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    President Obama signs executive order for veterans

    6:17 PM, May 1, 2012   |    comments
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    • Veteran and UALR Nursing Student A.J. Moser
        
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  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- President Obama signed an executive order Friday to crack down on scams targeting veterans.

    Veterans should feel welcomed when they return to the states and that's why former Army Soldier and UALR nursing student A.J. Moser can't imagine them being victimized.

    "People go over there and serve and then come back to be victims and stuff like that and that's horrible," says Moser.

    In 2003, Moser began a 14 month stint in Iraq -- then returned to school to study nursing. Both Moser and fellow classmate Krystal Clark realize how hard adjusting to civilian life can be.

    "It can be difficult if you don't have a good foundation and a good family," says Clark.  

    Recently, President Obama addressed a growing issue of schools targeting veterans with misleading information and high interest loans.

    "One of the worst examples was a college recruiter who visited a Marine barracks and enrolled Marines with brain injuries so severe that some of them couldn't recall the courses the recruiter had signed them up for," says President Obama.

    Scammers are targeting veterans on bases but A.J. says he's being targeted online.

    "Lately, I've been received stuff online and stuff like that as far as trying to recruit," says Moser.

    President Obama's executive order will require veterans get a simple fact sheet outlining all financial and academic information. Krystal Clark says the Air Force provides assistance as well.

    "They have finance officers and you can take any of your problems to them," says Clark.

    Many schools provide help for veterans who want to take advantage of the G.I. Bill tuition assistance. Gail Siddell Nelson of the UALR Veteran's Center says the school does not target vets, but offers clear information to those who need it.

    "Supporting the veteran when they come back and giving them all the information they need and help that they need to pursue their education," says Nelson.

    Despite Moser's clear academic direction he says the President's order will help veterans who need time to adjust back to life in the U.S. The term "G.I. Bill" will now be regulated online, so fraudulent websites will have a harder time misleading veterans.

    Right now, there is not a place for veterans to voice concerns over education scams, but President Obama is calling for an online complaint system to be created.

    The executive order requires colleges to provide a simple, financial aid fact sheet called "Know Before You Owe." It will include tuition, fees, student loan debt and graduation rates.

    This form provides students with critical information on tuition and fees, the availability of federal financial aid, estimated student loan debt upon graduation, and information about student outcomes like graduation rates.

    The executive order also ensures the Department of Defense will set rules on college recruiters gaining access to military barracks. In the President's weekly address he said a college recruiter visited Marine barracks and "enrolled Marines with brain injuries so severe that some of them couldn't recall what courses the recruiter had signed them up for."

    Soon, veterans will have a centralized system to send their complaints if they feel a school acted fraudulently.

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