After Court Settlement, VA Takes Over and Other Sites

In a legal win for Veterans, VA is taking control of the formerly privately-owned website This means Veterans will be better protected against deceptive marketing practices launched by businesses eager to cash in on the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

At VA, our job is to support Veterans wherever they choose to attend school, but we also have an obligation to ensure Vets are adequately and accurately informed about their education options.  That’s why, in February 2011, we drew attention to misinformation that Veterans faced while searching for resources on VA’s education benefits. In doing so, we pushed back on marketing companies responsible for deploying official-looking websites designed to funnel troops and Veterans to certain for-profit schools. In such cases, Veterans have been led to believe that for-profit schools are their only option for using the GI Bill—which isn’t true.

This questionable practice has caught the eye of Congress, the media, and, most recently, 20 state attorneys general who launched an investigation into QuinStreet, the marketing company that runs and other sites like it. is perhaps the most visible for-profit lead generator that specifically targets active duty troops and Veterans.

This week, the Kentucky Attorney General’s office reached a settlement with QuinStreet, which includes an agreement to turn over the domain to VA, as well as to shut down its related social media sites on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to a payment of $2.5 million to the states involved in the settlement. According to a statement from the Kentucky Attorney General, the move to relinquish the domain and hand it over to VA was an “unprecedented achievement and one which significantly raises the bar for similar settlements going forward.”

Through, QuinStreet diverted student Veterans to their for-profit school clients—schools that are also under scrutiny for allegedly taking generous GI Bill tuition payouts in exchange for degrees of questionable value amid higher dropout rates—especially when compared to non-profit private and public universities.

President Obama’s executive order earlier this year put schools accepting GI Bill dollars on notice that they would be held accountable for deceptive recruitment tactics. As noted by Holly Petraeus of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, military and Veteran education benefits “should not be wasted on programs that do not promote—and may even frustrate—their educational goals.”

While deceptive marketers still exist, this is a welcome step in the direction of further protecting Veterans. So what can you do to protect yourself? Knowing which school is right for you is a good place to start. Check out our guide on how to best select the program that fits your education and employment goals.

To stay on top of news, announcements, or changes that impact Veterans education benefits, bookmark our GI Bill page, and follow our GI Bill Facebook page to get updates right in your timeline. It’s also a good idea to only trust VA benefits information from government websites.

Thanks to efforts from the White House and across state and federal agencies, the business of taking advantage of Veterans is coming to an end. As always, we’ll be watching these issues closely to ensure student Vets are provided with the best information to make the most informed education choices possible.


Alex Horton


  1. Corey Miller    

    I got caught in a Brown Mckiw Scam last year, would love to share my terrible story!

  2. Bryan McFarland    

    Brazo Zulu to President Obama and his administration for taking charge of this situation! Its a good thing someone is looking out for veterans!!

  3. Tracy    

    This is great news. For-profit schools have lax acceptance policies, which entice many veterans, but often times the degrees they churn out are not worth the paper they are printed on. Even though public schools are stretched thin and hard to get in to, it is worth it in the long run to get a degree that will be accepted by employers and other learning institutions.

  4. Raffy    

    Why is it that the VA Student Work Study Program is not available for veterans under VRAP? At least as an unemployed veteran, it would showcase their work skills. Since VRAP was dubbed as the GI Bill for the unemployed veterans. Financially, it would help while attending college.

  5. Michelle H    

    Everyone should be aware of the non-accredited so called schools. Many of them offer online classes, or are just certificates that do not get you a job. I wanted to become a substance abuse counselor, while many classes were offered by the community colleges, I took the time to contact employers to see if these types of certificates were widely accepted. They are not. With that certificate and $5.00 I could have got a cup of coffee, but not a job. I ended up paying a great deal for my education, but it was worth all of the sacrifices and money, in the end I got the job I wanted. My advice, do the research, get used to research, you will do a lot of it in school, so do it before. Make sure you attend an accredited college, university or even a community college where it is easier to gain acceptance until you can get accepted to a better school. Just make sure that your credits will transfer. It is time consuming at first, but asking the right questions will save you money, embarrassment, and heartache in the end.

  6. Melvin Young    

    I googled GIBILL.COM to see the changes made by the VA, I found that GIBILL.COM now redericts to GIBENIFITS.COM with a disclaimer that it is not associated with the VA. Are they now back to fooling veterans?

  7. Charlie S.    


    When I first read this blog a few days ago, I also found that redirected to, a website that looked exactly like the old website – same images, format, etc.

    Today when I tried it again, I was redirected to a VA website that has this language:


    As the result of a legal settlement, the award of the domain name to VA is a victory for all Veterans and the GI Bill. VA is committed to protecting the educational opportunities Veterans have earned through their service.

    You will be automatically redirected to in 10 seconds. If you aren’t forwarded to the new page, click here.”

    The next redirect took me to the VA GI Bill webpage. is still what it is, but at least the name is convoluted enough to make it less likely to be confused as a legit site.

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