NAICU Washington Update

MOUs to Receive Greater Scrutiny

February 23, 2017

Citing a need to “ensure a rigorous, transparent evaluation of educational institutions, focusing on compliance with the tenets of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the DoD signaled a move toward greater institutional oversight. In a letter to participating institutions, the DoD’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness announced the start of its Voluntary Education Institutional Compliance Program (ICP).

The increased focus on compliance is in response to the Government Accountability Office’s September 2014 report expressing the need for greater vigilance to assure that postsecondary schools are “useful.” The Department has selected Price Waterhouse Coopers to carry out its efforts “to ensure a rigorous, transparent evaluation of educational institutions.”

According to the letter to participating institutions, in the coming months “DoD will communicate with all stakeholders, especially our valued educational institutions, to facilitate a clear understanding of the compliance factors that are most important to the DoD and the standardized, consistent review and assessment methodologies that will be employed.”

Approximately 600 NAICU member institutions have signed MOUs with DoD providing access to the educational benefits of the Military Tuition Assistance program. By signing an MOU, an institution agrees “to abide by a set of behaviors, processes, and policies,” including “providing a prospective military student with specific information to locate, explain, and properly use” a specific list of the Department of Education and Consumer Financial Protection Board consumer tools, such as the College Scorecard.

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