Postsecondary Education Complaint System (PECS)
Postsecondary Education Complaint System (PECS) — PECS is an online system that provides authorized personnel the ability to track, manage, and process formal complaints that have been submitted by, or on behalf of, uniformed servicemembers, spouses, and other family members when educational institutions fail to follow the Principles of Excellence outlined in Executive Order (EO) 13607, signed on April 27, 2012. To ensure student protection, the EO calls for the creation of a robust, centralized complaint process for students receiving Federal military and veterans' education benefits. Information on the Military OneSource Web site reveals that the new complaint system includes the following avenues for registering specific issues related to the Voluntary Education Program:
- Department of Defense - Postsecondary Education Complaint System. Military students, primarily those experiencing issues with the Tuition Assistance Program or Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts scholarship, should provide feedback using the Postsecondary Education Complaint System link above.
- Department of Veterans Affairs - Education Complaint System. GI Bill Beneficiaries (servicemember, spouse and ⁄or child) who experience issues may submit complaints through the Department of Veterans Affairs Education Complaint System link above.
- Department of Education - Education Complaint System. Federal financial aid recipients (servicemember, spouse and ⁄or child) who experience issues should provide feedback by e-mailing Compliancecomplaints@ed.gov.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - Complaint System. Private student loan recipients experiencing issues should provide feedback using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Complaint System link above.
PECS provides a resource for students receiving military and veteran education benefits to submit complaints against institutions they feel have acted deceptively or fraudulently. The centralized system is designed to make it easier for prospective and current military students to raise their concerns and enable DoD to prevent abusive, deceptive, and fraudulent practices by implementing the following safeguards:
- establishment of risk-based program reviews;
- limits on access to military installations by educational institutions, and;
- the use of intellectual property and other legal protections to ensure Web sites and programs are not deceptively suggesting military affiliation or endorsement.
By reporting schools that are failing to follow the President's Principles of Excellence, students can help improve the school experience for themselves and other beneficiaries of military and veteran education benefit programs. The Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Justice, Education, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other relevant agencies will track, manage, and respond to online complaints registered by servicemembers, spouses, and adult family members.