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On Jan 21, Zacks Investment Research upgraded American Public Education, Inc. (APEI - Analyst Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) following President Obama’s executive order to continue the educational benefits under the Department of Defense's Tuition Assistance Program.

Why the Upgrade?

President Obama has asked The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and Education to develop Principles of Excellence to be applicable for educational institutions opting for funds from federal military and veteran’s educational benefits programs, including Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Tuition Assistance Program.  

The Principles will inform students about federal educational benefits and the educational programs that they are eligible for. The Principles will ensure that the students are provided with accurate information regarding educational cost, estimated students debt and quality of educational programs and its outcomes.  The Principles will also ensure that the active-duty service members, reservists, members of the National Guard, veterans, and military families are supported with high-quality academic and student support. The Principles are meant to put an end to aggressive recruiting and other unjust practices within educational institutions.  

The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs will incorporate the clauses in The Principles in all the new agreements with educational institutions. The students will also be provided with an eBenefits portal where they can easily access information regarding programs and institutions.

Being an online provider of higher education for the military and public service communities, American Public Education will benefit from the recent educational policy changes. More students will be encouraged to opt for higher education thus providing the much needed impetus to enrollment levels.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other stocks worth considering in the education sector include Apollo Education Group, Inc. (APOL - Analyst Report), Strayer Education Inc. (STRA - Analyst Report), and Xueda Education Group (XUE - Snapshot Report). Strayer Education carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while Apollo Education and Xueda Education carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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