Obama targets fradulent loan marketing aimed at military
April 27th, 2012
10:41 AM ET

Obama targets fradulent loan marketing aimed at military

President Obama wants to crack down on for-profit colleges his administration says deceptively recruit post-9/11 veterans with false promises of lucrative careers.

The president will travel to Fort Stewart in Georgia Friday where he will unveil a new executive order aimed at forcing schools to be more transparent in their recruitment and marketing efforts.

While 9/11 GI Bill federal loans can be used at private, public, and for-profit schools alike, a recent Senate Committee report found eight of the ten largest recipients of GI Bill loans are for-profit schools. According to the report, for-profit colleges heavily recruit ex-service members with misleading military-themed websites that falsely suggest the federal funds can only be used at their schools. The Senate report also found the average dropout rate at these schools hovers around forty percent.

In the Executive Order the president will announce Friday, all schools who market to veterans will be required to be more transparent about the educational opportunities they provide and likely career placement outcomes. The Department of Defense will also be tasked with setting forth rules on how schools are permitted to recruit service members on military bases while the Department of Veterans Affairs will crack down on the school’s deceptive websites specifically targeted to military members.

The executive order also mandates better financial aid and academic advising to enrolled veterans and a centralized complaint system for veterans who feel their school has defrauded them.

Obama's 'magical' place for tourism announcement
January 19th, 2012
04:11 PM ET

Obama's 'magical' place for tourism announcement


(CNN) – What better place to talk about the increasing tourism in the United States than on Walt Disney World’s Main Street USA?

With Cinderella’s castle as a backdrop, President Barack Obama announced a new strategy to increase tourism to the United States.  Hoping it will bring much-needed money and jobs; the president’s plan is set to make it easier for travelers from emerging countries to visit the many iconic sites across the US.

“Look at where we are. We’ve got the most entertaining destinations in the world,” Mr. Obama commented. “I’m here because I want more tourists here tomorrow. I want America to be the top tourist destination in the world.”

The plan, signed as an executive order by the president this morning, is expected to dramatically increase the number of foreign tourists allowed entry into the US.  The hope is that millions more tourists will travel around the country and spend money in local economies which could lead to the creation of over a million jobs over the next decade.

“That’s why we’re here today- to tell the world that America is open for business. We want to welcome you and to take concrete steps to boost America’s tourism industry so that we keep growing our economy and creating more jobs- here in Florida and all across the country,” the president said.

The United State’s tourism industry has heavily lobbied the administration for the changes in visa policies. The aim is to help tourists, especially from Brazil, India, and China, decrease the wait-time to obtain or renew U.S. visas. Among other reforms, the plan calls for an additional 100 consular officers in those three countries over the next year. FULL POST

Topics: Economy • Executive Order • The Vault • Tourism