[House Report 114-727]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


114th Congress    }                                   {         Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                   {        114-727

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



 
                 VETERANS SUCCESS ON CAMPUS ACT OF 2016

                                _______
                                

 September 7, 2016.--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

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 5178]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 5178) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide educational 
and vocational counseling for veterans on campuses of 
institutions of higher learning, and for other purposes, 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..............................................     4
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     5
Hearings.........................................................    11
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................    12
Committee Consideration..........................................    12
Committee Votes..................................................    13
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................    16
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    16
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures    16
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................    16
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    16
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................    16
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................    19
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    19
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................    19
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................    19
Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs.....................    19
Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking................................    19
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    19
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............    22
Dissenting Views.................................................    33

                               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 ``Veterans Success on Campus Act of 
2016''.

SEC. 2. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS PROVISION OF ON-CAMPUS 
                    EDUCATIONAL AND VOCATIONAL COUNSELING FOR VETERANS.

  (a) In General.--Chapter 36 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting after section 3697A the following new section:

``Sec. 3697B. On-campus educational and vocational counseling

  ``(a) In General.--The Secretary shall provide educational and 
vocational counseling services for veterans at locations on the 
campuses of institutions of higher learning selected by the Secretary. 
Such counseling services shall be provided by employees of the 
Department who provide such services under section 3697A of this title.
  ``(b) Selection of Locations.--(1) To be selected by the Secretary 
under this section, an institution of higher learning shall provide an 
appropriate space on the campus of the institution where counseling 
services can be provided under this section.
  ``(2) In selecting locations for the provision of counseling services 
under this section, the Secretary shall seek to select locations where 
the maximum number of veterans would have access to such services.
  ``(c) Annual Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this section, and each year thereafter, the Secretary 
shall submit to Congress a report on the counseling services provided 
under this section. Such report shall include, for the year covered by 
the report--
          ``(1) the average ratio of counselors providing such services 
        to veterans who received such services at each location where 
        such services were provided;
          ``(2) a description of such services provided;
          ``(3) the recommendations of the Secretary for improving the 
        provision of such services; and
          ``(4) any other matters the Secretary determines 
        appropriate.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 
3697A the following new item:

``3697B. On-campus educational and vocational counseling.''.

SEC. 3. CHARGE TO ENTITLEMENT FOR CERTAIN LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION 
                    TESTS AND NATIONAL TESTS UNDER DEPARTMENT OF 
                    VETERANS AFFAIRS POST-9/11 EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE 
                    PROGRAM.

  (a) Licensure and Certification Tests.--Section 3315(c) of title 38, 
United States Code, is amended by striking ``shall be determined'' and 
all that follows and inserting ``shall be pro-rated based on the actual 
amount of the fee charged for the test.''.
  (b) National Tests.--Section 3315A of such title is amended--
          (1) in subsection (a), by adding at the end the following new 
        paragraph:
          ``(3) A national test that evaluates prior learning and 
        knowledge and provides an opportunity for course credit at an 
        institution of higher learning as so described.''; and
          (2) in subsection (c), by striking ``shall be determined'' 
        and all that follows and inserting ``shall be pro-rated based 
        on the actual amount of the fee charged for the test.''.
  (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this Act shall apply to a 
test taken after the date that is 90 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. MODIFICATION OF PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN RATES PAYABLE UNDER 
                    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS EDUCATIONAL 
                    ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS.

  (a) All-Volunteer Force.--Section 3015(h)(2) of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended--
          (1) by striking ``fiscal year 2014'' and inserting ``fiscal 
        year 2025''; and
          (2) by striking ``fiscal year 2013'' and inserting ``fiscal 
        year 2024''.
  (b) Survivors and Dependents.--Section 3564(b) of such title is 
amended--
          (1) by striking ``fiscal year 2014'' and inserting ``fiscal 
        year 2025''; and
          (2) by striking ``fiscal year 2013'' and inserting ``fiscal 
        year 2024''.

SEC. 5. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY FOR VETERANS' ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON 
                    EDUCATION.

  Section 3692(c) of such title is amended by striking ``December 31, 
2016'' and inserting ``December 31, 2021''.

SEC. 6. TRAINING FOR SCHOOL CERTIFYING OFFICIALS.

  (a) Training Requirement.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall, 
in consultation with the State approving agencies, set forth 
requirements relating to training for school certifying officials 
employed by covered educational institutions offering courses of 
education approved under chapter 36 of title 38, United States Code. If 
a covered educational institution does not ensure that a school 
certifying official employed by the educational institution meets such 
requirements, the Secretary may disapprove any course of education 
offered by such educational institution.
  (b) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) The term ``covered educational institution'' means an 
        educational institution that has enrolled 20 or more 
        individuals using educational assistance under title 38, United 
        States Code.
          (2) The term ``school certifying official'' means an employee 
        of an educational institution with primary responsibility for 
        certifying veteran enrollment at the educational institution.
          (3) The term ``State approving agency'' means a department or 
        agency of a State designated under section 3671 of title 38, 
        United States Code.

SEC. 7. LIMITATION ON USE OF REPORTING FEES PAYABLE TO EDUCATIONAL 
                    INSTITUTIONS AND JOINT APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING 
                    COMMITTEES.

  Section 3684(c) of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read 
as follows:
  ``(c)(1) The Secretary may pay to any educational institution, or to 
the sponsor of a program of apprenticeship, furnishing education or 
training under either this chapter or chapter 31, 34, or 35 of this 
title, a reporting fee which will be in lieu of any other compensation 
or reimbursement for reports or certifications which such educational 
institution or joint apprenticeship training committee is required to 
submit to the Secretary by law or regulation.
  ``(2) Such reporting fee shall be computed for each calendar year by 
multiplying $12 by the number of eligible veterans or eligible persons 
enrolled under this chapter or chapter 31, 34, or 35 of this title, or 
$15 in the case of those eligible veterans and eligible persons whose 
educational assistance checks are directed in care of each institution 
for temporary custody and delivery and are delivered at the time of 
registration as provided under section 3680(d)(4) of this title, during 
the calendar year. The reporting fee shall be paid to such educational 
institution or joint apprenticeship training committee as soon as 
feasible after the end of the calendar year for which it is applicable.
  ``(3) No reporting fee payable to an educational institution under 
this subsection shall be subject to offset by the Secretary against any 
liability of such institution for any overpayment for which such 
institution may be administratively determined to be liable under 
section 3685 of this title unless such liability is not contested by 
such institution or has been upheld by a final decree of a court of 
appropriate jurisdiction.
  ``(4) Any reporting fee paid to an educational institution or joint 
apprenticeship training committee after the date of the enactment of 
the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2011 
(Public Law 111-377)--
          ``(A) shall be utilized by such institution or committee 
        solely for the making of certifications required under this 
        chapter or chapter 31, 34, or 35 of this title or for otherwise 
        supporting programs for veterans; and
          ``(B) with respect to an institution that has 75 or more 
        enrollees described in paragraph (2), may not be used for or 
        merged with amounts available for the general fund of the 
        educational institution or joint apprenticeship training 
        committee.
  ``(5) The reporting fee payable under this subsection shall be paid 
from amounts appropriated for readjustment benefits.''.

SEC. 8. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS INSPECTOR GENERAL HEIGHTENED 
                    SCRUTINY OF PROGRAMS OF EDUCATION.

  (a) In General.--Subchapter II of chapter 36 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 3699. Inspector General heightened scrutiny of programs of 
                    education

  ``(a) Heightened Scrutiny Required.--The Inspector General of the 
Department shall apply heightened scrutiny to any program of education 
if any Federal or State agency has made a final judgment or settlement 
that the program of education used deceptive or misleading practices 
that are potentially in violation of section 3696 of this title.
  ``(b) Notice to Students.--(1) Upon commencement of heightened 
scrutiny with respect to a program of education under this section, the 
Secretary shall provide notice of the heightened scrutiny and the 
reasons for such heightened scrutiny to any individual who--
          ``(A) is enrolled in a course of education approved under 
        this chapter provided by the program of education; and
          ``(B) is entitled to educational assistance under the laws 
        administered by the Secretary.
  ``(2) The Secretary shall provide to any individual who receives 
notice under this subsection advice that the individual--
          ``(A) request a copy of the individual's transcript; and
          ``(B) seek counseling from an appropriate advisor about 
        transferring any credits earned at the program of education.
  ``(c) Monitoring of Allegations.--The Secretary shall monitor 
allegations of deceptive and misleading practices made against programs 
of education offering courses of education approved for purposes of 
this chapter, including Federal and State investigations. The Secretary 
shall include information about any such allegation on the GI Bill 
Comparison Tool, or any similar Internet website of the Department.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to 
subchapter II the following new item:

``3699. Inspector General heightened scrutiny of programs of 
education.''.

SEC. 9. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS DISAPPROVAL OF COURSES OF 
                    EDUCATION OFFERED BY INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER 
                    LEARNING ACCUSED OF CERTAIN DECEPTIVE OR MISLEADING 
                    PRACTICES.

  Section 3679 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at 
the end the following new subsection:
  ``(d)(1) The Secretary shall disapprove a course of education 
provided by an institution of higher learning if the Secretary 
determines pursuant to heightened scrutiny applied by the Inspector 
General under section 3699 of this title that the institution of higher 
learning has engaged in practices that are in violation of section 3696 
of this title.
  ``(2) The Secretary shall provide counseling services to individuals 
enrolled in a course of education disapproved under paragraph (1) to 
assist such individuals in transferring to another institution of 
higher learning.''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 5178, the ``Veterans Success on Campus Act of 2016,'' 
was introduced by Representative Brad Wenstrup of Ohio on May 
10, 2016. H.R. 5178, as amended, was ordered to be favorably 
reported to the full House on May 18, 2016. This legislation 
incorporates the text of H.R. 5178; H.R. 5174, the ``Veterans 
Education Enhancement Act of 2016,'' introduced by 
Representative Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen on May 10, 2016; 
and H.R. 5175, the ``GI Bill Oversight Act of 2016,'' 
introduced by Representative Mark Takano of California on May 
10, 2016.
    H.R. 5178, as amended, would: (1) codify the Department of 
Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Success on Campus Program 
(VSOC); (2) change how a veteran's G.I. Bill entitlement is 
charged for licensing and certification tests and national 
tests so that a veteran is charged at a pro-rated amount 
instead of an entire month's entitlement for one test; (3) 
round down to the nearest dollar, the cost of living adjustment 
for Survivors' and Dependents Education Assistance (DEA) and 
Montgomery G.I. Bill recipients; (4) extend the VA Secretary's 
(Secretary) advisory committee on education for five years; (5) 
require additional training for School Certifying Officials 
(SCO) who process G.I. Bill paperwork; and (6) require VA's 
Office of Inspector General (VAOIG) to provide heightened 
scrutiny to G.I. Bill eligible schools where a final judgement 
has been made that they used deceptive or deceiving marketing 
practices to attract students and would require VA to provide 
notice to student veterans attending these schools of this 
final judgement as well as flag the school on VA's G.I. Bill 
Comparison Tool.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


Section 2--Department of Veterans Affairs provision of on-campus 
        educational vocational counseling for veterans

    VA initiated VSOC as a pilot program in 2009 at the 
University of South Florida, and the program has since expanded 
to a total of 94 college campuses nationwide. The mission of 
the VSOC program is to assist student veterans and their 
qualified dependents as they attend institutions of higher 
learning (IHL) through education and employment counseling, VA 
benefits assistance, and other necessary counseling assistance. 
Further, VA provides at least one Vocational Rehabilitation and 
Employment (VR&E) counselor at each VSOC location to help 
individuals who qualify for VR&E benefits and other G.I. Bill 
recipients with their education programs, their VA benefits, 
any necessary health referrals, employment counseling, etc.
    The VSOC program is a positive resource for student 
veterans and their dependents as they attend school either 
through the G.I. Bill or VR&E, and gives individuals on-campus 
access to all-encompassing counseling programs. A clear example 
of the benefits of VSOC was presented in the testimony of Mr. 
William Hubbard, Vice President of Government Affairs for 
Student Veterans of America, at an October 22, 2015, 
Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity oversight hearing 
entitled, ``A Review of VA's VetSuccess on Campus Program'' in 
which he stated:

        We frequently hear student veterans identify the VSOC 
        program as a top benefit that they find to be most 
        valuable for their higher education experience. When 
        surveying over 30 student veterans from 12 schools that 
        participate in the VSOC program, the response was 
        overwhelmingly positive.

    The Committee is concerned, however, that since VSOC is 
currently only a program implemented by VA policy and is not a 
statutorily required program, that there is a possibility of VA 
ending the program, or that there could be difficulty in 
funding and expanding the program to more IHLs across the 
country. Section 2 of H.R. 5178, as amended, would require the 
Secretary to provide these services at IHLs selected by the 
Secretary and would codify the VSOC program. Amending title 38, 
U.S.C., to make VSOC a statutorily required program ensures 
that VA will continue the program, and as a result of its 
codification, it is the Committee's intent that VSOC will be 
expanded to more IHLs in the future if necessary resources are 
identified. The Committee believes that expanding VSOC to more 
campuses will grant access to the beneficial services that the 
program offers to more veterans and provide more veterans with 
the resources for a seamless transition from the military into 
their civilian life as a student veteran.

Section 3--Charge to entitlement for certain licensure and 
        certification tests and national tests under Department of 
        Veterans Affairs post-9/11 educational assistance

    As servicemembers transition out of the military and into 
civilian life, there continues to be concern among veterans' 
groups and other stakeholders that the civilian sector does not 
always comprehend the skills that veterans have gained from 
their service and therefore fails to translate them into 
civilian skills or abilities. Although this conversation and 
concern has been more heavily focused on translating military 
skills into jobs in the civilian sector, groups have also been 
concerned that veterans are not given the opportunity to 
translate many of their skills, training credentials, and 
knowledge that they have gained from their military expertise 
into school credit. The Committee and other stakeholders 
believe that it would benefit veterans if they had the ability 
to undergo an assessment or take a test to demonstrate any 
skills they gained through their service that could qualify for 
school credit. The Committee believes that allowing veterans to 
have the potential to translate their skills for academic 
reasons could assist the veteran in utilizing their G.I. Bill 
benefits in a more efficient manner. This would allow veterans 
to test out of a class if they are eligible based on any 
training or skills they gained in the military, would reduce 
any waste of taxpayer money on a class that is unnecessary for 
them to take, and would expand the options to use their G.I. 
Bill benefits for additional courses in the future.
    Section 3 of H.R. 5178, as amended, would address these 
concerns by allowing an individual who is entitled to the Post 
9/11 G.I. Bill to use their education benefits to pay for a 
national test that evaluates their prior learning, knowledge, 
and training and could provide them with appropriate course 
credit at an IHL. The Committee believes that by recognizing 
the prior experience and credentials that servicemen and women 
have as they transition out of the military through a test, 
could garner them class credit and will give them more 
opportunities to advance in their degree in a more efficient 
and meaningful manner.
    This Section would also ensure any national tests or 
licensing and credentialing tests, as well as certain benefits 
under sections 3315 and 3315A of title 38, U.S.C., are charged 
against an individual's entitlement at a pro-rated rate. Under 
current law, licensing and credentialing tests or any national 
tests, despite their cost, are charged as a full month against 
a veteran's entitlement. The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill only provides 
up to 36 months of entitlement, and although the Committee 
believes that these tests are beneficial for a veteran's 
educational success, a veteran should not have to lose an 
entire month's entitlement for a single test that could cost 
only $100.

Section 4--Modification of percentage increase in rates payable under 
        Department of Veterans Affairs educational assistance programs

    On an annual basis, Congress works to pass a cost of living 
adjustment (COLA) for veterans' disability compensation 
benefits to reflect increased living expenses in the economy. 
From fiscal year 1990 through fiscal year 2013, the law 
required a round-down to the nearest dollar of this annual 
increase. This round-down had been used during this time on a 
bi-partisan basis to offset the costs associated with improving 
or expanding veterans' benefits.
    Benefits administered for the Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB) 
and Dependents Education Assistance (DEA), under chapters 30 
and 35 of title 38, U.S.C., respectively, also receive a COLA 
increase to maintain the same growth as the economy. Section 
3015(h)(1) of title 38, U.S.C., requires the Secretary to 
provide a percentage increase annually that is equal to the 
growth in the average cost of undergraduate tuition in the 
United States for the prior academic year as determined by the 
National Center for Education. Section 3564(a) requires this 
same growth for survivors' and dependents using chapter 35 
education benefits, so that the percentage increase is equal to 
the percentage growth of the Consumer Price Index for the prior 
12 months. Both of these sections also required a COLA round-
down to the next lower whole dollar amount until the end of 
fiscal year 2013.
    The Committee notes that over the past 21 years, the U.S. 
House of Representatives has passed a COLA round-down 35 times, 
and until 2013, the annual COLA bill also included language 
requiring the round-down. It is also important to note that 
since the lapse of the COLA round-down for MGIB and DEA 
benefits in 2013, this round-down has been used twice in 
legislation as an offset to costs of bills that improved 
benefits and service to veterans--H.R. 671, the ``Ruth Moore 
Act,'' introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) in the 113th 
Congress and H.R. 2256, the ``Veterans Information 
Modernization Act,'' introduced by Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) in 
2015. Further, both bills were reported out of Committee 
unanimously by voice vote, and both bills also passed out of 
the House unanimously, irrespective of the inclusion of this 
COLA round-down.
    Section 4 of H.R. 5178, as amended, would strike fiscal 
year 2013 from both sections for MGIB and DEA benefits and 
extend the round-down to the next lower whole dollar amount 
until the end of fiscal year 2024.

Section 5--Extension of authority for Veterans' Advisory Committee on 
        Education

    The Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (P.L. 92-463) 
was enacted by Congress to formalize the value of the Executive 
Branch to create advisory committees and enlist the input of 
individuals when executing federal statutes and regulations. 
These advisory committees and the individuals on them are 
tasked with ensuring that the intent of the law is being 
properly followed. VA currently has 25 advisory committees, 15 
of which are statutorily required and 10 of which were created 
by the Secretary as policies and programs have been created 
within the Department.
    The Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education is a 
statutorily required committee originally created in the 
Veterans' Readjustment Benefits Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-358), 
which has been amended over the years as the G.I. Bill has 
transformed and other education benefits have been enacted into 
law. This committee is responsible for advising the Secretary 
on how to best administer any education benefits under chapters 
30, 32, 33, 35, and 36 of title 38, U.S.C., and chapter 1606 of 
title 10, U.S.C. Since this advisory committee was originally 
created in 1966, it has continued to have its authority 
extended over the years so that it could continue its function 
and advisement role.
    According to VA, as of February 2016, it has issued $60.2 
billion in Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits since the program's 
inception in August 2009--this amount does not account for 
education benefits also issued by the Department under chapters 
30, 32, 35, and 36 of title 38, U.S.C., or chapter 1606 of 
title 10, U.S.C. The Committee believes that with the ever-
growing amount of funding provided by VA for education benefits 
and as the higher education system continues to change and 
develop, the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education is still 
needed to ensure proper recommendations are being made to the 
Secretary and Congress. Section 5 of H.R. 5178, as amended, 
therefore, would extend the authority of the Veterans' Advisory 
Committee on Education to December 31, 2021 to ensure that the 
Secretary continues to receive insight and advice on the 
efficiency of the administration of education benefits to 
servicemembers, veterans, reservists and eligible dependents.

Section 6--Training for school certifying officials

    VA education benefits are administered through the 
collaboration of multiple individuals, from the VA claims 
processors down to each IHL. Each IHL has an SCO who is 
responsible with verifying and certifying a G.I. Bill-eligible 
individual's attendance at the school and enrollment 
information. The SCO then sends this information to VA each 
semester so VA can issue the proper payments to both the school 
and the individual. An SCO is expected to understand all of the 
VA education benefits for which veterans or their dependents 
may be eligible, and must know how to properly certify each 
individual so that VA can pay them their living and book 
stipend as well as ensure that the school receives their 
tuition payments in a timely manner.
    The Committee has often found that an SCO is tasked with 
handling G.I. Bill benefits in addition to other financial 
advisory roles at the IHL, which could overburden them if they 
are not properly trained to certify title 38 education 
assistance benefits. In recent years, the Committee has found 
that, due to other VA priorities when processing education 
benefits as well as the additional workload placed on the State 
Approving Agencies (SAAs) who are tasked with training SCOs 
during their on-site visits to an IHL, many SCOs are not 
consistently receiving the proper training they need to do 
their job. According to a 2015 Government Accountability Office 
(GAO) report entitled, ``Post 9/11 G.I. Bill: Additional 
Actions Needed to Help Reduce Overpayments and Increase 
Collections,'' VA lacks the authority to require training for 
SCOs despite how complicated it can be to properly process 
veterans' information.\1\ Furthermore, the report found that 
due to the complexity of administering Post 9/11 G.I. Bill 
benefits, VA paid out approximately $28 million in overpayments 
to schools and students in fiscal year 2014. Subsequently, Dr. 
Joe Wescott, Legislative Director for the National Association 
of State Approving Agencies, testified at an April 16, 2016, 
Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity legislative hearing, 
stating:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-42.

        We do not think it is unreasonable to conclude that the 
        reduction in on-site training during SAA supervisory 
        visits has played a role in the percentage of G.I. Bill 
        overpayments due to certifying official errors, as 
        discussed in the GAO report from October 2015 entitled 
        ``Additional Actions Needed to Help Reduce Overpayments 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        and Increase Collections.

    The Committee recognizes the need and importance for 
mandatory training for SCOs to ensure that a program, as 
expensive as the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, is administered properly 
at all levels. Further, the Committee believes that it is 
critical that schools should also understand the merits of 
requiring their SCOs to go through training if the IHL is going 
to continue to receive G.I. Bill funds. Therefore, H.R. 5178, 
as amended, would require the Secretary, in consultation with 
the SAAs, to set forth training requirements for SCOs and would 
allow the Secretary to disapprove any IHL that does not meet 
these requirements. The Committee believes that increasing 
training and understanding of how to efficiently and correctly 
input and process veterans' information at the school level 
will decrease overpayments as well as benefit veterans as they 
utilize their education assistance benefits so they are able to 
receive payments in a more timely manner.

Section 7--Limitation on use of reporting fees payable to educational 
        institutions and joint apprenticeship training committees

    Under section 3684 of title 38, U.S.C., VA is required to 
pay each IHL in which a veteran is enrolled, a fee for each 
individual an SCO certifies and processes information for VA 
for education assistance benefits. These fees are known as 
reporting fees and are meant to be used by the schools to help 
pay for the administrative costs of an SCO when they certify 
veterans and eligible dependents for benefits, as well as help 
finance SCOs to attend VA-conducted training. The Committee has 
heard concerns from SCOs that the reporting fees paid to the 
schools for the work the SCOs do, are often placed into the 
school's general fund, which then pays for other programs at 
the IHL. The Committee believes that these fees should remain 
solely for the administrative costs of certifying veterans' 
benefits and for the training of the SCOs and not for other 
missions and programs of the schools that are not related to 
veterans or the benefits they receive from VA.
    Section 7 of H.R. 5178, as amended, would reiterate the 
intent of section 3684(c) of title 38, U.S.C., requiring VA to 
issue reporting fees to G.I. Bill approved schools and that 
these fees be used by the schools only for SCO training and 
administrative costs of certifying education assistance 
benefits. Section 7 would also amend section 3684(c) of title 
38, U.S.C., to prohibit any institution with more than 75 
students from merging any of the reporting fees received from 
VA into the school's general fund. The Committee understands 
that smaller institutions with fewer G.I. Bill certified 
students may not have separate funds for the SCOs and may put 
all fees into a general fund while still utilizing the 
reporting fees for the requirements of section 3684 of title 
38, U.S.C. The Committee, however, wants to ensure that any 
school with more than 75 G.I. Bill certified students does not 
allow the reporting fees to go into the institution's general 
fund and must be a separate fund for the SCOs and the cost of 
administering education benefits. The Committee hopes that by 
reiterating the requirements of section 3684 of title 38, 
U.S.C., and by placing this new requirement on schools to not 
include money received from VA into their general fund, will 
further improve training and the administration of VA education 
assistance benefits.

Section 8--Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General heightened 
        scrutiny of programs of education

    As mentioned above, according to the Department, VA has 
paid approximately $60.2 billion dollars in Post-9/11 GI Bill 
benefits for college and technical training to more than 1.5 
million students from August 2009 to February 2016. The 
Committee believes that most education programs receiving these 
funds do an excellent job educating our nation's veterans, but 
unfortunately, there have been several examples of schools that 
recruit veterans to low-quality, high-cost education programs 
merely to access their GI Bill dollars. The VA has current 
statutory authority under Section 3696(a) of title 38, U.S.C., 
to revoke G.I. Bill eligibility for IHLs when it is determined 
that they have used ``advertising, sales, or enrollment 
practices of any type which are erroneous, deceptive, or 
misleading.'' However, VA does not have the resources to 
investigate every school that may be utilizing inappropriate 
practices to recruit and retain students at their schools.
    Fortunately, several other Federal agencies, as well as the 
States, are also responsible for eradicating deceptive 
practices among schools receiving government funds. The 
Department of Education, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer 
Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Justice, and other 
agencies, in addition to several State Attorneys General and 
states' Departments of Education are able to investigate IHLs 
when necessary and take actions against them when appropriate. 
In some cases, these agencies have made determinations or 
allegations that a school misled students in violation of 
Federal or State policy, but because VA and the SAAs have 
continued to approve the school, student veterans continued to 
expend their limited G.I. Bill benefits at the school. For 
example, the VA failed to take action under section 3696 of 
title 38, U.S.C., when the Department of Education suspended 
and then revoked eligibility for Corinthian Colleges, Inc., to 
receive Title IV education benefits, although the approval of 
several campuses were withdrawn or suspended based on action of 
several SAAs. Soon thereafter, Corinthian Colleges went 
bankrupt, and student veterans who had been attending lost the 
time, effort, and limited G.I. Bill eligibility they had 
expended at a school that no longer existed. While the 
Committee does not believe that VA must revoke approval of a 
school following every final finding or settlement against a 
school for deceptive or misleading practices, the Committee 
does want there to be full transparency between schools, VA, 
and student veterans, as well as their eligible dependents, 
when these instances occur.
    Section 8 of H.R. 5178, as amended, would require the VAOIG 
to apply heightened scrutiny when another Federal agency or a 
State agency makes a final judgement or settlement that an 
education program has used deceptive or misleading practices 
that potentially violate section 3696(a) of title 38, U.S.C. 
The VAOIG has flexibility to determine application of 
``heightened scrutiny,'' but in general, the goal is to require 
the VAOIG to take a look at a school's records when another 
Federal agency, or a State, finds that the school has used 
deceptive or misleading practices, to examine whether the 
school's eligibility for VA education assistance benefits may 
be impacted.
    This Section would also require VA to notify student 
veterans that their school is facing heightened scrutiny under 
these circumstances in addition to VA's current practice of 
adding a caution flag to the G.I. Bill Comparison Tool in these 
instances. Section 8 would also require VA to recommend to 
impacted G.I. Bill users that they request a copy of their 
transcript from the school's registrar and seek counseling from 
a college advisor or other entity to understand their options 
to transfer earned credits to another G.I. Bill eligible IHL. 
This knowledge will empower student veterans to choose the best 
use of their hard-earned VA education benefits.
    Section 8 would also require the VA to monitor both State 
and Federal allegations of deceptive and misleading practices 
at schools that offer courses of education approved for G.I. 
Bill benefits. The goal is to increase awareness of the efforts 
of other government agencies and improve their communication to 
prevent fraud and abuse by schools that receive any government 
funding. VA should not have to reinvent the wheel each time it 
suspects a school may not be serving student veterans. This 
provision would be an additional tool to eliminate the silo 
effect among separate government agencies that are all 
concerned about the same problem: identifying schools that 
prioritize marketing to and recruiting students who receive 
government education funding, rather than prioritizing the 
quality of the education they offer or the graduation and 
employment outcomes that will best serve those students.

Section 9--Department of Veterans Affairs disapproval of courses of 
        education offered by institutions of higher learning accused of 
        certain deceptive or misleading practices

    Section 9 of H.R. 5178, as amended, would require the 
Secretary to disapprove a course of education if the Secretary 
determines that the VAOIG's findings show that an IHL has used 
advertising, sales, or enrollment practices which are 
erroneous, deceptive, or misleading, in violation of section 
3696(a) of title 38, U.S.C. In effect, while Section 8 of this 
bill would provide a new mechanism for VA to determine whether 
a school has used deceptive practices, Section 9 would simply 
require VA to implement current law. Section 9 would also 
require VA to provide counseling services to any Post-9/11 G.I. 
Bill beneficiary enrolled in a program of education that has 
been disapproved, to help him or her transfer to a quality IHL.

                                Hearings

    On April 14, 2016, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
conducted a legislative hearing on various draft bills and 
bills introduced during the 114th Congress, including the 
drafts of H.R. 5174, H.R. 5175, and H.R. 5178, all of which are 
included in H.R. 5178, as amended.
    The following witnesses testified:
          The Honorable Jeff Miller, U.S. House of 
        Representatives, 1st District of Florida; The Honorable 
        David McKinley, U.S. House of Representatives, 1st 
        District of West Virginia; The Honorable Paul Cook, 
        U.S. House of Representatives, 8th District of 
        California; The Honorable Martha McSally, U.S. House of 
        Representatives, 2nd District of Arizona; Mr. Curtis L. 
        Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity, 
        Veterans Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of 
        Veterans Affairs, who was accompanied by Ms. Carin 
        Otero, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for HR 
        Policy and Planning, Office of Human Resources and 
        Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; 
        Mr. Sam Shellenberger, Deputy Assistant Secretary for 
        Operations, Veterans' Employment and Training Service, 
        U.S. Department of Labor; Mr. Davy Leghorn, Assistant 
        Director of the Veterans Employment and Education 
        Division, The American Legion; Dr. Joseph W. Wescott, 
        Legislative Director, National Association of State 
        Approving Agencies; Mr. Walter Ochinko, Policy 
        Director, Veterans Education Success; Mr. Jared Lyon, 
        President & CEO, Student Veterans of America; and Mr. 
        Aleks Morosky, Deputy Director of the National 
        Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the 
        United States.
    A Statement for the Record was submitted by the following:
          Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of 
        Veterans Affairs.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On May 11, 2016, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
met in open markup session, a quorum being present, and ordered 
H.R. 5174, as amended, H.R. 5175, and H.R. 5178 favorably 
forwarded to the full Committee. During consideration of the 
bills, the following amendments were considered:
          An amendment offered by Representative Mark Takano of 
        California to H.R. 5174, to remove the provision that 
        would require a decrease to the cost of living 
        adjustment for Chapter 35 and Montgomery G.I. Bill 
        recipients. The amendment was not agreed to and failed 
        by voice vote.
          A second amendment offered by Representative Mark 
        Takano of California to H.R. 5174, to clarify that an 
        individual's basic allowance for housing stipend would 
        only be reduced for a student whose rate of pursuit 
        drops to less than full time. The amendment was agreed 
        to and passed by voice vote.
    A motion by Representative Mark Takano to favorably forward 
H.R. 5174, H.R. 5175, as amended, and H.R. 5178, to the full 
Committee was agreed to by voice vote.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 18, 2016, the full Committee met in open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 5178, as 
amended, favorably reported to the House of Representatives by 
voice vote. During consideration of the bill, the following 
amendments were considered:
          An amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by 
        Representative Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, which combined 
        the text of H.R. 5174, as amended, H.R. 5175, and H.R. 
        5178. The amendment in the nature of a substitute was 
        agreed to by the full Committee by a recorded vote of 
        14 yeas, 9 noes, and 1 Member not voting.
          An amendment to the amendment in the nature of 
        substitute offered by Representative Mark Takano of 
        California, which would have removed the provision that 
        would require a decrease to the cost of living 
        adjustment for Chapter 35 and Montgomery G.I. Bill 
        recipients. The amendment to the amendment in the 
        nature of a substitute was not agreed to by the full 
        Committee by a recorded vote of 10 yeas, 13 noes, and 1 
        Member not voting.
    A motion by Representative Doug Lamborn of Colorado to 
favorably report H.R. 5178, as amended, to the U.S. House of 
Representatives was adopted by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the results of the recorded votes 
that were taken on amendments or in connection with ordering 
H.R. 5178, as amended, reported to the House, are as follows:
          An amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by 
        Representative Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, which combined 
        the text of H.R. 5174, as amended, H.R. 5175, and H.R. 
        5178. The amendment in the nature of a substitute was 
        agreed to by the Full Committee by a recorded vote of 
        14 yeas, 9 noes, and 1 Member not voting.
          An amendment to the amendment in the nature of 
        substitute offered by Representative Mark Takano of 
        California, which would have removed the provision that 
        would require a decrease to the cost of living 
        adjustment for Chapter 35 and Montgomery G.I. Bill 
        recipients. The amendment to the amendment in the 
        nature of a substitute was not agreed to by the full 
        Committee on a recorded vote of 10 yeas, 13 noes, and 1 
        Member not voting.
        
        
                      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 Committee's 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's performance 
goals and objectives are that the Secretary will use these 
provisions to improve education programs and opportunities 
provided to veterans and their dependents through the G.I. 
Bill, while also improving oversight of schools where veterans 
and their dependents are using their G.I. Bill benefits.

   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. 5178, 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. 
5178, 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. 5178, 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, August 19, 2016.
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. 5178, the Veterans 
Success on Campus Act of 2016.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we would be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is David Newman.
            Sincerely,
                                             Mark P. Hadley
                                        (For Keith Hall, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 5178--Veterans Success on Campus Act of 2016

    Summary: H.R. 5178 would reduce the cost-of-living 
adjustment (COLA) for recipients of certain education benefits 
that are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs 
(VA). The bill also would increase the total amount of 
education benefits that are available under the Post-9/11 GI 
Bill. In total, the bill would reduce net direct spending by 
$18 million over the 2017-2026 period, CBO estimates.
    Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the 
legislation would affect direct spending. Enacting the bill 
would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not 
increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of 
the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
    H.R. 5178 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of H.R. 5178 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 700 
(veterans benefits and services).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     2017    2018    2019    2020    2021    2022    2023    2024    2025    2026   2017-2021  2017-2026
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      INCREASES OR DECREASES (-) IN DIRECT SPENDING
 
COLA Round Down:
    Estimated Budget Authority....................      -1      -1      -1      -2      -2      -2      -3      -3      -3      -3        -7        -21
    Estimated Outlays.............................      -1      -1      -1      -2      -2      -2      -3      -3      -3      -3        -7        -21
Payments for Tests:
    Estimated Budget Authority....................       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *         1          3
    Estimated Outlays.............................       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *         1          3
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Budget Authority................      -1      -1      -1      -2      -2      -2      -3      -3      -3      -3        -6        -18
        Estimated Outlays.........................      -1      -1      -1      -2      -2      -2      -3      -3      -3      -3        -6        -18
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Details do not add to totals because of rounding; COLA = Cost-of-Living Adjustment; * = less than $500,000.

    Basis of estimate: CBO assumes that the bill will be 
enacted near the start of fiscal year 2017. Enacting H.R. 5178 
would affect the education benefits available under three 
programs administered by VA. The bill would reduce the cost-of-
living adjustment (COLA) for two programs and would increase 
the total benefits available under the Post-9/11 GI Bill for 
some beneficiaries who take certain tests.
    COLA round down: The monthly benefits paid under the 
educational assistance program for survivors and dependents and 
the Montgomery GI Bill are increased annually by changes in the 
cost of living. Under section 4 of the bill, the amount of 
those adjusted payments would be rounded down to the next whole 
dollar for fiscal years 2017 through 2024. Based on CBO's 
projected payments for each year, CBO estimates that enacting 
section 4 would reduce direct spending by $21 million over the 
2017-2026 period.
    Payments for tests: Section 3 would change the method that 
VA uses to reimburse veterans for licensing and certification 
tests, or for national testing programs such as the SAT, an 
admissions test for colleges. Beneficiaries can be reimbursed 
up to $2,000 per test under current law and veterans education 
benefits are reduced by one month for every $1,833 or less paid 
for such tests, rounded to the nearest nonzero whole month. 
(That amount is adjusted annually for inflation.) The average 
amount VA pays per test is about $600.
    Under section 3, those benefits would be reduced by a 
fraction of a month based on the actual costs of the tests. On 
the basis of data from VA, CBO estimates that beneficiaries who 
take such tests would be eligible for an additional two-thirds 
of a month of benefits if the bill was enacted. However, VA 
would only make additional payments for students who exhaust 
their benefit under current law.
    Very few beneficiaries are reimbursed for such tests--about 
3,200 in 2015. Furthermore, VA will pay the full monthly 
benefit for veterans and service members whose remaining 
entitlement is less than a month. That continuation policy does 
not apply to spouses and children with transferred education 
benefits, who account for about 20 percent of people who use 
those benefits. On that basis, CBO estimates that each year 
about 250 people would receive an additional $1,000 in 
education benefits under section 3. Payments would be less than 
$500,000 each year and would total $3 million over the 2017-
2026 period, CBO estimates.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. The net changes in outlays that are subject to those 
pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the following table.

           CBO ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR H.R. 5178 AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS ON MAY 18, 2016
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2016    2017    2018    2019    2020    2021    2022    2023    2024    2025    2026   2016-2021  2016-2026
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE [ON BUDGET] DEFICIT
 
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact............       0      -1      -1      -1      -2      -2      -2      -3      -3      -3      -3        -6        -18
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
    Intergovernmental and private sector impact: H.R. 5178 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: David Newman; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Jon Sperl; Impact on 
the Private Sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
    Estimate 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. 5178, 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. 
5178, as amended.

                 Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, H.R. 5178, as amended, 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 H.R. 5178, as amended, 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. 5178, 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. 5178, 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 cites the short title of H.R. 5178, as amended, 
to be the ``Veterans Success on Campus Act of 2016.''

Section 2. Department of Veterans Affairs provision of on-campus 
        education and vocational counseling for veterans

    Section 2(a) would amend chapter 36 of title 38, U.S.C., to 
create a new section entitled, ``Sec. 3697B. On-campus 
educational and vocational counseling.'' This section would 
require the Secretary to provide educational and vocational 
counseling services, as stipulated in section 3697A of title 
38, U.S.C., on college campuses for veterans. This section 
would also require the Secretary to select the locations where 
these services would be provided at campuses where the maximum 
number of veterans would have access to and be eligible for 
such services. It would also require that no later than 180 
days following enactment, and annually after that, the 
Secretary shall provide a report on the counseling services 
provided to veterans under this section, including: (1) the 
average ratio of counselors providing services at each 
location; (2) a description of the services provided; (3) the 
Secretary's recommendations for improving the counseling 
services; and (4) other matters the Secretary determines 
appropriate.
    Section 2(b) would make a clerical amendment to the table 
of sections for chapter 35 of title 38, U.S.C., to include this 
new section 3687A.

Section 3. Charge to entitlement for certain licensure and 
        certification tests and national tests under Department of 
        Veterans Affairs post-9/11 educational assistance program

    Section 3(a) would amend section 3315(c) of title 38, 
U.S.C., by striking that an individual's entitlement shall be 
charged for a whole month for one licensure and certification 
test, and inserting that an individual's entitlement shall be 
pro-rated based on the actual amount of the fee charged for the 
test.
    Section 3(b) would amend section 3315A of title 38, U.S.C., 
to allow an individual to be entitled to educational assistance 
under chapter 33 of title 38, U.S.C., for a national test that 
evaluates prior learning and knowledge and provides an 
opportunity for course credit at an IHL. This Section would 
further amend section 3315A of title 38, U.S.C., by striking 
that an individual's entitlement shall be charged for a whole 
month for one national test, and inserting that an individual's 
entitlement shall be pro-rated based on the actual amount of 
the fee charged for the test.
    Section 3(c) would make the changes made in sections 3(a) 
and 3(b) effective for any test taken after 90 days of 
enactment.

Section 4. Modification of percentage increase in rates payable under 
        Department of Veterans Affairs education assistance programs

    Section 4(a) would amend section 3015(h)(2) of title 38, 
U.S.C., by striking fiscal year 2014 and inserting fiscal year 
2025 and by striking fiscal year 2013 and inserting 2024 to 
extend the round down for chapter 30 educational assistance to 
the next whole dollar amount.
    Section 4(b) would amend section 3564(b) of title 38, 
U.S.C., by striking fiscal year 2014 and inserting fiscal year 
2025 and by striking fiscal year 2013 and inserting 2024 to 
extend the round down for chapter 35 educational assistance to 
the next whole dollar amount.

Section 5. Extension of authority for veterans' advisory committee on 
        education

    This section would amend section 3692(c) in title 38, 
U.S.C., by striking December 31, 2016, and inserting December 
31, 2021. This amendment would extend the Secretary's advisory 
committee on education for five more years.

Section 6. Training for school certifying officials

    Section 6(a) would require the Secretary, in consultation 
with the SAAs, to set forth training requirements for SCOs 
employed at IHLs where courses are approved under chapter 36 of 
title 38, U.S.C. Section 6(a) would also allow the Secretary to 
disapprove any course at an IHL if the school does not ensure 
the SCO meets the training requirements.
    Section 6(b) makes the following definitions for the 
amendments made in Section 6(a): a ``covered individual'' means 
an educational institution that has enrolled 20 or more 
individuals at the IHL who are using education assistance 
provided under title 38, U.S.C.; the term ``school certifying 
official'' means an employee of an IHL with the primary 
responsibility of certifying veteran enrollment at the IHL; and 
the term ``State approving agency'' means a department or 
agency of a State designated under section 3671 of title 38, 
U.S.C.

Section 7. Limitation on use of reporting fees payable to education 
        institutions and joint apprenticeship training committees

    Section 7 would amend section 3684(c) of title 38, U.S.C., 
to include in the requirements of what reporting fees may be 
used for at an IHL or joint apprenticeship training committee 
with 75 or more enrollees eligible for chapters, 31, 34, 25, or 
36 of title 38, U.S.C., that none of the fees may be used for 
or merged with amounts available for the IHL's or the joint 
apprenticeship training committee's general fund.

Section 8. Department of veterans affairs inspector general heightened 
        scrutiny of programs of education

    Section 8(a) would amend subchapter II of chapter 36 of 
title 38, U.S.C., to create a new section entitled, 
``Sec. 3699. Inspector General heightened scrutiny of programs 
of education.'' This Section would require the VAOIG to apply 
heightened scrutiny to any IHL if any Federal or State agency 
has made a final judgement or settlement that the IHL used 
deceptive or misleading practices that are potentially in 
violation of section 3696 of title 38, U.S.C. This Section 
would also require the Secretary, after the VAOIG applies 
heightened scrutiny to an IHL, to notify any students enrolled 
at the IHL and who are entitled to educational assistance under 
title 38, U.S.C., of the heightened scrutiny and the reasons 
for the heightened scrutiny. The Secretary would also be 
required to provide advice to any individual who receives 
notice of the heightened scrutiny applied under this 
subsection, that the individual should request a copy of their 
transcript and seek counseling from an appropriate advisor 
about transferring any credits they earned while attending that 
IHL. Lastly, Section 8(a) would require the Secretary to 
monitor any allegations of deceptive and misleading practices 
made against IHLs, and shall include information about any 
allegation on the G.I. Bill Comparison Tool or any similar VA 
Internet website.
    Section 8(b) would make a clerical amendment to the table 
of sections for chapter 36 of title 38, U.S.C., to include this 
new section 3699.

Section 9. Department of Veterans Affairs disapproval of courses of 
        education offered by institutions of higher learning accused of 
        certain deceptive or misleading practices

    Section 9 would amend section 3679 of title 38, U.S.C., by 
adding a new subsection that would require the Secretary to 
disapprove a course of education provided by an IHL if the 
Secretary determines that pursuant to the heightened scrutiny 
applied by the VAOIG under section 3699 of title 38, U.S.C., an 
IHL engaged in practices that are in violation of section 3696 
of title 38, U.S.C. This Section would also require the 
Secretary to provide counseling services to individuals 
enrolled in a course of education that is disapproved under 
this Section to assist them in transferring their credits to 
another IHL.

         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, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

         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 30--ALL-VOLUNTEER FORCE EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER II--BASIC EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 3015. Amount of basic educational assistance

  (a) The amount of payment of educational assistance under 
this chapter is subject to section 3032 of this title. Except 
as otherwise provided in this section, in the case of an 
individual entitled to an educational assistance allowance 
under this chapter whose obligated period of active duty on 
which such entitlement is based is three years, a basic 
educational assistance allowance under this subchapter shall be 
paid--
          (1) for an approved program of education pursued on a 
        full- time basis, at the monthly rate of--
                  (A) for months occurring during the period 
                beginning on August 1, 2008, and ending on the 
                last day of fiscal year 2009, $1,321; and
                  (B) for months occurring during a subsequent 
                fiscal year, the amount for months occurring 
                during the previous fiscal year increased under 
                subsection (h); or
          (2) at an appropriately reduced rate, as determined 
        under regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, 
        for an approved program of education pursued on less 
        than a full-time basis.
  (b) In the case of an individual entitled to an educational 
assistance allowance under section 3011 or 3018 of this title 
whose obligated period of active duty on which such entitlement 
is based is two years, a basic educational assistance allowance 
under this chapter shall (except as provided in the succeeding 
subsections of this section)be paid--
          (1) for an approved program of education pursued on a 
        full- time basis, at the monthly rate of--
                  (A) for months occurring during the period 
                beginning on August 1, 2008, and ending on the 
                last day of fiscal year 2009, $1,073; and
                  (B) for months occurring during a subsequent 
                fiscal year, the amount for months occurring 
                during the previous fiscal year increased under 
                subsection (h); or
          (2) at an appropriately reduced rate, as determined 
        under regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, 
        for an approved program of education pursued on less 
        than a full-time basis.
  (c)(1) The amount of basic educational allowance payable 
under this chapter to an individual referred to in paragraph 
(2) of this subsection is the amount determined under 
subsection (a) of this section.
  (2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection applies to an individual 
entitled to an educational assistance allowance under section 
3011 of this title--
          (A) whose obligated period of active duty on which 
        such entitlement is based is less than three years;
          (B) who, beginning on the date of the commencement of 
        such obligated period of active duty, serves a 
        continuous period of active duty of not less than three 
        years; and
          (C) who, after the completion of that continuous 
        period of active duty, meets one of the conditions set 
        forth in subsection (a)(3) of such section 3011.
  (d)(1) In the case of an individual who has a skill or 
specialty designated by the Secretary concerned as a skill or 
specialty in which there is a critical shortage of personnel or 
for which it is difficult to recruit, the Secretary concerned, 
pursuant to regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of 
Defense, may, at the time the individual first becomes a member 
of the Armed Forces, increase the rate of the basic educational 
assistance allowance applicable to such individual to such rate 
in excess of the rate prescribed under subsections (a), (b), 
and (c) of this section as the Secretary of Defense considers 
appropriate, but the amount of any such increase may not exceed 
$950 per month.
  (2) In the case of an individual who after October 7, 1997, 
receives an enlistment bonus under section 308a or 308f of 
title 37, receipt of that bonus does not affect the eligibility 
of that individual for an increase under paragraph (1) in the 
rate of the basic educational assistance allowance applicable 
to that individual, and the Secretary concerned may provide 
such an increase for that individual (and enter into an 
agreement with that individual that the United States agrees to 
make payments pursuant to such an increase) without regard to 
any provision of law (enacted before, on, or after the date of 
the enactment of this paragraph) that limits the authority to 
make such payments.
  (e)(1)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this 
paragraph and subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, in 
the case of an individual who on December 31, 1989, was 
entitled to educational assistance under chapter 34 of this 
title, the rate of the basic educational assistance allowance 
applicable to such individual under this chapter shall be 
increased by the amount equal to one-half of the educational 
assistance allowance that would be applicable to such 
individual under such chapter 34 (as of the time the assistance 
under this chapter is provided and based on the rates in effect 
on December 31, 1989) if such chapter were in effect.
  (B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, in 
the case of an individual described in that subparagraph who is 
pursuing a cooperative program on or after October 9, 1996, the 
rate of the basic educational assistance allowance applicable 
to such individual under this chapter shall be increased by the 
amount equal to one-half of the educational assistance 
allowance that would be applicable to such individual for 
pursuit of full-time institutional training under chapter 34 
(as of the time the assistance under this chapter is provided 
and based on the rates in effect on December 31, 1989) if such 
chapter were in effect.
  (2) The number of months for which the rate of the basic 
educational assistance allowance applicable to an individual is 
increased under paragraph (1) of this subsection may not exceed 
the number of months of entitlement to educational assistance 
under chapter 34 of this title that the individual had 
remaining on December 31, 1989.
  (f) In the case of an individual for whom the Secretary of 
Defense made contributions under section 3222(c) of this title 
and who is entitled to educational assistance under section 
3018A, 3018B, or 3018C of this chapter, the Secretary shall 
increase the rate of the basic educational assistance allowance 
applicable to such individual in excess of the rate provided 
under subsection (a) of this section in a manner consistent 
with, as determined by the Secretary of Defense, the agreement 
entered into with such individual pursuant to the rules and 
regulations issued by the Secretary of Defense under section 
3222(c) of this title.
  (g) In the case of an individual who has made contributions 
authorized by section 3011(e) or 3012(f) of this title, 
effective as of the first day of the enrollment period 
following receipt of such contributions from such individual by 
the Secretary concerned, the monthly amount of basic 
educational assistance allowance applicable to such individual 
under subsection (a), (b), or (c) shall be the monthly rate 
otherwise provided for under the applicable subsection 
increased by--
          (1) an amount equal to $5 for each $20 contributed by 
        such individual under section 3011(e) or 3012(f) of 
        this title, as the case may be, for an approved program 
        of education pursued on a full-time basis; or
          (2) an appropriately reduced amount based on the 
        amount so contributed, as determined under regulations 
        which the Secretary shall prescribe, for an approved 
        program of education pursued on less than a full-time 
        basis.
  (h)(1) With respect to any fiscal year, the Secretary shall 
provide a percentage increase in the rates payable under 
subsections (a)(1) and (b)(1) equal to the percentage by 
which--
          (A) the average cost of undergraduate tuition in the 
        United States, as determined by the National Center for 
        Education Statistics, for the last academic year 
        preceding the beginning of the fiscal year for which 
        the increase is made, exceeds
          (B) the average cost of undergraduate tuition in the 
        United States, as so determined, for the academic year 
        preceding the academic year described in subparagraph 
        (A).
  (2) Any increase under paragraph (1) in a rate with respect 
to a fiscal year after fiscal year 2004 and before [fiscal year 
2014] fiscal year 2025 shall be rounded down to the next lower 
whole dollar amount. Any such increase with respect to a fiscal 
year after [fiscal year 2013] fiscal year 2024 shall be rounded 
to the nearest whole dollar amount.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 33--POST-9/11 EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER II--EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 3315. Licensure and certification tests

  (a) In General.--An individual entitled to educational 
assistance under this chapter shall also be entitled to payment 
for licensing or certification tests described in section 
3452(b).
  (b) Limitation on Amount.--The amount payable under 
subsection (a) for a licensing or certification test may not 
exceed the lesser of--
          (1) $2,000;
          (2) the fee charged for the test; or
          (3) the amount of entitlement available to the 
        individual under this chapter at the time of payment 
        for the test under this section.
  (c) Charge Against Entitlement.--The charge against an 
individual's entitlement under this chapter for payment for a 
licensing or certification test [shall be determined at the 
rate of one month (rounded to the nearest whole month) for each 
amount paid that equals--]
          [(1) for the academic year beginning on August 1, 
        2011, $1,460; or
          [(2) for an academic year beginning on any subsequent 
        August 1, the amount for the previous academic year 
        beginning on August 1 under this subsection, as 
        increased by the percentage increase equal to the most 
        recent percentage increase determined under section 
        3015(h).] shall be pro-rated based on the actual amount 
        of the fee charged for the test.

Sec. 3315A. National tests

  (a) In General.--An individual entitled to educational 
assistance under this chapter shall also be entitled to 
educational assistance for the following:
          (1) A national test for admission to an institution 
        of higher learning as described in the last sentence of 
        section 3452(b).
          (2) A national test providing an opportunity for 
        course credit at an institution of higher learning as 
        so described.
          (3) A national test that evaluates prior learning and 
        knowledge and provides an opportunity for course credit 
        at an institution of higher learning as so described.
  (b) Amount.--The amount of educational assistance payable 
under this chapter for a test described in subsection (a) is 
the lesser of--
          (1) the fee charged for the test; or
          (2) the amount of entitlement available to the 
        individual under this chapter at the time of payment 
        for the test under this section.
  (c) Charge Against Entitlement.--The number of months of 
entitlement charged an individual under this chapter for a test 
described in subsection (a) [shall be determined at the rate of 
one month (rounded to the nearest whole month) for each amount 
paid that equals--]
          [(1) for the academic year beginning on August 1, 
        2011, $1,460; or
          [(2) for an academic year beginning on any subsequent 
        August 1, the amount for the previous academic year 
        beginning on August 1 under this subsection, as 
        increased by the percentage increase equal to the most 
        recent percentage increase determined under section 
        3015(h).] shall be pro-rated based on the actual amount 
        of the fee charged for the test.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 35--SURVIVORS' AND DEPENDENTS' EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER VI--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3564. Annual adjustment of amounts of educational assistance

  (a) With respect to any fiscal year, the Secretary shall 
provide a percentage increase in the rates payable under 
sections 3532, 3534(b), and 3542(a) of this title equal to the 
percentage by which--
          (1) the Consumer Price Index (all items, United 
        States city average) for the 12-month period ending on 
        the June 30 preceding the beginning of the fiscal year 
        for which the increase is made, exceeds
          (2) such Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period 
        preceding the 12-month period described in paragraph 
        (1).
  (b) Any increase under subsection (a) in a rate with respect 
to a fiscal year after fiscal year 2004 and before [fiscal year 
2014] fiscal year 2025 shall be rounded down to the next lower 
whole dollar amount. Any such increase with respect to a fiscal 
year after [fiscal year 2013] fiscal year 2024 shall be rounded 
to the nearest whole dollar amount.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


           CHAPTER 36--ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

                 SUBCHAPTER I--STATE APPROVING AGENCIES

Sec.
3670. Scope of approval.
     * * * * * * *

                 SUBCHAPTER II--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

     * * * * * * *
3697B. On-campus educational and vocational counseling.
     * * * * * * *
3699. Inspector General heightened scrutiny of programs of education.

SUBCHAPTER I--STATE APPROVING AGENCIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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)(1) The Secretary shall disapprove a course of education 
provided by an institution of higher learning if the Secretary 
determines pursuant to heightened scrutiny applied by the 
Inspector General under section 3699 of this title that the 
institution of higher learning has engaged in practices that 
are in violation of section 3696 of this title.
  (2) The Secretary shall provide counseling services to 
individuals enrolled in a course of education disapproved under 
paragraph (1) to assist such individuals in transferring to 
another institution of higher learning.

SUBCHAPTER II--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3684. Reports by veterans, eligible persons, and institutions; 
                    reporting fee

  (a)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this 
subsection, the veteran or eligible person and the educational 
institution offering a course in which such veteran or eligible 
person is enrolled under chapter 31, 34, 35, or 36 of this 
title shall, without delay, report to the Secretary, in the 
form prescribed by the Secretary, such enrollment and any 
interruption or termination of the education of each such 
veteran or eligible person. The date of such interruption or 
termination will be the last date of pursuit, or, in the case 
of correspondence training, the last date a lesson was serviced 
by a school.
  (2)(A) In the case of a program of independent study pursued 
on less than a half-time basis in an educational institution, 
the Secretary may approve a delay by the educational 
institution in reporting the enrollment or reenrollment of an 
eligible veteran or eligible person until the end of the term, 
quarter, or semester if the educational institution requests 
the delay and the Secretary determines that it is not feasible 
for the educational institution to monitor interruption or 
termination of the veteran's or eligible person's pursuit of 
such program.
  (B) An educational institution which, pursuant to 
subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, is delaying the reporting 
of the enrollment or reenrollment of a veteran shall provide 
the veteran with notice of the delay at the time that the 
veteran enrolls or reenrolls.
  (3)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, an 
educational institution offering courses on a term, quarter, or 
semester basis may certify the enrollment of a veteran who is 
not on active duty, or of an eligible person, in such courses 
for more than one term, quarter, or semester at a time, but not 
for a period extending beyond the end of a school year 
(including the summer enrollment period).
  (B) Subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall not apply with 
respect to any term, quarter, or semester for which the veteran 
or eligible person is enrolled on a less than half-time basis 
and shall not be construed as restricting the Secretary from 
requiring that an educational institution, in reporting an 
enrollment for more than one term, quarter, or semester, 
specify the dates of any intervals within or between any such 
terms, quarters, or semesters.
  (b) The Secretary, prior to making payment of a reporting fee 
to an educational institution, as provided for in subsection 
(c) of this section, shall require such institution to certify 
that it has exercised reasonable diligence in determining 
whether such institution or any course offered by such 
institution approved for the enrollment of veterans or eligible 
persons meets all of the applicable requirements of chapters 
31, 34, 35, and 36 of this title and that it will, without 
delay, report any failure to meet any such requirement to the 
Secretary.
  [(c) The Secretary may pay to any educational institution, or 
to the sponsor of a program of apprenticeship, furnishing 
education or training under either this chapter or chapter 31, 
34, or 35 of this title, a reporting fee which will be in lieu 
of any other compensation or reimbursement for reports or 
certifications which such educational institution or joint 
apprenticeship training committee is required to submit to the 
Secretary by law or regulation. Such reporting fee shall be 
computed for each calendar year by multiplying $12 by the 
number of eligible veterans or eligible persons enrolled under 
this chapter or chapter 31, 34, or 35 of this title, or $15 in 
the case of those eligible veterans and eligible persons whose 
educational assistance checks are directed in care of each 
institution for temporary custody and delivery and are 
delivered at the time of registration as provided under section 
3680(d)(4) of this title, during the calendar year. The 
reporting fee shall be paid to such educational institution or 
joint apprenticeship training committee as soon as feasible 
after the end of the calendar year for which it is applicable. 
No reporting fee payable to an educational institution under 
this subsection shall be subject to offset by the Secretary 
against any liability of such institution for any overpayment 
for which such institution may be administratively determined 
to be liable under section 3685 of this title unless such 
liability is not contested by such institution or has been 
upheld by a final decree of a court of appropriate 
jurisdiction. Any reporting fee paid an educational institution 
or joint apprenticeship training committee after the date of 
the enactment of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance 
Improvements Act of 2011 shall be utilized by such institution 
or committee solely for the making of certifications required 
under this chapter or chapter 31, 34, or 35 of this title or 
for otherwise supporting programs for veterans. The reporting 
fee payable under this subsection shall be paid from amounts 
appropriated for readjustment benefits.]
  (c)(1) The Secretary may pay to any educational institution, 
or to the sponsor of a program of apprenticeship, furnishing 
education or training under either this chapter or chapter 31, 
34, or 35 of this title, a reporting fee which will be in lieu 
of any other compensation or reimbursement for reports or 
certifications which such educational institution or joint 
apprenticeship training committee is required to submit to the 
Secretary by law or regulation.
  (2) Such reporting fee shall be computed for each calendar 
year by multiplying $12 by the number of eligible veterans or 
eligible persons enrolled under this chapter or chapter 31, 34, 
or 35 of this title, or $15 in the case of those eligible 
veterans and eligible persons whose educational assistance 
checks are directed in care of each institution for temporary 
custody and delivery and are delivered at the time of 
registration as provided under section 3680(d)(4) of this 
title, during the calendar year. The reporting fee shall be 
paid to such educational institution or joint apprenticeship 
training committee as soon as feasible after the end of the 
calendar year for which it is applicable.
  (3) No reporting fee payable to an educational institution 
under this subsection shall be subject to offset by the 
Secretary against any liability of such institution for any 
overpayment for which such institution may be administratively 
determined to be liable under section 3685 of this title unless 
such liability is not contested by such institution or has been 
upheld by a final decree of a court of appropriate 
jurisdiction.
  (4) Any reporting fee paid to an educational institution or 
joint apprenticeship training committee after the date of the 
enactment of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance 
Improvements Act of 2011 (Public Law 111-377)--
          (A) shall be utilized by such institution or 
        committee solely for the making of certifications 
        required under this chapter or chapter 31, 34, or 35 of 
        this title or for otherwise supporting programs for 
        veterans; and
          (B) with respect to an institution that has 75 or 
        more enrollees described in paragraph (2), may not be 
        used for or merged with amounts available for the 
        general fund of the educational institution or joint 
        apprenticeship training committee.
  (5) The reporting fee payable under this subsection shall be 
paid from amounts appropriated for readjustment benefits.
  (d) Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of 
this subsection, the Secretary shall ensure that the Department 
provides personnel of educational institutions who are charged 
with submitting reports or certifications to the Secretary 
under this section with assistance in preparing and submitting 
such reports or certifications.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3692. Advisory committee

  (a) There shall be a Veterans' Advisory Committee on 
Education formed by the Secretary which shall be composed of 
persons who are eminent in their respective fields of 
education, labor, and management and of representatives of 
institutions and establishments furnishing education to 
eligible veterans or persons enrolled under chapter 30, 32, 33, 
or 35 of this title and chapter 1606 of title 10. The committee 
shall also, to the maximum extent practicable, include veterans 
representative of World War II, the Korean conflict era, the 
post-Korean conflict era, the Vietnam era, the post-Vietnam 
era, and the Persian Gulf War. The Assistant Secretary of 
Education for Postsecondary Education (or such other comparable 
official of the Department of Education as the Secretary of 
Education may designate) and the Assistant Secretary of Labor 
for Veterans' Employment and Training shall be ex officio 
members of the advisory committee.
  (b) The Secretary shall consult with and seek the advice of 
the committee from time to time with respect to the 
administration of this chapter, chapters 30, 32, 33, and 35 of 
this title, and chapter 1606 of title 10. The committee may 
make such reports and recommendations as it considers desirable 
to the Secretary and the Congress.
  (c) The committee shall remain in existence until [December 
31, 2016] December 31, 2021.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3697B. On-campus educational and vocational counseling

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall provide educational and 
vocational counseling services for veterans at locations on the 
campuses of institutions of higher learning selected by the 
Secretary. Such counseling services shall be provided by 
employees of the Department who provide such services under 
section 3697A of this title.
  (b) Selection of Locations.--(1) To be selected by the 
Secretary under this section, an institution of higher learning 
shall provide an appropriate space on the campus of the 
institution where counseling services can be provided under 
this section.
  (2) In selecting locations for the provision of counseling 
services under this section, the Secretary shall seek to select 
locations where the maximum number of veterans would have 
access to such services.
  (c) Annual Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
the enactment of this section, and each year thereafter, the 
Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the counseling 
services provided under this section. Such report shall 
include, for the year covered by the report--
          (1) the average ratio of counselors providing such 
        services to veterans who received such services at each 
        location where such services were provided;
          (2) a description of such services provided;
          (3) the recommendations of the Secretary for 
        improving the provision of such services; and
          (4) any other matters the Secretary determines 
        appropriate.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3699. Inspector General heightened scrutiny of programs of 
                    education

  (a) Heightened Scrutiny Required.--The Inspector General of 
the Department shall apply heightened scrutiny to any program 
of education if any Federal or State agency has made a final 
judgment or settlement that the program of education used 
deceptive or misleading practices that are potentially in 
violation of section 3696 of this title.
  (b) Notice to Students.--(1) Upon commencement of heightened 
scrutiny with respect to a program of education under this 
section, the Secretary shall provide notice of the heightened 
scrutiny and the reasons for such heightened scrutiny to any 
individual who--
          (A) is enrolled in a course of education approved 
        under this chapter provided by the program of 
        education; and
          (B) is entitled to educational assistance under the 
        laws administered by the Secretary.
  (2) The Secretary shall provide to any individual who 
receives notice under this subsection advice that the 
individual--
          (A) request a copy of the individual's transcript; 
        and
          (B) seek counseling from an appropriate advisor about 
        transferring any credits earned at the program of 
        education.
  (c) Monitoring of Allegations.--The Secretary shall monitor 
allegations of deceptive and misleading practices made against 
programs of education offering courses of education approved 
for purposes of this chapter, including Federal and State 
investigations. The Secretary shall include information about 
any such allegation on the GI Bill Comparison Tool, or any 
similar Internet website of the Department.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    We oppose Section 4 of H.R. 5178, as amended, because it 
would reinstate a lapsed round-down of certain veterans' 
education benefits payments, thus placing the burden on student 
veterans and their dependents to pay for broader veterans' 
programs. Under current law, the amount of the Chapter 30 
Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB) monthly stipend increases 
annually in accordance with the increase in the average cost of 
undergraduate tuition in the United States. Also under current 
law, the amount of the Chapter 35 Survivors' and Dependents' 
Educational Assistance (DEA) program monthly stipend increases 
annually in accordance with the consumer price index. From FY 
2005 to FY 2013, the increases were rounded down to the next 
lower whole dollar amount, but Congress chose not to extend the 
round-downs before they lapsed. Section 4 of H.R. 5178, as 
amended, would reinstate the round-downs for both MGIB and DEA 
until FY 2024.
    The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) shared our opposition to 
the cuts at the Economic Opportunity Subcommittee legislative 
hearing on April 14, 2016, stating that ``VFW opposes round-
downs, as they require veterans to pay for their earned 
benefits.'' We share the VFW's principled view that veterans 
should not have to pay for programs that serve them through 
cuts in their hard-earned benefits, no matter how small.
    At the Economic Opportunity Subcommittee markup on May 11, 
2016, Representative Mark Takano introduced an amendment to 
strike Section 3 of H.R. 5174, which contained the round-down 
of Chapters 30 and 35 benefits. The amendment failed by voice 
vote.
    At the Full Committee markup on May 18, 2016, 
Representative Takano again introduced his amendment to strike 
the round-down, now found in Section 4 of the Amendment in the 
Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 5178. That amendment failed 
along party lines, with a roll call vote of 10 Democrats to 13 
Republicans.

                                   Mark Takano,
                                           Acting Ranking Member.
                                   Julia Brownley.

                                  [all]