amended, was ordered to be favorably 
reported to the full House by the Committee on Veterans Affairs 
on September 17, 2015, and would require that, in order to be 
eligible for G.I. Bill benefits, a program that requires a 
licensing or credentialing test at the end of the program must 
be accredited by the association that administers the test.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This Section provides the short title for this bill to be 
the ``Career-Ready Student Veterans Act.''

Section 2. Approval of courses for purposes of Educational Assistance 
        Programs administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

    Chapter 3672 of Title 38, U.S.C., sets requirements for 
education and training programs to be eligible for veterans 
education benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs (VA). State Approving Agencies review programs 
accreditation and other factors to ensure that veterans attend 
programs of sufficient quality. There are different types of 
accreditation and, while national and regional accreditation 
bestowed on schools and training programs are sufficient for 
most fields of study, some professions require an even higher 
level of accreditation to be successful or gain entry into the 
career field. Some schools may meet national and regional 
accreditation standards, while individual programs of education 
may not meet the programmatic standard that many States require 
for certain licenses and certifications. The Committee found 
that this can lead to student veterans using their Post-9/11 
G.I. Bill benefits for a program of education which will not 
allow them to receive the necessary credentials or take the 
necessary tests to practice in the career field they used their 
benefits to study for. At the Subcommittee on Economic 
Opportunitys legislative hearing on this bill, held on June 2, 
2015, Mr. Brendon Gehrke of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
United States testified about the problem, stating:

          Some schools offer degrees that do not provide 
        graduates the needed credentials to qualify for certain 
        professions. Worse yet, when asked, many of these 
        schools offer prospective students unclear information 
        about programmatic accreditation and the requirements 
        for professional certification. Some schools use terms 
        like ``fully accredited,'' which in theory may be true, 
        but in reality do not offer the program accreditation 
        needed to gain employment. Unfortunately, student 
        veterans often fall prey to misleading recruiting sales 
        tactics.

    At this same hearing, Mr. Steve Gonzalez with The American 
Legion offered an example of how programmatic accreditation is 
required for licensed clinical psychologists in the state of 
Virginia, which requires the applicant to have graduated from a 
university that was accredited by the American Psychological 
Association. He went on to argue that having VA education 
benefits pay for such a program that does not lead to 
programmatic accreditation is problematic:

          This does not make effective use of GI Bill benefits 
        if an individual uses the benefit to prepare for a 
        licensed or certification occupation, but the program 
        does not meet licensure requirements. This would 
        include the requirement that a program be accredited by 
        a programmatic accrediting agency.

    The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 
(P.L. 113-66; 127 Stat. 672) contained nearly identical 
language as Section two regarding the Tuition Assistance 
Program provided to servicemembers by the Department of Defense 
(DoD). The Committee believes that this section is needed to 
align with DoD's requirements and to protect veterans to the 
same extent as servicemembers. Therefore, this Section would 
amend section 3576(c) of Title 38, U.S.C., to require that 
programs of education meet state accreditation, licensure or 
certification standards, if they exist, in order to be eligible 
to receive Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.
    The Committee believes that such a standard is important so 
that veterans are not shut out of their chosen profession 
because they used their G.I. Bill benefits on a program that 
does not meet State requirements. This Section would apply 
equally to both accredited and non-accredited courses and 
programs. Section two also provides an appropriate waiver to 
allow programs that do not meet this requirement to be phased 
out of G.I. Bill eligibility to protect current students.

                                Hearings

    On June 2, 2015 the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
conducted a legislative hearing on various bills introduced 
during the 114th Congress, including H.R. 2360. The following 
witnesses testified:
    The Honorable Jeff Miller, U.S. House of Representatives, 
1st District of Florida; The Honorable Bill Flores, U.S. House 
of Representatives, 17th District of Texas; The Honorable Paul 
Cook, U.S. House of Representatives, 8th District of 
California; The Honorable Sean Patrick Maloney, U.S. House of 
Representatives, 18th District of New York; Mr. Paul R. Varela, 
Assistant National Legislative Director, Disabled American 
Veterans; Mr. Brendon Gehrke, Senior Legislative Associate of 
the National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of 
the United States; Mr. Steve Gonzalez, Assistant Director of 
the Veterans Employment and Education Division, The American 
Legion; Mr. David Borer, General Counsel, American Federation 
of Government Employees, AFL-CIO; Mr. Christopher Neiweem, 
Legislative Associate, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of 
America; Mr. Rick Weidman, Executive Director of Government 
Affairs, Vietnam Veterans of America; Mr. Curtis L. Coy, Deputy 
Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity of the Veterans 
Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 
who was accompanied by Ms. Cathy Mitrano, Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for the Office of Resource Management of the Human 
Resources and Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs; Ms. Teresa W. Gerton, Acting Assistant Secretary of 
the Veterans Employment and Training Service, U.S. Department 
of Labor; and Dr. Susan S. Kelly, Director of the Transition to 
Veterans Program Office at the Office of the Under Secretary of 
Defense for Personnel and Readiness, U.S. Department of 
Defense.
    A statement for the record was submitted by the following:
    Paralyzed Veterans of America

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On June 25, 2015, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met in open markup session, a quorum being present, and 
favorably forwarded H.R. 2360, as amended, to the Full 
Committee via voice vote. During consideration of the bills, 
the following amendment was considered and agreed to by voice 
vote:
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. 
Takano of California, which provided the provisions of this 
bill apply to both accredited and non-accredited courses, 
grandfathered current programs for two years, and provided 
authority for VA to waive the requirements of this bill if a 
program of education met certain requirements.

                        Committee Consideration

    On September 17, 2015, the full Committee met in open 
markup session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 2360, 
as amended, reported favorably to the House of Representatives, 
by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report the legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no recorded votes taken on amendments or in 
connection with ordering H.R. 2360, as amended, reported to the 
House. A motion by Ranking Member Corrine Brown of Florida to 
report H.R. 2360, as amended, favorably to the House of 
Representatives was agreed to by voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committees oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee performance 
goals and objectives are to further protect the G.I. Bill and 
ensure that veterans are able to receive the proper training 
and credentials needed following their education program.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 2360, as amended, does not contain any Congressional 
earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as 
defined in clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
2360, as amended, prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
for H.R. 2360, as amended, provided by the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, October 22, 2015.
Hon. Jeff Miller,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs, House of Representatives, 
        Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2360, the Career-
Ready Student Veterans Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is David Newman.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2360--Career-Ready Student Veterans Act

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides eligible 
military personnel, veterans, and certain family members with 
educational benefits such as payment for tuition and fees at 
institutions of higher learning. VA must approve any courses 
for which those benefits may be used. H.R. 2360 would require 
certain courses to meet new requirements to be approved. Under 
the bill, education programs that prepare students for 
employment in fields that require licensure or certification by 
a state would have to demonstrate that the courses satisfy 
state prerequisites or have otherwise been approved by the 
state. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs could waive that 
requirement if certain criteria were met.
    CBO expects that application of the new criteria would not 
affect the use of educational benefits. Many courses that 
fulfil the new requirements are already available and program 
providers that do not currently meet the criteria would have an 
incentive to comply in order to accept payment for training VA-
funded students. Additionally, beneficiaries can choose from a 
broad array of approved educational programs to which the new 
criteria do not apply. Thus, enacting the bill would not 
significantly affect the availability of licensing or 
certification programs for the purpose of using educational 
benefits, and would not affect use of those benefits.
    The new criteria for approving education programs would be 
implemented by state approving agencies. Funding for those 
agencies is capped in current law at $19 million a year and we 
expect that full amount to be spent each year. Therefore, CBO 
estimates no additional costs for implementing the new 
criteria.
    Enacting H.R. 2360 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2360 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2026.
    H.R. 2360 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is David Newman. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 2360, as amended, prepared by the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
2360, as amended.

                 Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, the reported bill is authorized by Congress' 
power to ``provide for the common Defense and general Welfare 
of the United States.''

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

              Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to section 3(g) of H. Res. 5, 114th Cong. (2015), 
the Committee finds that no provision of H.R. 2360, as amended, 
establishes or reauthorizes a program of the Federal Government 
known to be duplicative of another Federal program, a program 
that was included in any report from the Government 
Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of 
Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a program 
identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance.

                   Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking

    Pursuant to section 3(i) of H. Res. 5, 114th Cong. (2015), 
the Committee estimates that H.R. 2360, as amended, contains no 
directed rule making that would require the Secretary to 
prescribe regulations.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides the short title of H.R. 2360, as 
amended, as the ``Career-Ready Student Veterans Act of 2015.''

Section 2. Approval of course for the purposes of Educational 
        Assistance Programs administered by the Secretary of Veterans 
        Affairs

    Section 2(a) would amend section 3676 of Title 38, U.S.C., 
by adding paragraphs 14 and 15, which would require that a non-
accredited program designed to prepare an individual for 
licensure or certification in a state must meet any 
instructional curriculum licensure or certification 
requirements of such state.
    Section 2(b) would further amend section 3676 of Title 38, 
U.S.C., to allow the VA Secretary to waive these requirements 
should the Secretary determine all of the following: (1) the 
educational institution is accredited by an agency or 
association recognized by the Secretary of Education; (2) the 
program did not meet the requirements of such paragraph at any 
time during the two-year period preceding the date of the 
waiver; (3) the waiver furthers the purposes of the educational 
assistance programs administered by the Secretary or would 
further the education interests of individuals eligible for 
assistance under such programs; and (4) the educational 
institution does not provide any commission, bonus, or other 
incentive payment based directly or indirectly on success in 
securing enrollments or financial aid to any persons or 
entities engaged in any student recruiting or admission 
activities or in making decisions regarding the award of 
student financial assistance, except for the recruitment of 
foreign students residing in foreign countries who are not 
eligible to receive Federal student assistance. This Section 
would further require that not later than 30 days after the 
Secretary issues a waiver, VA shall submit to Congress notice 
of such waiver and the justification of its issuance.
    Section 2(c) would amend section 3675(b)(3) of Title 38 
U.S.C., to require that an accredited education program meet a 
state's licensure of certification requirements as a condition 
of approval under this Section.
    Section 2(d) would require the Secretary to disapprove a 
course of education described in Sections 2(a) and 2(c) unless 
the educational institution publicly discloses any conditions 
or additional requirements, including additional training, 
experience, or exams, that will be required to obtain the 
license, certification or approval for which the course of 
education was taken.
    Section 2(e) includes conforming amendments.
    Section 2(f) would allow that, for an individual who 
remains continuously enrolled in a course of education at the 
same educational institution, any course that individual 
pursues shall not be subject to disapproval by reason of the 
changes made by this Section.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 36--ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER I--STATE APPROVING AGENCIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3672. Approval of courses

  (a) An eligible person or veteran shall receive the benefits 
of this chapter and chapters 34 and 35 of this title while 
enrolled in a course of education offered by an educational 
institution only if (1) such course is approved as provided in 
this chapter and chapters 34 and 35 of this title by the State 
approving agency for the State where such educational 
institution is located, or by the Secretary, or (2) such course 
is approved (A) for the enrollment of the particular individual 
under the provisions of section 3536 of this title or (B) for 
special restorative training under subchapter V of chapter 35 
of this title. Approval of courses by State approving agencies 
shall be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and 
chapters 34 and 35 of this title and such other regulations and 
policies as the State approving agency may adopt. Each State 
approving agency shall furnish the Secretary with a current 
list of educational institutions specifying courses which it 
has approved, and, in addition to such list, it shall furnish 
such other information to the Secretary as it and the Secretary 
may determine to be necessary to carry out the purposes of this 
chapter and chapters 34 and 35 of this title. Each State 
approving agency shall notify the Secretary of the disapproval 
of any course previously approved and shall set forth the 
reasons for such disapproval.
  (b)(1) The Secretary shall be responsible for the approval of 
courses of education offered by any agency of the Federal 
Government authorized under other laws to supervise such 
education. The Secretary may approve any course in any other 
educational institution in accordance with the provisions of 
this chapter and chapters 34 and 35 of this title.
  (2)(A) Subject to sections 3675(b)(1) and (b)(2), 3680A, 
3684, and 3696 of this title, the following programs are deemed 
to be approved for purposes of this chapter:
          (i) [An accredited] Except as provided in paragraphs 
        (14) and (15) of section 3676(c) of this title, an 
        accredited standard college degree program offered at a 
        public or not-for-profit proprietary educational 
        institution that is accredited by an agency or 
        association recognized for that purpose by the 
        Secretary of Education.
          (ii) A flight training course approved by the Federal 
        Aviation Administration that is offered by a certified 
        pilot school that possesses a valid Federal Aviation 
        Administration pilot school certificate.
          (iii) An apprenticeship program registered with the 
        Office of Apprenticeship (OA) of the Employment 
        Training Administration of the Department of Labor or a 
        State apprenticeship agency recognized by the Office of 
        Apprenticeship pursuant to the Act of August 16, 1937 
        (popularly known as the ``National Apprenticeship 
        Act''; 29 U.S.C. 50 et seq.).
          (iv) A program leading to a secondary school diploma 
        offered by a secondary school approved in the State in 
        which it is operating.
  (B) A licensure test offered by a Federal, State, or local 
government is deemed to be approved for purposes of this 
chapter.
  (c)(1) In the case of programs of apprenticeship where--
          (A) the apprenticeship standards have been approved 
        by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to section 2 of the 
        Act of August 16, 1937 (popularly known as the 
        ``National Apprenticeship Act'') (29 U.S.C. 50a), as a 
        national apprenticeship program for operation in more 
        than one State, and
          (B) the training establishment is a carrier directly 
        engaged in interstate commerce which provides such 
        training in more than one State,
the Secretary shall act as a ``State approving agency'' as such 
term is used in section 3687(a)(1) of this title and shall be 
responsible for the approval of all such programs.
  (2) The period of a program of apprenticeship may be 
determined based upon a specific period of time (commonly 
referred to as a ``time-based program''), based upon the 
demonstration of successful mastery of skills (commonly 
referred to as a ``competency-based program''), or based upon a 
combination thereof.
  (3)(A) In the case of a competency-based program of 
apprenticeship, State approving agencies shall determine the 
period for which payment may be made for such a program under 
chapters 30 and 35 of this title and chapter 1606 of title 10. 
In determining the period of such a program, State approving 
agencies shall take into consideration the approximate term of 
the program recommended in registered apprenticeship program 
standards recognized by the Secretary of Labor.
  (B) The sponsor of a competency-based program of 
apprenticeship shall provide notice to the State approving 
agency involved of any such standards that may apply to the 
program and the proposed approximate period of training under 
the program.
  (4) The sponsor of a competency-based program of 
apprenticeship shall notify the Secretary upon the successful 
completion of a program of apprenticeship by an individual 
under chapter 30 or 35 of this title, or chapter 1606 of title 
10, as the case may be.
  (d)(1) Pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary in 
consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary and 
State approving agencies shall actively promote the development 
of apprenticeship and on the job training programs for the 
purposes of sections 3677 and 3687 of this title and shall 
utilize the services of disabled veterans' outreach program 
specialists under section 4103A of this title to promote the 
development of such programs. The Secretary of Labor shall 
provide assistance and services to the Secretary, and to State 
approving agencies, to increase the use of apprenticeships.
  (2) In conjunction with outreach services provided by the 
Secretary under chapter 77 of this title for education and 
training benefits, each State approving agency shall conduct 
outreach programs and provide outreach services to eligible 
persons and veterans about education and training benefits 
available under applicable Federal and State law.
  (e) A program of education exclusively by correspondence, and 
the correspondence portion of a combination correspondence-
residence course leading to a vocational objective, that is 
offered by an educational institution (as defined in section 
3452(c) of this title) may be approved only if (1) the 
educational institution is accredited by an entity recognized 
by the Secretary of Education, and (2) at least 50 percent of 
those pursuing such a program or course require six months or 
more to complete the program or course.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3675. Approval of accredited courses

  (a)(1) The Secretary or a State approving agency may approve 
accredited programs (including non-degree accredited programs) 
offered by proprietary for-profit educational institutions 
when--
          (A) such courses have been accredited and approved by 
        a nationally recognized accrediting agency or 
        association;
          (B) such courses are conducted under the Act of 
        February 23, 1917 (20 U.S.C. 11 et seq.);
          (C) such courses are accepted by the State department 
        of education for credit for a teacher's certificate or 
        a teacher's degree; or
          (D) such courses are approved by the State as meeting 
        the requirement of regulations prescribed by the 
        Secretary of Health and Human Services under sections 
        1819(f)(2)(A)(i) and 1919(f)(2)(A)(i) of the Social 
        Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i-3(f)(2)(A)(i) and 
        1396r(f)(2)(A)(i)).
  (2)(A) For the purposes of this chapter, the Secretary of 
Education shall publish a list of nationally recognized 
accrediting agencies and associations which that Secretary 
determines to be reliable authority as to the quality of 
training offered by an educational institution.
  (B) Except as provided in section 3672(e) of this title, a 
State approving agency may utilize the accreditation of any 
accrediting association or agency listed pursuant to 
subparagraph (A) of this paragraph for approval of courses 
specifically accredited and approved by such accrediting 
association or agency.
  (3)(A) An educational institution shall submit an application 
for approval of courses to the appropriate State approving 
agency. In making application for approval, the institution 
(other than an elementary school or secondary school) shall 
transmit to the State approving agency copies of its catalog or 
bulletin which must be certified as true and correct in content 
and policy by an authorized representative of the institution.
  (B) Each catalog or bulletin transmitted by an institution 
under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall--
          (i) state with specificity the requirements of the 
        institution with respect to graduation;
          (ii) include the information required under 
        paragraphs (6) and (7) of section 3676(b) of this 
        title; and
          (iii) include any attendance standards of the 
        institution, if the institution has and enforces such 
        standards.
  (b) As a condition of approval under this section, the 
Secretary or the State approving agency must find the 
following:
          (1) The educational institution keeps adequate 
        records, as prescribed by the Secretary or the State 
        approving agency, to show the progress and grades of 
        the eligible person or veteran and to show that 
        satisfactory standards relating to progress and conduct 
        are enforced.
          (2) The educational institution maintains a written 
        record of the previous education and training of the 
        eligible person or veteran that clearly indicates that 
        appropriate credit has been given by the educational 
        institution for previous education and training, with 
        the training period shortened proportionately.
          (3) The educational institution and its approved 
        courses meet the criteria of paragraphs (1), (2), [and 
        (3)] (3), (14), and (15) of section 3676(c) of this 
        title (or, with respect to such paragraphs (14) and 
        (15), the requirements under such paragraphs are waived 
        pursuant to subsection (f) of section 3676).
  (c)(1) A State approving agency may approve the 
entrepreneurship courses offered by a qualified provider of 
entrepreneurship courses.
  (2) For purposes of this subsection, the term 
``entrepreneurship course'' means a non-degree, non-credit 
course of business education that enables or assists a person 
to start or enhance a small business concern (as defined 
pursuant to section 3(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 
632(a))).
  (3) Subsection (a) and paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection 
(b) shall not apply to--
          (A) an entrepreneurship course offered by a qualified 
        provider of entrepreneurship courses; and
          (B) a qualified provider of entrepreneurship courses 
        by reason of such provider offering one or more 
        entrepreneurship courses.
  (4) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), a qualified provider of 
entrepreneurship courses shall maintain such records as the 
Secretary determines to be necessary to comply with reporting 
requirements that apply under section 3684(a)(1) of this title 
with respect to eligible persons and veterans enrolled in an 
entrepreneurship course offered by the provider.

Sec. 3676. Approval of nonaccredited courses

  (a) No course of education which has not been approved by a 
State approving agency pursuant to section 3675 of this title, 
which is offered by a public or private, profit or nonprofit, 
educational institution shall be approved for the purposes of 
this chapter unless the educational institution offering such 
course submits to the appropriate State approving agency a 
written application for approval of such course in accordance 
with the provisions of this chapter.
  (b) Such application shall be accompanied by not less than 
two copies of the current catalog or bulletin which is 
certified as true and correct in content and policy by an 
authorized owner or official and includes the following:
          (1) Identifying data, such as volume number and date 
        of publication;
          (2) Names of the institution and its governing body, 
        officials and faculty;
          (3) A calendar of the institution showing legal 
        holidays, beginning and ending date of each quarter, 
        term, or semester, and other important dates;
          (4) Institution policy and regulations on enrollment 
        with respect to enrollment dates and specific entrance 
        requirements for each course;
          (5) Institution policy and regulations relative to 
        leave, absences, class cuts, makeup work, tardiness and 
        interruptions for unsatisfactory attendance;
          (6) Institution policy and regulations relative to 
        standards of progress required of the student by the 
        institution (this policy will define the grading system 
        of the institution, the minimum grades considered 
        satisfactory, conditions for interruption for 
        unsatisfactory grades or progress and a description of 
        the probationary period, if any, allowed by the 
        institution, and conditions of reentrance for those 
        students dismissed for unsatisfactory progress. A 
        statement will be made regarding progress records kept 
        by the institution and furnished the student);
          (7) Institution policy and regulations relating to 
        student conduct and conditions for dismissal for 
        unsatisfactory conduct;
          (8) Detailed schedules of fees, charges for tuition, 
        books, supplies, tools, student activities, laboratory 
        fees, service charges, rentals, deposits, and all other 
        charges;
          (9) Policy and regulations of the institution 
        relative to the refund of the unused portion of 
        tuition, fees, and other charges in the event the 
        student does not enter the course or withdraws or is 
        discontinued therefrom;
          (10) A description of the available space, 
        facilities, and equipment;
          (11) A course outline for each course for which 
        approval is requested, showing subjects or units in the 
        course, type of work or skill to be learned, and 
        approximate time and clock hours to be spent on each 
        subject or unit; and
          (12) Policy and regulations of the institution 
        relative to granting credit for previous educational 
        training.
  (c) The appropriate State approving agency may approve the 
application of such institution when the institution and its 
non-accredited courses are found upon investigation to have met 
the following criteria:
          (1) The courses, curriculum, and instruction are 
        consistent in quality, content, and length with similar 
        courses in public schools and other private schools in 
        the State, with recognized accepted standards.
          (2) There is in the institution adequate space, 
        equipment, instructional material, and instructor 
        personnel to provide training of good quality.
          (3) Educational and experience qualifications of 
        directors, administrators, and instructors are 
        adequate.
          (4) The institution maintains a written record of the 
        previous education and training of the eligible person 
        and clearly indicates that appropriate credit has been 
        given by the institution for previous education and 
        training, with the training period shortened 
        proportionately and the eligible person so notified.
          (5) A copy of the course outline, schedule of 
        tuition, fees, and other charges, regulations 
        pertaining to absence, grading policy, and rules of 
        operation and conduct will be furnished the eligible 
        person upon enrollment.
          (6) Upon completion of training, the eligible person 
        is given a certificate by the institution indicating 
        the approved course and indicating that training was 
        satisfactorily completed.
          (7) Adequate records as prescribed by the State 
        approving agency are kept to show attendance and 
        progress or grades, and satisfactory standards relating 
        to attendance, progress, and conduct are enforced.
          (8) The institution complies with all local, city, 
        county, municipal, State, and Federal regulations, such 
        as fire codes, building and sanitation codes. The State 
        approving agency may require such evidence of 
        compliance as is deemed necessary.
          (9) The institution is financially sound and capable 
        of fulfilling its commitments for training.
          (10) The institution does not utilize advertising of 
        any type which is erroneous or misleading, either by 
        actual statement, omission, or intimation. The 
        institution shall not be deemed to have met this 
        requirement until the State approving agency (A) has 
        ascertained from the Federal Trade Commission whether 
        the Commission has issued an order to the institution 
        to cease and desist from any act or practice, and (B) 
        has, if such an order has been issued, given due weight 
        to that fact.
          (11) The institution does not exceed its enrollment 
        limitations as established by the State approving 
        agency.
          (12) The institution's administrators, directors, 
        owners, and instructors are of good reputation and 
        character.
          (13) The institution has and maintains a policy for 
        the refund of the unused portion of tuition, fees, and 
        other charges in the event the eligible person fails to 
        enter the course or withdraws or is discontinued 
        therefrom at any time before completion and--
                  (A) in the case of an institution (other than 
                (i) a Federal, State, or local Government 
                institution or (ii) an institution described in 
                subparagraph (B)), such policy provides that 
                the amount charged to the eligible person for 
                tuition, fees, and other charges for a portion 
                of the course shall not exceed the approximate 
                pro rata portion of the total charges for 
                tuition, fees, and other charges that the 
                length of the completed portion of the course 
                bears to its total length; or
                  (B) in the case of an institution that is a 
                nonaccredited public educational institution, 
                the institution has and maintains a refund 
                policy regarding the unused portion of tuition, 
                fees, and other charges that is substantially 
                the same as the refund policy followed by 
                accredited public educational institutions 
                located within the same State as such 
                institution.
          (14) In the case of a program designed to prepare an 
        individual for licensure or certification in a State, 
        the program meets any instructional curriculum 
        licensure or certification requirements of such State.
          (15) In the case of a program designed to prepare an 
        individual for employment pursuant to standards 
        developed by a board or agency of a State in an 
        occupation that requires approval or licensure, the 
        program is approved or licensed by such board or agency 
        of the State.
          [(14)] (16) Such additional criteria as may be deemed 
        necessary by the State approving agency.
  (d) The Secretary may waive, in whole or in part, the 
requirements of subsection (c)(13) of this section in the case 
of an educational institution which--
          (1) is a college, university, or similar institution 
        offering postsecondary level academic instruction that 
        leads to an associate or higher degree,
          (2) is operated by an agency of a State or of a unit 
        of local government,
          (3) is located within such State or, in the case of 
        an institution operated by an agency of a unit of local 
        government, within the boundaries of the area over 
        which such unit has taxing jurisdiction, and
          (4) is a candidate for accreditation by a regional 
        accrediting association,
if the Secretary determines, pursuant to regulations which the 
Secretary shall prescribe, that such requirements would work an 
undue administrative hardship because the total amount of 
tuition, fees, and other charges at such institution is 
nominal.
  (e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, a 
course of education shall not be approved under this section if 
it is to be pursued in whole or in part by independent study.
  (f)(1) The Secretary may waive the requirements of paragraph 
(14) or (15) of subsection (c) in the case of a program of 
education offered by an educational institution if the 
Secretary determines all of the following:
          (A) The educational institution is not accredited by 
        an agency or association recognized by the Secretary of 
        Education.
          (B) The program did not meet the requirements of such 
        paragraph at any time during the two-year period 
        preceding the date of the waiver.
          (C) The waiver furthers the purposes of the 
        educational assistance programs administered by the 
        Secretary or would further the education interests of 
        individuals eligible for assistance under such 
        programs.
          (D) The educational institution does not provide any 
        commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based 
        directly or indirectly on success in securing 
        enrollments or financial aid to any persons or entities 
        engaged in any student recruiting or admission 
        activities or in making decisions regarding the award 
        of student financial assistance, except for the 
        recruitment of foreign students residing in foreign 
        countries who are not eligible to receive Federal 
        student assistance.
  (2) Not later than 30 days after the Secretary issues a 
waiver under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit to 
Congress notice of the waiver and the justification of the 
Secretary for issuing the waiver.

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Sec. 3679. Disapproval of courses

  (a) Any course approved for the purposes of this chapter 
which fails to meet any of the requirements of this chapter 
shall be immediately disapproved by the Secretary or the 
appropriate State approving agency. An educational institution 
which has its courses disapproved by the Secretary or a State 
approving agency will be notified of such disapproval by a 
certified or registered letter of notification and a return 
receipt secured.
  (b) Each State approving agency shall notify the Secretary of 
each course which it has disapproved under this section. The 
Secretary shall notify the State approving agency of the 
Secretary's disapproval of any educational institution under 
chapter 31 of this title.
  (c)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter 
and subject to paragraphs (3) through (6), the Secretary shall 
disapprove a course of education provided by a public 
institution of higher learning if the institution charges 
tuition and fees for that course for covered individuals who 
are pursuing the course with educational assistance under 
chapter 30 or 33 of this title while living in the State in 
which the institution is located at a rate that is higher than 
the rate the institution charges for tuition and fees for that 
course for residents of the State in which the institution is 
located, regardless of the covered individual's State of 
residence.
  (2) For purposes of this subsection, a covered individual is 
any individual as follows:
          (A) A veteran who was discharged or released from a 
        period of not fewer than 90 days of service in the 
        active military, naval, or air service less than three 
        years before the date of enrollment in the course 
        concerned.
          (B) An individual who is entitled to assistance under 
        section 3311(b)(9) or 3319 of this title by virtue of 
        such individual's relationship to a veteran described 
        in subparagraph (A).
  (3) If after enrollment in a course of education that is 
subject to disapproval under paragraph (1) by reason of 
paragraph (2)(A) or (2)(B) a covered individual pursues one or 
more courses of education at the same public institution of 
higher learning while remaining continuously enrolled (other 
than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, 
semesters or terms) at that institution of higher learning, any 
course so pursued by the covered individual at that institution 
of higher learning while so continuously enrolled shall also be 
subject to disapproval under paragraph (1).
  (4) It shall not be grounds to disapprove a course of 
education under paragraph (1) if a public institution of higher 
learning requires a covered individual pursuing a course of 
education at the institution to demonstrate an intent, by means 
other than satisfying a physical presence requirement, to 
establish residency in the State in which the institution is 
located, or to satisfy other requirements not relating to the 
establishment of residency, in order to be charged tuition and 
fees for that course at a rate that is equal to or less than 
the rate the institution charges for tuition and fees for that 
course for residents of the State.
  (5) The Secretary may waive such requirements of paragraph 
(1) as the Secretary considers appropriate.
  (6) Disapproval under paragraph (1) shall apply only with 
respect to educational assistance under chapters 30 and 33 of 
this title.
  (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the 
Secretary shall disapprove a course of education described in 
section 3676(c)(14) or (15) unless the educational institution 
providing the course of education publicly discloses any 
conditions or additional requirements, including training, 
experience, or exams, required to obtain the license, 
certification, or approval for which the course of education is 
designed to provide preparation.

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