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VA trademarks ‘GI Bill’ to shield vets from deceptive marketing

An important step to ensure that servicemembers and veterans are not seen simply as “dollar signs in uniform.” We continue to work with federal and state agencies to make sure that student veterans can get the most of out of their benefits and avoid crushing student loan debt. Learn more about the settlement.

Cross posted from the US Department of Veterans Affairs .

By Alex Horton

For about two years, VA’s online communications team has been closely tracking the advertising and recruitment efforts of for-profit schools looking to bring in GI Bill tuition dollars. In some cases, these schools have ensnared Veterans looking for info by using official-looking websites, which funneled potential recruits to those schools without any balanced, objective information. We aimed to get the word out in order to help Veterans make the best decision possible .

This all came to a head earlier this year, when a group of state attorneys general led an effort to sue the company that owned, a particularly deceptive site. The company settled, and the website was turned over to VA and now redirects to our GI Bill page .

Today, VA announced the next step in the fight against misleading info campaign waged by schools after your hard-earned benefits. The term ‘GI Bill’ has been trademarked by VA with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. VA is the sole owner of the mark, and in the coming months, it will issue terms of use for the phrase. This move goes a long way to enforce accountability to those who would deceive student Veterans for financial gain.

Of course, with millions of dollars up for grabs, schools and marketing firms won’t lie down because of the trademark, so we’ll remain vigilant to ensure Veterans aren’t victims of deceptive recruitment when they decide to make the most out of their education benefits .

Alex Horton is the senior writer for Vantage Point.

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