Media Availability:  Student Veterans from University of Phoenix
February 13, 2019
What: This week the US Federal Trade Commission announced a legal settlement with the University of Phoenix for defrauding students – especially military students.  The FTC found “UOP’s deceptive advertising and marketing materials targeted active-duty servicemembers, veterans, and military spouses.”  The settlement includes nearly $200 million in financial compensation for students, as well as proscriptive terms.


Who: Veterans Education Success has identified 13 veterans willing to speak with reporters. These veterans were enrolled with the University of Phoenix between 2012 and 2017.  Reporters may reach out directly to the veterans for interviews.

Micheal Ivory, Charlottesville VA
– I was told that they had the market-leading education and alumni community that would guarantee me a job. Really we did little actual work instead we only had discussions on the instructor’s full-time job.”
 
Benjamin Greene, Jacksonville FL
– I have been enrolled at UofP for the longest time. Also, all of my VA funds have been exhausted along with my classes being either failed or making me pay for classes that I didn’t take. This school is a rip off!”
 
Larry Casteel, Somerset KY
– “The University of Phoenix was a huge waste of time, resources and money. Upon graduation, with my MBA I searched for work for over 3 years. I have student loan debt in excess of $100,000 and that is with the use of fully maximizing my GI Bill. I will be paying the rest of my life for a sheet of paper that holds no weight in the business community. I’d like to be compensated.”
 
Michael Bourg, Henderson TX
– I was told by the University of Phoenix that they had all the accreditation that all the big schools had. I am now being told that a lot of places do not accept the University of Phoenix. I am 39 years old and don’t have time or money to go back to another school. I also over $30,000 in the hole. The quality of the classes is very sub-par. Most classes you don’t even take tests. You don’t really learn anything useful.”
 
James Franklin, Tyler TX
– “The University of Phoenix enrolled me online. I never received an orientation or anything. I just got thrown into classes. I felt like they only wanted my gi bill. When I had problems I would email teachers or tech support and not receive an answer back until a week or more later.”
 
Shawn Brandow, Albuquerque NM
– The cost of tuition seemed to almost double after I dropped out, almost like I was being punished. I doubt I’ll ever go to a for-profit college again.”
 
James Crouch, Cedar Springs MI
– They recruited me specifically to use my GI Bill and then required me to take out additional loans.”
 
Rob Grinton, Lake Charles LA
– When I enrolled with the University of Phoenix after leaving active duty I was told by the enrollment adviser that everything would be taken care of by the VA for my GI Bill. All I had to do was make certain that my online posing while in online school was sufficient to meet the VA’s attendance requirements. I then received a notice 2 years into being enrolled that my student loan had been processed and that I needed to start making payments. The enrollment advisor NEVER notified me that I had to login into the VA GI Bill website to report my attendance each month. By the time I had caught the error it was almost too late. The VA would only retroactively pay back one calendar year so I was hung with the balance. I continued on to my graduate degree and exhausted all of my Chapter 30 and Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits and incurred more debt to cover what the GI Bill wouldn’t pay for. I am now in debt a total of $44,000.”
 
Robert Flores, Fontana CA
– The University of Phoenix is a sham. All they care about is money. Education is a joke. On assignments, as long as you do them, you pass. I’m a senior there now. Recently, I had to do a peer review of another senior’s paper. It was a complete joke. I was shocked by how someone who can barely put a coherent sentence together is about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. I had some personal problems and failed a class, within days they were going to kick me out of school unless I paid that class immediately. Despite the fact that the class I was already enrolled in had already been paid by the VA, they told me students are not allowed to be in the hole during the program. All classes must be paid for and be current. As I said, all they care about is the money. Now I have student loans and a mortgage.”
 
Earlene Bushong, Allenhurst GA
– “The University of Pheonix automatically enrolled me into online classes after I had told my counselor I needed a break because I was switching components. Well, I failed the classes due to not doing them and now they say I owe money and can’t get my other credits I received while going there. They said they had to send back my VA loan or FAFSA loan…I’m not sure how it went down… So I’m responsible for the difference…$1800″
 
Brandon Guidry
– “I was overcharged for classes, and unaware of loans taken out by UoP
 
James Adams, Chula Vista CA
– I attended the University of Phoenix for three degrees and the grading of the programs was terrible. It was not constant and cost me extra money on classes. My Bachelors was above average GPA, but I struggled in my Masters program due to the grading. I also have issues with the student loans and the amount I am paying back.”
Kevin Johnson, Loma Linda CA
– I was told I couldn’t continue my education until I paid back almost $1,000 because of a class I had to stop taking suddenly when my wife became ill.”
Questions:
Carrie Wofford
President
Veterans Education Success
(202) 422-6338