A report released recently casts some pretty unfavorable light on the for-profit college and university industry and its continued pursuit of student veterans using their GI Bill benefits.

The report from the U.S. Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, "Is the New G.I. Bill Working?" says bluntly, "The fact that so many veterans are continuing to enroll in high-cost, for-profit colleges with questionable outcomes raises questions regarding whether aggressive deceptive and misleading marketing efforts are continuing."

Although overall student enrollment has fallen at each of the eight top for-profit G.I. Bill schools, their enrollment of veterans has dramatically increased during the same period.

The percentage of veterans attending public college had dropped precipitously, from 62 percent in 2009 to just 50 percent in 2013. During the same period, the percentage of veterans enrolling in for-profit colleges rose from 23 to 31 percent of total enrollees, the report, released in July, found. This is as taxpayers pay twice as much on average to send a veteran to a for-profit college compared with a public college or university.

In a statement, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the leading trade group of for-profit colleges, called the report "the result of a flawed process that has unfairly targeted private-sector schools and their students."

"It is no surprise that members of the military choose our institutions because we provide them with career-focused programs, important support services and the flexibility they need to complete their education," the group said.

The Star Tribune recently wrote about a lawsuit filed by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson against Minnesota-based Globe University and its sister, Minnesota School of Business and accusations that veterans were exhausting their G.I. Bill benefits and getting little, if anything, in return from their degrees.

Mark Brunswick • 612-673-4434