Obama Targets Diploma Mills that Market to Vets

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But Sgt. 1st Class Brian Cain said his chain of command already keeps a lookout for college scams and questioned the need for the president to step in to address the issue.

"To me the president needs to be taking care of world-sized problems," he said. "This is kind of like trying to kill a fly with an M-1 Abrams tank."

Bills pending in Congress, largely backed by Democrats and unlikely to become law soon, would do many of the same things Obama was ordering Friday.

Obama's order will also set a new gauge that potential students can use to calculate how much a school will really cost in tuition and fees. Schools are asked to voluntarily participate in the "Know Before You Owe" system this school year and would be required to do so next year.

A recent Senate report on 15 large, publicly traded, for-profit education companies said they got 86 percent of their revenue from taxpayers and have spent a combined $3.7 billion annually on marketing and recruiting.

Student Veterans of America, a leading campus veterans group, applauded the White House announcement, saying the executive order would help stop "deceptive and misleading" practices at educational institutions.

The Obamas were to be joined in Georgia by Holly Petraeus, the assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau focused on economic security for military families. She's the wife of David Petraeus, the retired four-star general and current CIA director.

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Associated Press writer Russ Bynum in Fort Stewart, Ga., and AP Education Writer Justin Pope contributed to this report.

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