STORIES OF HOW NEW SOLUTIONS ARE BEING DEVELOPED
TO HELP VETERANS SCAMMED BY FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES
I’m writing to share elements of a compelling story I hope you’ll consider doing on the issue of veterans’ being preyed upon by for-profit colleges looking to take advantage of student veteran’s GI Bill benefits.
The good news is that new federal regulations are being developed to help veterans who were tricked for-profit colleges to enroll in worthless degree programs that left them loaded with debt and depleted of their GI bill funds.
New Action: The US Department of Education is listening to veterans and others as they develop new rules to help veterans manage federal student loans that they were forced to take out, sometimes without their knowledge, to meet the high costs of predatory for-profit schools. More hearings will occur from December 6-10. Pre-registration is required in the link here.
Reaching Individual Veterans for Their Stories: Below I’ve included highlights and links to veterans’ stories shared in their Oct/Nov testimony. I can help you reach a veteran from specific areas.
National Perspective Available: I can also connect you to a policy expert from the nonprofit, bi-partisan, www.vetsedsuccess.org who can provide background and analysis on the problem and solutions or you can email Chris@vetsedsuccess.org.
Examples of Veterans who Testified:
- Vista College – Kolin Wilkins (College Station, TX)
- “One of the most difficult things about this is that I was so close to finishing. But now, I’ve lost over 20 months of my GI Bill, no degree, and I can’t get a hold of my transcripts.” Full testimony here.
- Colorado Technical University – Chris Glock (Aurora, CO)
- “Colorado Technical University not only wasted the government’s money and my time, but they destroyed my passion to achieve my ultimate goal. Now I am left with bills, a worthless degree, and an uncertain road ahead.” Full testimony here.
- DeVry University- Jarrod Thoma (Colorado Springs, CO)
- “After enrollment at DeVry, it didn’t take long for me to realize that this for-profit college was failing to deliver on many of the promises recruiters had made to me.” Full testimony here.
- Westwood College – Joshua Queen (Redding, CA)
- “I never expected that going to college would be such a negative force in my life. But so far, I have no college degree, very few transferable college credits, and unrelenting student loan debt.” Full testimony here.
- University of Phoenix – Greg Engle (Orlando, FL)
- “[University of] Phoenix, and other schools like them, call themselves military friendly but what they mean is military-benefit friendly.” Full testimony here.
Background on US Department of Education October/November and upcoming December hearings on rulemaking to limit for-profit colleges’ predatory actions targeting student veterans:
- Individual veterans from around the country asked to testify to share their horror stories of having for-profit colleges defraud them out of their GI Bill benefits – enrolling them in worthless degree programs that left them loaded with student loan debt and depleted of their GI bill funds.
- Representatives of the nation’s largest veterans and military service organizations also had a forceful turnout at the hearings.
- Stronger regulations will help student veterans and service members by improving the process by which loans taken out to attend fraudulent and predatory schools, sometimes even without their knowledge, can be discharged.
Veterans called on the Department of Education to create strong rules to:
- Provide relief to those who are lied to by their school about credit transfer, job placement, career counseling, accreditation, and quality of the instruction by enacting an improved Borrower Defense to Repayment Rule.
- Cancel student loan debts incurred by students attending at or near the time when a school closes by improving the procedure to automatically provide relief for students unable to complete their program at the closing school; and,
- Protect student veterans from predatory and abusive for-profit schools that target them with constant aggressive and manipulative recruitment, marketing, and fraud.
About Veterans Education Success
- Veterans Education Success is an advocacy organization that works on a bipartisan basis to advance higher education success for veterans, service members, and military families and to protect the integrity and promise of the GI Bill and other federal education programs.
- In addition to offering free help, advice, and college and career counseling to servicemembers, veterans, and their survivors and families, the organization also provides policy expertise to federal and state policymakers and conducts non-partisan research on issues of concern to student veterans. Additional information is available at www.vetsedsuccess.org.